Tom Brady arrives in Tampa Bay, as possibly one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. Referred to as the G.O.A.T., Brady has seen no shortage in accolades over a long and storied career. At age 43, Brady and the Patriots parted ways, and for the first time, Tom Brady would enter Free Agency.
Out with the old in with the new:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers would say goodbye to Jameis Winston, drafted first overall by the Buccaneers in 2015, who posted some stellar numbers and left the franchise holding many records. The issue of turning over the football and lure of Tom Brady would prove too much as the Bucs moved on from Winston. The lack of interest in Winston suggests that maybe this was the right thing to do, especially when vocal members of the defense appeared on social media and NFL Network, implying the Bucs needed a new QB.
Arriving in the Bay Area just in time for the new uniforms, Brady will certainly bring a winning pedigree and veteran leadership to the Buccaneers offense. With over 20 seasons behind him, the new guy in town has seen pretty much everything the NFL has to throw at him, so leadership on the field isn’t in doubt. Speaking of those new uniforms, fans will be queuing up to purchase the new QBs jersey and flood into the stadium in numbers. For once, the front office can congratulate themselves on a coup not only on the field; but off as well as revenues and national profile is instantly elevated.
Or is it?
The Brady years will go one of two ways, everyone associated with the Buccaneers from the Glazers themselves to the fans, needs this to go the right way!
The way that puts the Buccaneers into a winning franchise, plays and wins their home Super Bowl and turns the team into the next dynasty.
Am I reaching by saying the Buccaneers need to win the Super Bowl? Not really, paying over $60M for two years isn’t to get into the playoffs, it’s win-now, Super Bowl, or bust.
The flip side of The Brady signing is profound and fraught with the possibility of failure. Let’s start with the fact that the offensive tackles are less than stellar. The draft that could have been used to strengthen this position has a clear choice to make, draft the QB of the future to take over from Brady, or draft help for the O line.
Option 1 is great in principle but without help, this line will get Brady in trouble fast. How will he cope behind a line that will require an immobile QB to be elusive? How will Brady fare without a pocket to throw in?
Option 2 gives Brady the option of having help on the offensive line, and hopefully, a clean pocket to throw to Pro Bowl receivers, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. The whole league has seen the surgical precision that Tom Brady possesses when given time to throw, and that makes sense in this scenario; however, if the plan plays out as expected, then the Buccaneers are drafting next year at 31 or 32, barring a huge trade. That means the chances of drafting the future franchise QB of the Buccaneers is exceptionally low. Factor in that the QB only has one-year maximum to develop, and it’s not looking good.
Who’s to say that Brady even finishes his contract before retiring? Tom Brady could take a beating this season and decide to walk into the sunset. If that happens, then the Glazers and the rest of the front office have been very short-sighted and left with their pants down.
Don’t get me started on what the reaction would be if Brady doesn’t take the Buccaneers to the promised land, and Jameis Winston guides his new team to playoffs or Super Bowl glory.