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Tom Brady on retirement question after Buccaneers' loss: 'I haven't put a lot of thought into it'

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TAMPA, Fla. – Has Tom Brady played his last game?

Stay tuned.

In the wake of a wild loss in the NFC divisional playoffs on Sunday, the Bucs icon was noncommittal when assessing whether he will return or hang it up after 22 remarkable NFL seasons.

“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it,” Brady said. “So, you know, we will just take it day by day and kind of see where we are at.”

Brady, 44, has in the past maintained that he wanted to play until he is at least 45. Yet with the finality of another season, Brady is expected to contemplate various factors in the coming weeks regarding his future.

He seemed to indicate on Sunday that he decision won’t necessarily hinge on his health.

“I feel great,” Brady said. “Physically, I feel great.”

If Brady indeed played his final game, the ouster from the playoffs was a bitter pill. The Bucs gamely rallied from a 27-3 deficit to tie the game against the Rams in the final minute, but saw their bid to repeat as Super Bowl champs end after L.A. staged a quick, game-winning drive to set up the field goal that provided the 30-27 margin.

“Every team is really qualified when you get to the final eight, then the final four and then the final two,” Brady said. “And it doesn’t feel good to lose any one of those games, and I have lost at each of those stages. So, at the end, there is only one team that is going to be happy.

“It feels good to move on when you move on, and obviously when you don’t, whether it was last week or this week, or next week, two weeks after that, if you are a loser in that game, it all sucks to lose in the end.”

Someone asked Brady, who has won a record seven Super Bowl rings, whether he allowed himself to think during the game that it might be his final contest.

“No, I was thinking about winning,” he said. “That’s kind of my mentality, always to go out there are try to win. Give my team the best chance to win.”

MORE: Rams top Tom Brady's rally in wild finish, end Buccaneers' Super Bowl repeat bid

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts as he leaves the field after the team lost to the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL divisional round playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts as he leaves the field after the team lost to the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL divisional round playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.

In the moments after an exhausting defeat, Brady surely was in no mood – or position – to outline what factors he may consider when weighing retirement.

“Truthfully, guys, I’m thinking about this game,” he said. “I’m not thinking about anything past five minutes from now.”

Bucs coach Bruce Arians didn’t hesitate to declare that he’ll be back.

“Me? Oh yeah,” Arians said.

His star quarterback? Not so sure.

“That’s totally up to Tom,” Arians said.

And like the rest of the NFL universe, Arians will have to wait a while for the final answer.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady noncommittal on future after Buccaneers' loss to Rams