NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Tom Brady’s unexplained absence from the Buccaneers isn’t due to a family or personal emergency.
But Pro Bowl linebacker Devin White indicated otherwise when he spoke to reporters.
1-on-1 with Cole Strange
The mystery continues.
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said Thursday they expect Brady to return after Tampa Bay’s second preseason game Aug. 20. When asked whether Brady will be the Bucs’ Week 1 QB, Bowles said his confidence is “pretty high.”
Noticeably, that’s not a guarantee.
On “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rapoport, who used to cover Brady with the Patriots, said the Brady’s absence was planned and “everyone close to him is OK.” Brady’s hiatus is more about finding a work-life balance, according to Rapoport.
That’s possible. Maybe Gisele booked an elaborate mid-August vacation when Brady briefly retired in February, and he’s honoring the trip.
But when why would White sound so ominous?
“He’s a human at the end of the day,” White told reporters. “He’s got personal problems going on, but he’s a guy that he’s been doing it for so long, he don’t need to be here. If he’s not here, we know he’s still working. He’s got a great supporting cast around him, and he’s going to get his work in whether he’s here or not here.”
Later, White added that “football comes second, him being a human comes first.”
Those quotes don’t make it seem like Brady is going on a luxurious family vacation, or heading back to Billionaire Bunker for some R&R.
Maybe Brady is using this absence as another opportunity to reevaluate his football future, in the wake of injuries to center Ryan Jensen and multiple skill players. But that would be a football-induced absence.
White strongly indicated Brady is leaving for personal reasons. After all, “being a human comes first.”
Sometimes Insiders are mislead, and sometimes people misspeak. Brady may temporarily be gone from Bucs camp, but he’s still dominating the conversation.