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Tom Brady announces his return; Kirk Cousins signs 1-year extension

It turns out Tom Brady will be playing next season, but won’t be changing jerseys.

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts in the fourth quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NFL world got 40 days to believe Tom Brady’s professional playing days were behind him. However, Sunday afternoon, the future Hall of Famer announced on Twitter that he’d be returning for his 23rd season:

Assuming Brady stays with Tampa Bay, this means the path to the Super Bowl just got more difficult for the 49ers. Nevertheless, even in his 23rd season, Brady will be a threat to the NFC.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has been adamant that Brady will be the Niners' starting quarterback in 2022, despite their investments in Trey Lance. That always felt far-fetched. Brady saying “in Tampa” would suggest that he plans on returning to the Bucs.

That takes the Bucs out of the market for a quarterback. The Vikings announced a one-year extension for quarterback Kirk Cousins:

There were rumors that the Browns or Colts would be interested in acquiring Cousins. This move takes another potential darkhorse team out of the market for Jimmy Garoppolo.

The next domino seems like it has to be Deshaun Watson. Once that trade is announced, we’ll better understand which teams are still interested in Garoppolo. I wonder how much his health is hurting Jimmy.

Garoppolo would have likely received the same money, or at least in the same ballpark, as Cousins if he was healthy.