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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Tom Brady

Antonio Brown calls out Tom Brady over training camp absence

Antonio Brown with a smile

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Brown is taking aim at Tom Brady again, this time over the quarterback’s leave of absence from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady will be away from the Bucs until at least next week after he left the team for personal reasons. Head coach Todd Bowles said the hiatus was previously agreed upon, but Brown seems to believe it is more evidence of the double standard that exists for certain NFL players. Brown took to Twitter on Wednesday to criticize Brady.

“Tom brady manipulate the game gets 14 days go home get his mind rt [sic] lol. Now u [sic] see the difference. Put that s— on,” Brown wrote (edited by LBS for profanity).

Brown then followed up with a tweet that said “still no justice for the Real.” He also made what appeared to be some sort of threat toward Brady’s longtime trainer, Alex Guerrero.

Brown accused Guerrero earlier this year of stiffing him out of a large sum of money.

It is hardly a surprise that Brown would publicly call out Brady, even if he has expressed admiration for the seven-time Super Bowl champion in the past. After Brown stripped off his uniform mid-game and left the Bucs last season, he publicly accused Brady of using him.

Brown is right that people would view him leaving training camp a lot differently than the way they view Brady doing it. Of course, Brady is arguably the greatest player of all time and has no history of being a bad teammate. The same certainly cannot be said for Brown.

Reporter thinks Tom Brady had bad body language at camp

Tom Brady ready to pass

Jan 16, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) drops back to pass in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady is currently on leave from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for what the team has called “personal reasons.” Reports suggest the 45-year-old Brady is looking to find a work/life balance.

“It was planned. No one is worried. He’s fine. It’s not, to my knowledge, a medical emergency for him or anyone close to him. I was told everything is OK,” NFL Rapoport said on the Pat McAfee Show. “The best description I got for this is that it is important to find a work/life balance. Brady has been doing this for 23 years. He knows the scheme as well as anyone. He wasn’t gonna play in those two (preseason) games anyway, so he steps aside to do some actual personal things, family things.”

Brady is a noted family man but his absence comes at an interesting time. Not only is he a sidebar to the Miami Dolphins’ tampering scandal, but Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin suggests Brady has looked “miserable” at Bucs camp this summer.

“I do wonder where his head is at right now,” Volin said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. “He was so good at 44, there is no doubt in our minds that if Brady is fully committed he can have a terrific season at 45, but there are definitely signs that his head is not fully into it. I try not to be the body language police, but I was at Bucs practice yesterday and he looked miserable.

“I don’t think he loves the humidity in Tampa; it is very swampy out here every morning. His buddy Gronk has retired, that’s his running mate, that’s his guy, and now he looks all over the field and he’s throwing to Kyle Rudolph, Chris Godwin is banged up and we’re not sure when he’s going to be himself again. Brady’s center [Ryan Jensen] goes down. There are just a lot of things going on with the team, and we also know playing with the Bucs was not his number one wish this year.”

Volin notes, as we all now know, that if Brady had gotten his way, he’d currently be a member of the Dolphins.

“If he got his way he would be running the Dolphins, and the only reason he went back the Bucs was because he really had no other options,” Volin added. “He had an excused absence last week around his birthday and the local reporters down here were holding their breath, they thought this was it and that Tom Brady had had a change of heart, and that he was going to retire.

“Now Todd Bowles announces that Tom Brady was not at practice, and he’s gone through next week, through the second preseason game, and gone another 10 days, so I definitely question where his head is at. It might be related to a health thing, whether it’s related to his parents or a family member — if that’s the case then certainly it’s going to be a distraction also, so it does seem like Brady is not 100% focused on football.”

The interpretation of Brady’s body language aside, it’s clear to even an outside observer that the seven-time Super Bowl champions has some reservations about playing this season. He announced his retirement in February only to walk that back a few months later. Now he’s suddenly taking a random personal leave in the middle of training camp.

The Bucs have to be concerned that Brady may ultimately decide not to return.

Report sheds light on Tom Brady’s unusual leave of absence

Tom Brady after a game

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady will not be with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for at least the next nine days due to what has been described as a personal matter, and we may now have a better idea of why the seven-time Super Bowl champion is taking time off.

Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Thursday that Brady will be away from the team through at least Aug. 20 to tend to some “personal things.” That led many to wonder if Brady or a member of the quarterback’s family is having a health issue. During an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said he was led to believe everyone in Brady’s family is fine.

“It was planned. No one is worried. He’s fine. It’s not, to my knowledge, a medical emergency for him or anyone close to him. I was told everything is OK,” Rapoport said. “The best description I got for this is that it is important to find a work/life balance. Brady has been doing this for 23 years. He knows the scheme as well as anyone. He wasn’t gonna play in those two (preseason) games anyway, so he steps aside to do some actual personal things, family things.”

Host Pat McAfee then asked Rapoport if it could be that Brady committed to something with his family during his brief retirement and wants to see that through. Rapoport said that is possible and that Brady has to tend to “a family thing that is happening that is good.”

You can hear more below:

Brady has spoken many times over the past several years about making time for his family. He missed a significant portion of voluntary workouts in his final seasons with the New England Patriots to do just that. The timing is what makes Brady’s hiatus from the Bucs so unusual.

We will probably never know the real reason Brady took time off in the middle of training camp. As long as he is on the field in Week 1, the absence will mean very little.

Brady’s wife Gisele had a noteworthy public reaction when the 45-year-old reversed course on his brief retirement. It is possible that Brady made a promise to his family when he thought he would not be playing in 2022 and did not want to go back on it.

Tom Brady to be away from Bucs for ‘personal reasons’

Tom Brady fired up during a game

Dec 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady was absent from practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, and he will not be returning for a while.

Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles told reporters that Brady is away from the team to “deal with some personal things.” Bowles said the arrangement was made in advance. Brady will not return until after Tampa Bay’s preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 20.

Bowles did not give an exact date for Brady’s return. He also stopped short of guaranteeing that the 45-year-old quarterback will be on the field in Week 1, which led to a follow-up question about whether that is in doubt.

Brady has missed some time during voluntary workouts over the last several years, but he has never left his team during training camp and the preseason. Of course, he is one of the few players in the NFL who can miss important practices and not have it impact his play when the season begins. Time will tell if that ends up being the case with the Bucs.

Mike McDaniel addresses practicing with Tom Brady after tampering scandal

Mike McDaniel at a press conference

Feb 10, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel speaks during a press conference at Baptist Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins were hit with massive sanctions last week after an NFL investigation determined that they illegally tried to recruit Tom Brady. As luck would have it, the penalties came just before the Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were set to hold joint practices. Mike McDaniel insists that is not an issue, however.

McDaniel was asked on Wednesday if it is uncomfortable to scrimmage against Brady a week after the NFL stripped the Dolphins of multiple draft picks, fined the team $1.5 million and suspended owner Stephen Ross. The coach downplayed it.

McDaniel was not with the Dolphins when any of the tampering occurred, so the violations have nothing to do with him. Still, the joint practices have to be at least slightly awkward for some people given the timing.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell described the Dolphins’ tampering violations as “of unprecedented scope and severity.” The investigation determined that they spoke with Brady about joining their franchise both in 2019 when he was with the New England Patriots and again last year. We can’t imagine the Bucs are happy about that, but McDaniel is right that none of it is his problem.

Buccaneers’ QBs coach makes big Tom Brady statement

Tom Brady after a game

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp is a time of optimism around the NFL, but one statement from Tampa Bay Buccaneers camp may serve as a warning for the rest of the league more than anything else.

Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen had very high praise for Tom Brady when speaking to NBC Sports’ Peter King last week. King relayed that Christensen had recently told GM Jason Licht that Brady is in the best form of his career.

“Clyde Christensen, the longtime quarterback coach, has coached some of the great ones including Peyton Manning, told Jason Licht recently: ‘You’re not going to believe this. Brady’s arm’s better than I’ve ever seen it,'” King relayed.

There can only be so much room for improvement for Brady at this stage of his career, but if it is there, he will probably find a way. One would figure that is not a statement Christensen would make lightly.

Considering Brady has been the subject of major tampering allegations lately, he may find that to be a motivating factor in some way. If he actually is throwing the ball better, for whatever reason, that is bad news for the rest of the NFL.

Richard Seymour took funny shot at Tom Brady in Hall of Fame speech

Tom Brady after a game

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Seymour’s Hall of Fame induction speech featured a pretty funny shot at former teammate Tom Brady.

