Getty Tom Brady remains retired despite comeback rumors.

The Cincinnati Bengals became the latest team to lose a star quarterback and join the rumor mill about a Tom Brady comeback, but this one could be different.

That’s what Cameron Flynn of Athlon Sports wrote after quarterback Joe Burrow’s season-ending injury. Flynn listed Brady, the former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, as one of four free agents for the Bengals, joining Matt Ryan, Nick Foles and Colt McCoy.

“You didn’t think we’d leave Brady off this list, did you?” Flynn joked. “The 46-year-old soon-to-be Hall of Famer has made it pretty clear that he has no plans to come out of retirement and return to the NFL in 2023, although that was before he fell victim to Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.” a possibility.”

Brady left New England after 20 seasons to join an elite group of pass-catchers in Tampa Bay – Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Chase and Higgins would give Brady another dynamic duo to target.

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Chase has 71 receptions for 833 yards and six touchdowns this season. Higgins has 27 catches for 328 yards and two touchdowns.

“Signing Brady is probably the least likely scenario here — but if the Bengals want a chance at a Super Bowl this season and Tom wants to add another ring, Cincinnati should at least pick up the phone,” Flynn wrote.

The Bengals are built to win now

The Bengals are now built to win with quality players, and Brady could step in and run the show. Cincinnati has a third star receiver in Tyler Boyd, who has 47 catches for 439 yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, Brady could have received support from running back Joe Mixon, who has 153 carries for 605 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Brady wouldn’t have an easy time behind the Bengals’ offensive line, which ranks 23rd according to Pro Football Focus. However, Brady will have plenty of opportunities to distribute the ball quickly.

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Cincinnati has a defense that can get the job done on the other side of the ball. The Bengals are allowing 22.6 points and 386.1 yards per game.

Many of the players on both sides of the ball are also seasoned playoff veterans. Cincinnati reached the AFC Championship Game last season and the Super Bowl the year before.

Tom Brady “a competitor with heart”

Brady celebrated his legacy in New England and began his first year of retirement in September.

But that doesn’t mean Brady couldn’t end up wearing orange and possibly black stripes on the football field this year. Rob Leeds of A to Z Sports noted, “Brady is a competitor at heart” and could lure the Bengals or the Cleveland Browns, who lost Deshaun Watson this week to a season-ending shoulder injury.

“It might be difficult to pull off the rare retirement for a second time, but if Brady truly wants to play football at a high level after taking time for himself, it’s hard to imagine better options to come down the line.” Leeds wrote.

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“It’s safe to bet that at least one of these teams will/has reached out to the GOAT to see where their feelings are,” Leeds continued. “Crazier things have happened. Don’t rule it out yet.”

If Brady could do that and win his eighth Lombardi Trophy with a third different team in Las Vegas, he could make his legacy “even more impossible to copy,” Leeds wrote.

Matthew Davis covers the NFL for, focusing on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers. He has also covered prep sports in Minnesota as a writer for the StarTribune since 2016. More about Matthew Davis

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