Tom Brady says no timetable for decision after Bucs eliminated


TAMPA, Fla. — Keeping true to his word, that he wouldn’t be “taking time to smell the roses” in what might have been his final game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and possibly in the NFL, quarterback Tom Brady was among the first to reach the tunnel at Raymond James Stadium after the Bucs fell 31-14 to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

It was just the third time in his 23-year career that he lost in the opening round of the playoffs. With his gaze downward, he wiped the sweat from his forehead and through his tousled hair. He then shared an embrace with safety Logan Ryan, who spent four seasons with him with the New England Patriots, as the two made their way to the locker room.

“Not the way we wanted to end it, but we didn’t deserve it,” said Brady, who, like he did through much of the season, struggled to get anything going offensively without ample protection or a ground game. “I give them a lot of credit. They played a good game. Made a lot more plays than we did, so a tough night.

“I think there’s a part of football where I feel like it’s — sometimes you get lucky, but most of the time, the team that earns it wins, and they played [well] all year.”

With his contract set to expire and a “no tag” clause, Brady cannot be franchise tagged and will become an unrestricted free agent at age 45 unless the Bucs are able to re-sign him. He will be free to sign with any team, if he chooses to continue playing.

“I’m gonna go home and get a good night’s sleep — as good as I can tonight,” Brady said, adding that he has no timetable for making a decision. “This has been all I’ve focused on — this game. It’ll just be one day at a time. Truly.”

A year ago, Brady decided to call it a career. But 40 days later, he changed course, saying in a post on social media, “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now.”

Brady was asked whether he felt anything…

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