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Tom Brady to join Fox Sports as lead NFL analyst upon retirement

Tom Brady's 40-day retirement made him realize he wasn't ready to hang it up yet. It may have prompted him to plan ahead, too.

Brady has determined his next pursuit following the conclusion of his NFL career: broadcasting football. Once Brady decides to retire, the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback will join Fox Sports as its lead NFL analyst, the network announced on Tuesday. The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reported that Brady's contract with Fox Sports is for 10 years and $375 million.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB decides to hang it up, Brady will call games with play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt.

No one knows when that time will come, of course, as the man who has defied all previously established longevity logic only gave us a preview of what the world might be like once he's no longer on an active roster. Brady then realized he wasn't ready to walk away, and though he's excited about what he has lined up for his post-playing life, he's not looking ahead when he has his 23rd season coming up.

Naturally, the jokes flew on Twitter.

There's also an element of leverage here that might be more about driving a television debate than actual action, but will certainly be mentioned as the football world attempts to predict Brady's future beyond the upcoming season in which we know he'll be playing. If Brady were to meet another crossroads in deciding his football future, he'd have his analyst-in-waiting job available as a card to play, if necessary. The Buccaneers QB has one year remaining on his contract in Tampa Bay

The biggest question -- and perhaps the most jarring reality -- Brady faced upon retiring was simple: What does he do next? Brady has plenty of interests outside of the game, but it's not easy to replace its role in his life. Shifting from the field to the booth would keep Brady close to the game and also allow him to lend his two-plus decades worth of wisdom to the viewing audiences every week.

A future in front of the camera always seemed to be in the cards for former star quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Tony Romo, who are now both enjoying plenty of success in differing roles. But it wasn't until Brady left New England for Tampa that he opened up in the public eye, appearing in a number of advertisements and showing much more of his personality with the Buccaneers than he had with the Patriots. His ESPN+ documentary series, "Man in the Arena," pulled back the curtain on his two decades spent in New England and was remarkably revealing, so it's less shocking to consider a future in the broadcast booth for Brady than it might have been a few years ago.

As for when that becomes reality, well, we will have to wait to find out. But instead of wondering how Brady -- a football-obsessed competitor with a fire that has propelled him into his age-45 season -- spends his retirement, we'll now have an answer.

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