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#pounditFriday, June 21, 2024

Did Tom Brady return to Bucs on condition of Arians being removed?

Tom Brady after a game

When Tom Brady initially retired at the end of the 2021 season, there were lingering rumors that he was not seeing eye-to-eye with coach Bruce Arians. When Arians abruptly announced his retirement from coaching on Wednesday, questions arose over whether Brady might have had something to do with Arians’ decision.

Arians turned his head coaching duties over to Todd Bowles on Wednesday. The coaching change occurred just over two weeks after Brady announced his decision to return. The timing was suspicious, and led to widespread speculation that Brady made Arians’ removal a condition of his return.

Arians denied that Brady had anything to do with forcing him out.

“No. Tom was very in favor of what I’m doing,” Arians told Peter King of The MMQB. “I mean, I had conflicts with every player I coached because I cussed them all out, including him. Great relationship off the field.”

Arians did say that Brady’s return actually accelerated his decision, as it meant that both players and coaches would have a large degree of stability even if Arians moved upstairs.

Still, Arians’ denial is unlikely to convince everyone. The timing is so abrupt and unusual that the speculation is only natural.

There were persistent reports of friction between Arians and Brady. Yes, some of those claims were less credible than others, and Arians has repeatedly sought to downplay it. That won’t be enough to totally change the narrative, though, that Brady may not have been completely happy with Arians.

Photo: 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

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