Brady’s mysterious absence from camp another reason he should have stayed retired

Tom Brady

Tom Brady
Photo: AP

Tom Brady is selfish.

It’s obvious by now.

We are in the middle of NFL training camp and Brady is M.I.A. He hasn’t been in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ camp since Aug. 11. Worse, when asked about Brady’s whereabouts, Bucs’ coach Todd Bowles had no answers. In fact, he was noncommittal about when Brady would be back.

Originally, Bowles said Brady had some “personal things” to take care of. And when he announced Brady would be stepping away from the game, Bowles said Brady would be back after the Bucs’ second preseason game. That would have meant Brady would be back this Monday.

Nope. Not anymore.

“We’ll see,” Bowles told reporters at camp Thursday. “We’ll talk about it next week. Not concerned about it right now. We are trying to practice against Tennessee and play a game.

“I said ‘sometime after Tennessee.’ There’s no definitive date for me. But we’ll check on it, we’ll keep in touch and we’ll find out.” Nice. The coach and team are in the dark on Brady’s plans. Bowles’ quotes are embarrassing, to say the least. Is this the NFL or Brady’s personal play toy?

This sounds like the old man that just doesn’t want to practice. This sounds like an old man who should go sit down somewhere and not come back.

This sounds like selfish, self-centered Brady. Everything has always been about him, not the team. Clearly, the Bucs have created a monster and are afraid to expect him to follow the same work rules everyone is held to.

There has been a ton of speculation about why Brady has disappeared, ranging from a scheduled family vacation to possibly him retiring again to a serious illness in the family. For sure, if there was a real emergency in Brady’s family, it wouldn’t have been scheduled. And Bowles admitted that he knew about it before his absence took effect.

And if it were truly a grave matter Brady was taking care of, it would make more sense to say that to the media and the fans. This way people would stop inquiring and give the Brady family space and prayers rather than grief.

But on the surface, this comes off as the old man who doesn’t want to practice, and just shows up for the games.

After all, Brady is 45 and has played 22 seasons in the NFL. After last season, Brady retired. He claimed he finally wanted to spend time with his wife and kids.

Then Brady turned into a punch-drunk boxer and decided he still loved the game and wanted back in.

The Bucs then fired, er, Bruce Arians retired as coach. And all of a sudden, Brady was ready for another go-around in Tampa.

It felt like Brady got what he wanted in that situation as Arians gave up the coaching reins to Bowles and took an office job. For sure, Brady has accomplished tons in the NFL, including seven Super Bowl victories (some luck, but that’s another story). So sure there are some perks a guy with his resume will get over other players. That’s obvious and makes sense.

But missing training camp?

Naw. That doesn’t work and is the ultimate disrespect for the other 52 players that will make up the roster. Football is a team game and you need chemistry, and for all the parts to fit together. If camp wasn’t important, there wouldn’t be camp for anybody. People would show up every September and just start playing. This feels like Brady flexing his muscles down in Tampa. The people down there are just happy he helped them win a Super Bowl two years ago.

They are both humbled and scared of Brady to demand what they expect from all the other players: you show up and work. They are too afraid that Brady will take his ball and go home. It is shameful.

Sure, other superstar quarterbacks don’t play in exhibition games anymore. That line of thinking makes sense. Teams are fearful of an injury happening in a meaningless game.

But practice is important for all the players. In the NFL, practice is where players earn their playing time in games.

At this point, Brady should do everyone a favor and retire again, go away.

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