Since last Saturday, fans and media have been talking about the possibility of bringing Tom Brady to Tampa Bay.
Thanks, but no thanks.
While coming to play for the Buccaneers may be a great idea for Brady, it may not be the best idea for the team. Tampa Bay’s current situation and the soon-to-be 43-year-old quarterback’s career trajectory just doesn’t line up.
The plus side for Brady is that he will have one of the league’s best - if not the best - receiving duos in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, as well as the possibility of O.J. Howard and Cam Brate. Those four weapons would easily amount to the best supporting cast he’s ever had. He’ll also have Bruce Arians, who will want him to throw the ball as much as possible.
Or will he?
See, things are already getting tricky. Brady is coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career in which there were clear signs of regression when it came to his play and his arm strength. To put it into context, Brady averages around a fourth-place ranking when it comes to Football Outsider’s DYAR and DVOA metrics from 2010-2018. He finished 16th in DYAR and 17th in DVOA in 2019.
Does that mean Arians would restrict his offense in order to make the game more manageable for his new quarterback? Or would he continue to deploy the long-developing, vertical, high-risk passing game that we saw in 2019?
That’s a crucial question for Brady, who like I said earlier, turns 43 before the start of the 2020 season. The Bucs gave up 47 sacks in 2019 and ranked 22nd in adjusted sack rate. The Patriots gave up just 28 sacks and were ninth in adjusted sack rate, but it was well-documented how the offensive line struggled throughout the year due to injury and ineffectiveness, so there’s a little more to that side of the story.
Regardless, the Bucs gave up 19 more sacks in all on the season. Sometimes, that can be an entire season’s worth. The Indianapolis Colts gave up just 18 in 2018 and the Los Angeles Chargers gave up 18 in 2017.
Would Brady be able to survive the hits? There’s a good chance he could get seriously injured playing in this offense. New England’s offense has always been more of a quick-passing, West Coast-style offense, anyway. There is absolutely no guarantee he would succeed under Arians.
So that begs the question as to whether or not Arians would change the offense and if he did, what would he change it to? Tampa Bay doesn’t have a running game, so it’s not like the Bucs could go run-heavy and just be able to grind it out on the ground all of a sudden. Sure, Brady and the Bucs should have a defense to rely on, but he also he had an ELITE defense in 2019 and that only got him as far as the Wildcard round of the playoffs.
If the addition of Brady automatically made the Bucs Super Bowl contenders, then it may be worth the cost, but for what you’ll be paying the man, a Wildcard exit wouldn’t be worth it.
Based off the extension he signed before the 2019 season, Brady was set to make $30 million in 2020 and $32 million in 2021, but a clause in his contract prohibited the Patriots from franchise tagging him, so he was allowed to become a free agent after the 2019 season.
This is just a hunch, but something tells me that Brady will command at least $30 million from whomever he decides to sign with not named the Pats. He’ll also probably want another clause stating that he can’t be franchised, which will leave whatever team guessing about their future at the position - which they’ll already be doing, anyway - immediately after the 2020 season ends.
The Bucs already have a quarterback in Jameis Winston that is more talented, a better fit for the offense, and a cheaper option in 2020. In all actuality, he has a better chance of sticking around for the long haul than Brady does.
There are other trickle-down effects which include sacrificing depth, the possibility of not re-signing key pieces, and other elements that would come into consideration when a making a move like this.
Plus, goats hate rain. Like, they REALLY hate rain. How do you think this one would fare during those beautiful, afternoon July showers?
See? It just wouldn’t work.