One of the reasons that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time is his competitive edge.

Brady has a Michael Jordan-like competitive drive. Losing isn’t an option. Lots of folks are competitive, but very few are on that Jordan level. Brady is one of the few.

Well, at least he was.

After listening to Brady speak on Monday, I’m convinced the competitive edge that made him a seven-time Super Bowl champion is gone.

Jun 9, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) participates in a press conference during mandatory mini camp at AdventHealth Training Center Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Brady answered several questions on Monday about his motivation for returning and his goals for the 2022 season with some responses that seemed….apathetic.

“We’re just going to do the best we can do,” said Brady in response to his “unfinished business” comment when he unretired. “There’s a lot of work between now [and then] – it’s August 1. There’s a lot of time. Nobody knows what the team is going to look like – you think you have a center and then he gets injured, so the team is different in one day. There’s a long time between now and the first game.”

When Brady was asked about his desire to win another ring, he gave a similar answer.

“Again, it’s August 1,” said Brady. ‘Obviously, today is today and that’s way down the road so just trying to be as best prepared for today and deal with tomorrow, tomorrow.”

I know this was Brady’s version of a vanilla media session with coach-speak-like responses. But the whole thing just felt odd. It didn’t feel like a guy about to steamroll his way through the NFC South on his way to an eighth Super Bowl ring. It didn’t feel like the guy who passionately announced his return from retirement earlier this spring.

Instead, it felt like a 45-year-old quarterback who isn’t really sure why he’s playing anymore. It felt like someone who is just going through the motions.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it was just a bad day for Brady.

Either way, the end of Brady’s NFL career is coming. And based on what I heard Monday, I think it’s coming sooner rather than later.

Featured image via Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports