Now that Super Bowl 54 is complete, fans of all teams not named the Chiefs have already turned their attention to the off-season, which includes free agency beginning soon. And, there continues to be a juicy-speculative rumor making the rounds that could have Hall of Fame to be quarterback Tom Brady of the Pats on the radar of the Buccaneers.
More on the speculation in a bit.
First, there is full understanding that Brady will most likely re-sign with the Patriots, the team that he has built an Empire with over the course of the last 19 years. And, it is a fact that he’s an unrestricted free agent, if the Patriots don’t get a deal done coming up.
Brady has made it clear that he wants to continue to play and it would be hard to believe that New England owner Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick would not bring him back, even though he will be 43 years old later this season.
Next, as for the Bucs, they are at a crossroads of what to do at their own quarterback position? Former number one overall pick, Jameis Winston, clearly hasn’t gotten any better at not throwing interceptions, as he became the first player in NFL history to have 30 of them in a season where he also threw 30 touchdown passes.
His record as a starter is 28-42 overall and in the past three seasons it’s 13-25.
And, another overriding factor is: Winston has repeatedly lost critical game after critical game, at the end of the year in every season he played in the NFL.
This was no different in 2019 under first-year coach Bruce Arians, where Winston played poorly in a November home loss to the Saints with four interceptions that all but dashed the Bucs playoff hopes dropping them to 3-7.
Then, after the team had gotten their record to 7-7 against bad competition late in the year, Winston failed, when he had a chance to potentially solidify his standing as a starter.
He threw four interceptions in a loss at home to the Texans in week 16 and then, the game losing walk-off interception to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime to end the season at 7-9.
You can’t blame the Buccaneers, if they’re going to look elsewhere to try another quarterback after Winston has produced four losing seasons in five years in Tampa Bay.
And further, coach Bruce Arians has a tremendous track record of working with Super Bowl caliber quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger in the past. Throw in his successes as interim coach for one year in Indy with Andrew Luck and two years with veteran Carson Palmer going to the playoffs and it’s obvious that Arians knows how to get the most out of veteran QBs.
And, that plays very much into the Brady speculation.
Former longtime Sports Illustrated columnist and insider Peter King, who’s now with NBC Sports and Pro Football Talk, gave an interview to Boston’s WEEI radio during Super Bowl radio row coverage.
In that interview, King made it clear that he believes Brady will likely end up back in New England. However, King named the Buccaneers as “sleeping giant” to land Brady theorizing it would be a great match with weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard and the rest of their passing attack.
Then, on Wednesday on the popular “Good Morning Football “weekday show on NFL Network, the subject of the Buccaneers and what they need to do to “make over” their team came up.
1. Offer the world to Tom Brady. Sell him on Arians and two 1,000 yard WRs under the age of 26.
2. Re-Sign JPP, Suh, and Shaq.
3. Draft De'Andre Swift. pic.twitter.com/nGpVXK6K0G
— GMFB (@gmfb) February 5, 2020
While Schrager isn’t reporting that Brady we’ll end up in red and pewter, he did make a compelling case for the six-time Super Bowl winner to end up in Tampa Bay.
Of course, all of the outlets, “talking heads,” and websites (including this one) have to have something to “kick around” now that the games are over with for a while. And, it is interesting that the Brady to the Buccaneers rumors are out there from prominent NFL people.
Then again, the distance between a rumor of Tom Brady actually leaving New England and then, ending up with the Bucs, might be the same as the Gulf of Mexico, too.