Ever since Tom Brady secured his fifth Super Bowl championship back in February, the subject of retirement and the disagreement he has had with his wife, Gisele Bundchen, on the subject has been occasional headline fodder.
The day after winning Super Bowl LI thanks to the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, Brady did an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio in which he mentioned that Gisele told him three times the night of the victory that he should retire, but he refused. "I said, 'Too bad, babe, I'm having too much fun right now.' You know, I feel like I can still do it. If you love what you do and you're capable of doing it, then I might be so bored if I wasn't going out there knowing that I could still do it. So I'm going to work hard to be ready to go, and I still plan on playing for a long time."
In an interview this week with ESPN, Brady mentioned that his goal remains playing until his mid-40s. With the Patriots quarterback turning 40 later this year, that means roughly another half decade of football before all is said and done. That has publications asking if he can eclipse Michael Jordan as the most storied professional sports figure in recent memory. It also means more questions about how Gisele feels about the situation.
"My wife says lots of things sometimes," ESPN quoted Brady saying through the faint trace of a chuckle. "She makes decisions for our family that I've got to deal with. Hopefully she never says, 'Look, this has to be it.' ... My wife and my kids, it's a big investment of their time and energy, too."
Perhaps that casually dismissive attitude toward Gisele in a public forum was enough to set her on edge, because a few days later, on Wednesday, she appeared on CBS This Morning and spilled some heretofore unknown info about Brady's concussion history, specifically that he suffered one that was not reported during the 2016 season.
The Patriots and an NFL spokesperson declined to respond to ESPN about the claim. While the Patriots listed leg injuries for Brady during the 2016 season, no concussion or head injury was ever listed. The question becomes whether Brady hid the potential concussion from the team or the team knew about it and opted not to report it to the NFL.
Given that the NFL this past fall finally got out of a lengthy legal entanglement with the Patriots over deflated footballs, the league may be hesitant to go after the Pats again without definitive proof. What's more, shining a light on the concussion protocol will only serve to highlight its many weaknesses and the times that teams have gotten around it. Just this past January, both the league and the players union determined that the Dolphins did not observe the concussion protocol when removing quarterback Matt Moore for just one snap following a brutal sideline hit that left him on the ground for several minutes. The Dolphins weren't fined or docked any draft picks. They were merely issued a warning.
Brady's concussion would have remained secret, as many others surely do, if it weren't for an escalating and rather public disagreement that he is currently having with his wife. Not many players have the financial security to retire before their bodies force them to leave the game, but it's fair to assume most players have hidden concussions like Brady.