Tom Brady retired, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to leave the light on if the G.O.A.T. decides he wants to play again.
"That door is never closed," coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday from the NFL Scouting Combine. "Whenever Tom wants to come back, he's back. ... If Tom wants to come back, we'll have plenty of money for him."
Arians reiterated though that Brady is not thinking about a return, telling reporters, "He slammed it shut when I talked to him."
Since Brady announced his retirement, speculation has run rampant that he could return to play in 2022 or beyond.
Arians was asked if TB12 wanted to return to another team, would the Bucs accommodate that request?
"Nope," the 69-year-old coach responded. "Bad business."
Asked what it might take to listen to offers for Brady, Arians quipped, "Five No. 1s. Maybe."
Outside of Brady reversing gears and returning, questions loom at the quarterback spot in Tampa. Arians said he didn't think there were many high-caliber veteran QBs available in trades this season and noted they drafted Kyle Trask in the second round in 2021.
"We addressed it last year," Arians said. "We drafted Kyle Trask No. 2 for a reason. He fits everything we want to do as a quarterback, and I really liked what I saw for a year. So I doubt draft day is an option. For all the other guys, it's got to be a trade, and you don't trade by yourself. You've got to have a partner, so that could be out of the question."
Arians later added that Trask has a "great shot" at being the starting QB in 2022.
With the free-agent market devoid of franchise difference-makers this offseason, Arians again talked up veteran Blaine Gabbert, who the coach said has "all the answers to the test" after being in the offense for years. Gabbert is set to be a free agent.
"There's very few available, outside of a trade," Arians said when asked about veteran QB options. "Blaine Gabbert's been in this system a while now and his talent is more than enough. So if we go free-agency-wise, we'll probably bring him back."
While the Bucs continue to burn up the phone lines to try to finagle a trade, Arians' clear message was that he's comfortable heading into the offseason with Gabbert and Trask as the top two quarterbacks on the roster.