When you sit down and think about it, it’s easy to see why Bruce Arians wanted Tom Brady so badly.
Aside from being the greatest quarterback in NFL history, Brady offers Arians something that few other quarterbacks in this league can: a Super Bowl.
It’s no secret that Arians is on limited time in Tampa Bay. The 67-year-old coach signed a four-year deal with a fifth-year option before the 2019 season started and will be pushing 70 when Brady’s deal expires in 2022.
To me, that means the Buccaneers will be operating out of a two-year window from this point forward. They will shape the roster to compete at the top level through free agency and the draft, except they will also be maneuvering with a sense of urgency. Arians and Co. obviously believe that they have a playoff roster that just needs a few tweaks here and there in order to fill its potential.
There are all different types of ways for this to play out. The Bucs could forfeit picks and/or a player in order to move up in the draft to select the player they desire. After signing Tom Brady and some of their own free agents, they likely only have around $5-$8 million left in cap room, but there are plenty of ways to manipulate the cap in order to make one more big signing. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Mike Greenberg was able to find a way to squeeze some more dollars out of the cap.
And what makes all of this come full circle, is that when you think about it - there are really no long-term ramifications with this strategy. Brady is here for two years, so you center your roster moves around that window. The Bucs have done a good job of avoiding dead money with their new contracts, so it’s not like they’re back-loading deals and waiting for the hammer to drop down the road. Then, when 2022 rolls around, it’s almost like a clean slate.
I don’t think the Bucs are done yet. Something tells me there’s still one more card up their sleeve for this offseason. Arians wants this Super Bowl and if this works, he’ll be as close as he’s ever been.
But at the end of the day the message is clear and well advertised as the team themselves are saying it: the Bucs are all-in.