The situation obviously rattled colleagues and was rumored to be one of the catalysts behind his and ex-wife Gisele Bündchen's divorce, so moving forward, he's vowed to put more thought into his decisions.
"I think next time I decide to retire, that’s it for me," he spilled on the Monday, December 26, episode of his "Let's Go!" podcast. "So whenever that day comes, we’ll figure it out."
"I think what I really realized last year was you got to be really sure to do that," the athlete acknowledged. "I’m going to take my time whenever that time does come."
It was less than 12 months ago that Brady, 45, revealed he would be hanging up his cleats, only to declare he changed his mind, telling fans he planned to be back on the turf for at least one more season.
The decision allegedly didn't sit well with Bündchen, 42, who has publicly confessed she's begged the quarterback to be more present at home with their two kids. Other insiders claimed the pair just grew apart, but regardless of the real reason, they announced on October 28 they were divorcing after 13 years of marriage.
Since then, Brady has had several ups and downs play out on the field, though he's remained open and honest about his struggles, sharing prior to Christmas that celebrating without his tots "will be a new experience."
"I’m gonna learn how to deal with. I’m gonna learn how to deal with Christmas Eve in a hotel, and I’m gonna have to learn how to deal with Christmas and Christmas night and still go out there and be a professional," he said on another podcast episode. "And then look forward to celebrating Christmas with my kids the day after."
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wound up coming out victorious on game day, winning against the Arizona Cardinals in overtime. In his post-game talk, he gave a shout-out to his family, notably not mentioning his model ex.
"Hi to my parents, my sisters, my kids, love you all, hope you had a good time," he said live. "Merry Christmas to everyone, see you soon."