Seymour was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, primarily on the strength of his career with the New England Patriots. Seymour played for the Patriots from 2001 to 2008, meaning he was a rookie the same year Brady took over as the team’s starting quarterback.

“We had a young quarterback, but we made it work,” Seymour joked.

Brady was an unheralded second-year pro when he took charge of the Patriots in light of Drew Bledsoe’s injury. He wound up winning the first of his seven Super Bowls that season.

Brady jokes at the Hall of Fame are becoming pretty commonplace. He’ll be inducted whenever he’s eligible, but until then, he’s certainly a frequent topic of conversation anyway.

Tom Brady gets hilarious birthday cake from teammate

Tom Brady puts up his hand

Aug 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) jogs off the field after a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady celebrated his 45th birthday on Wednesday and received a rather amazing cake from one of his teammates to commemorate the occasion.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette got Brady a custom GOAT cake for the big day. Fournette shared a picture of the cake on social media, complete with a sarcastic message wishing Brady a happy 100th birthday.

This was, in fact, a real cake that Fournette had made, as was proven in another photo.

Custom cakes are not unusual. Sometimes they replicate a major accomplishment. For Brady, it’s about how old he is, while somehow paying tribute to his remarkable career at the same time.

Fournette hit the nail on the head here. The Buccaneers probably just want to make sure he does not wind up having too much cake for the occasion.

Dolphins hit with huge penalties for tampering with Tom Brady, Sean Payton

Stephen Ross in a jacket

Sep 26, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross reacts during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have been hit with a series of penalties for violating the integrity of the game and tampering, the NFL announced Tuesday.

The league announced that the Dolphins have been stripped of their 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick over tampering violations that commissioner Roger Goodell said were “of unprecedented scope and severity.” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was also suspended through Oct. 17. banned from league meetings until 2023, and fined $1.5 million.

An investigation by the league found that the Dolphins did not intentionally lose games in 2019. However, owner Stephen Ross frequently made comments about prioritizing draft position over the team’s record to senior executives, which led then-coach Brian Flores to express concerns to management. Once Flores did so, the NFL said Ross stopped making the remarks.

The most damning findings, however, involved multiple tampering violations over several years involving both Tom Brady and Sean Payton. The NFL said the Dolphins had “impermissible communications” with Brady dating back to 2019, when he was still a member of the Patriots. This happened again in 2021, with the Dolphins discussing a potential executive role with Brady and his agent, which also included the possibility of playing for the team. Ross was directly involved in these discussions, according to the investigation.

The league also revealed that the Dolphins had spoken with Payton in January about becoming the team’s head coach without receiving permission from the New Orleans Saints. These discussions took place just before Payton stepped down as coach of the Saints, and before New Orleans officially denied the Dolphins’ request to speak to Payton.

The NFL investigation essentially confirms numerous stories claiming that the Dolphins had tried to recruit Brady multiple times in some high-ranking role, and also tried to make Payton head coach earlier this year.

The investigation did not confirm the most significant allegations made by Flores, and that one widely-reported comment was made in jest. The ultimate finding there is that while the Dolphins certainly prioritized draft position, they did not intentionally tank.

Tom Brady roasts ESPN host for terrible prediction

Tom Brady puts up his hand

Aug 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) jogs off the field after a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady thrives off people doubting him or making bad predictions about his decline. One ESPN personality found that out the hard way on Thursday.

Barstool Sports shared a video of Max Kellerman on ESPN’s “First Take” from July 28, 2016, exactly six years ago to the day. Kellerman is seen predicting that Brady is “just about done” and about to “fall off a cliff” and “be a bum in short order.” Brady took notice of the clip and made sure to share it, all while tagging Kellerman in the tweet and pointing out that the quarterback now has a swimwear line, too.

This is brutal, but Kellerman absolutely brought this upon himself. Even at the time, it was not as if Brady was just barely skating by, as he was fresh off a season that saw him finish second in MVP voting. He was suspended for the first four games of that 2016 season due to Deflategate, then came back and guided the Patriots to their epic comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Brady has won two more Super Bowls since then.

This is hardly the first time Brady has referred to the “cliff” line since Kellerman said it. And for whatever it’s worth, Kellerman did ultimately admit he’d been way wrong about the quarterback. He did so too late to avoid getting roasted for the original take, though.