We have heard random points from various outlets suggesting the Buccaneers will go after any free agent quarterback just because of the uncertainty surrounding the future of Jameis Winston. It’s warranted. But how about a well-known reporter saying his sources are telling him Tampa Bay may certainly be in the running for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
That is what Ben Volin of the Boston Globe is stating.
According to Volin, a league source has told him that there are three teams that will make a play for the 42-year-old quarterback and there is a growing feeling that the Buccaneers are one of them.
The source said teams weren’t really interested in Drew Brees — perhaps because he said he would only return to the Saints — but they are definitely interested in Brady. And the source said that three teams keep getting brought up as most likely to go after him — the Chargers, Raiders, and Buccaneers. Even though Brady will be 43 years old in August, it appears that he will be in high demand.
Many would go nuts if Brady dons that pewter (or white?) helmet in Tampa Bay. With receivers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, what quarterback would say no to playing here?
Well, let’s look at why it can and cannot happen.
Why it can happen
Tom Brady is without a doubt a Hall of Fame quarterback. First ballot, too. He can lead an offense successfully up and down the field without question. His command and control pre and post-snap will be unlike any quarterback that has ever played with the Buccaneers
Brady is second all-time in the NFL in passing yards, only behind Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees. Imagine if he is throwing the football to Evans and Godwin with some O.J. Howard sprinkled in. Bruce Arians’ system is an aggressive style that Brady can easily take in. He did it in New England. He could do the same here. And if Winston recorded 5,000-plus yards with mistakes, what can a soon-to-be Hall of Famer do without those same mistakes in this offense?
Brady’s game can also provide an opportunity for the Buccaneers run game to develop. Opposing defenses challenged Jameis Winston to beat them through the air. And while many argued he did at times, he also gifted them equal opportunities.
Regardless of the accolades and achievements, this could be a move general manager Jason Licht and Arians say, “Let’s do it.” Licht, who was part of New England’s scout team when Brady was drafted by the Patriots, may want to bring in the guy he helped New England take a “flyer” on in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. If they feel they are in win now mode, then money won’t be an obstacle — especially since reports seem to hint at a figure of around $30-million per season.
If that’s true, give him all the $30-million he wants.
Plus, if they do bring in Brady they can still draft a quarterback high and what better guy for a young quarterback to learn from than Brady himself.
Why it won’t happen
Brady’s age. Yes, I know. Who cares. If he can win now then pull the trigger, right?
The Buccaneers may not want a one or two year rental from a very crucial position. If they want a quarterback for one or two years to mold another, why not give Winston another year or two while still drafting one as a backup?
Bringing in Brady won’t guarantee instant success and the team may ultimately feel that they are just fine with trying to continue having continuity at the quarterback position with Winston still in play to return.
Winston’s production is promising and one that shouldn’t be ignored. He showed flashes despite his faults. But his resiliency and ability to bounce back from mistakes is not found in many quarterbacks and that is a great thing to have.
That in no way is saying Brady can’t do that, because he has proven that he can throughout his career. But we are talking a 16-year difference between these two. Why not continue to work with the younger one?
The Buccaneers may not be close to even reaching the Super Bowl. The team still has a lot of work to do. It’s uncertain to truly see where this team will be in one to three years. And that may be what Brady will seriously consider.
What’s the end game?
I see the Buccaneers giving this some major consideration. I’m not sure how interested Brady will be given that he will be 43 by the time the season starts, but from Tampa Bay’s perspective this move would be a no-brainer.
But I think that’s where it’ll end — a mere thought or idea Arians and Licht stick to a cork board by using a picture of Brady with a heart drawn around it. They’ll call to gauge his interest, however, the veteran quarterback will reply to them by saying he’s staying in New England.