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Bruce Arians’ surprise departure fuels Tom Brady’s conspiracy theories

It reads like the perfect farewell to the sidelines.

Bruce Arians is stepping down for a front-office job with the Buccaneers to pave the way for his handpicked successor, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, as head coach. What actually happened may never be known, although many suspect Tom Brady’s fingerprints were everywhere in that decision.

In fairness, even Arians acknowledged that Brady’s return played a role in his decision to step down.

“Tom was kind of the key. When Tom decided to come back and all these guys now, it’s the perfect time for me to just go into the front office and still have the relationships that I love,” Arians told Pro Football Talk and the LA Times.

It sure sounds like the sweetest power struggle in NFL history.

In the 40 days of Brady’s retirement, multiple stories have leaked about tensions between the quarterback and his two-year coach. Arians offered multiple denials, calling everything “Bulls-t” at one point.

Tom Brady and Bruce Arains on October 14, 2021
Tom Brady and Bruce Arains on October 14, 2021
Getty Images

Still, Arians made it clear at the NFL Combine that the Bucs wouldn’t be willing to trade him for another franchise if Brady decided to override retirement — something the quarterback had hinted at since the day after he retired.

“Nope. Bad deal,” Arians said, adding that it would take “maybe five No. 1s” to get Brady out of Tampa Bay.

There was some belief Brady wanted back, just not with the Buccaneers. Pro Football Talk had theorized for weeks that Brady was privately pushing to play for the 49ers. Rumors circulated last week that Brady could still be handed over to the Dolphins.

Brady and Arians won a Super Bowl together in their first year together in Tampa Bay
Brady and Arians won a Super Bowl together in their first year together in Tampa Bay
Getty Images

Then Brady didn’t retire on Selection Sunday. The Tampa Bay Times reported Brady has been informed of Arians’ decision “Either the same day or a day after the QB announced he was ending his retirement.”

Brady chanced to meet up with the Glazer family, who own the Bucs, the day before his announcement while he was watching a Manchester United game.

What a coincidence.

Arians took a day off from NFL league meetings earlier this week and canceled previously scheduled media sessions. The 69-year-old claims the decision was not due to health reasons. He has battled prostate cancer in the past and has dealt with COVID, a torn Achilles tendon and back pain.

Tom Brady at the Manchester United game the day before his retirement
Tom Brady at the Manchester United game the day before his retirement
PA Images via Getty Images

An hour after Arians’ decision broke, Brady had the perfect Instagram sendoff for him. Words like “legend,” “pioneer,” and “loyal” were all in play.

It’s a legend he will no longer work with.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/31/bruce-arians-surprise-departure-fuels-tom-brady-conspiracy-theories/ Bruce Arians’ surprise departure fuels Tom Brady’s conspiracy theories

JOE HERNANDEZ

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