After a miserable 31-14 defeat to the Cowboys on Monday night, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers’ playoff hopes for this year are officially over. This was just Brady’s fourth one-and-done performance in his 23 seasons as an NFL starting quarterback, and the loss was the second most lopsided of his career.

The 45-year-old told reporters he would ‘take it one day at a time’ in the wake of Monday’s defeat, being characteristically evasive. Being a free agent, this season marked Brady’s third season with the Bucs, and it very well may have been his last, either by the team’s or his own decision.

It’s possible that Brady may revisit his old stomping grounds in Tampa. It’s possible he’ll look for a new team to play for. He even could decide to call it quits at some point once again. In any case, what choices does he have? Let’s find out.

Return to Buccaneers

It’s no secret that Brady gets along well with the team’s higher-ups, especially the Glazer family, who own the Buccaneers and helped lure Brady away from the Patriots in 2020. Compared to other NFL locales, Tampa, Florida, must be a lot more pleasant now that he’s reached the end of his career. And he leaves behind a short but significant legacy as a Buccaneer, ending a decade of club irrelevance with an MVP-caliber championship run.

Join Jets

Currently, the Jets’ sole evident need is for a veteran quarterback. Meanwhile, Brady’s arrival would instantly restore respectability to a locker room that cheered Zach Wilson’s demotion that year. For the most part, what’s holding things up is whether or not the Jets would rather have a somewhat longer-term potential.

Go back to Patriots

Despite the general public’s disapproval, here is where Brady made his mark, and he is still respected among his peers. The Patriots’ offense may be revamped without a financial problem. Mac Jones has to move over here and regain his bearings. It would also serve as a logical stepping stone for Brady’s eventual transition into full retirement.

Join Titans

Prior to re-signing Ryan Tannehill, the Titans explored a free-agent deal with Brady in 2020. The departure of general manager Jon Robinson and the hiring of coach Mike Vrabel gives the quarterback a chance to return to his roots as a quarterback.

Join 49ers

On paper, this seems like a match made in heaven: Brady grew up in the Bay Area and has always had a soft spot for the 49ers, and his ability to make split-second decisions and read the field effectively makes him a great fit for a system designed to get the ball to its playmakers as quickly as possible. However, the team may not be able to afford to change a winning recipe only to bring together a renowned name and a legendary team.