If it’s all about winning, Tom Brady should sign with the Buccaneers
For the first time in his illustrious career, Tom Brady is set to become a free agent. Rumors have been flying around about where Brady will play next season. Teams such as the Raiders, Chargers, Colts, and Titans have all been mentioned as landing spots for the 14 time pro bowler; and of course, he could always re-sign with the Patriots. Each of these teams have qualities which Brady may find appealing. However, if winning is the only thing that matters to the 42 year old Brady, then he should seriously consider signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When Brady’s name comes up, I do not hear many people mention Tampa Bay as a landing spot for the QB. On the surface, the 7–9 Buccaneers do not come off as a preferred free agent destination. After all, they haven’t made the playoffs since 2007. But if you do some research, you can see the promise Tampa Bay shows. Add Tom Brady to the mix, and you have a team that could cause some serious problems for anyone they face. Below I will give three reasons why Brady should sign with the Buccaneers this offseason.
Tampa Bay Can Offer Some of the Best Weapons in the League
If you watched the New England Patriots this year, you could see they had a dire need for offensive firepower. That is the exact opposite when it comes to the Buccaneers. Last season, the Bucs had two guys who finished in the top 15 in receiving yards, despite both missing games. Chris Godwin finished the season with 1,333 yards (3rd in the NFL) while missing two games. Mike Evans finished the season with 1,157 yards (13th in the NFL) while missing three games. Both receivers finished the season with more yards than Julian Edelman who played all 16 games, and was Brady’s number one target in New England. Along with two of the best wide receivers in football, the Buccaneers can also give Brady a young and athletic tight end in OJ Howard, who is a first round pick himself. Tampa Bay can offer Brady weapons which he hasn’t had since the Randy Moss days in New England. Now having excellent receivers is great, but it’s all for nothing if the QB doesn’t have time to throw the ball. That’s not a problem in Tampa, and that’s the next reason why Brady should take a serious look at the Bucs.
The Buccaneers Offensive Line Can Keep Brady Protected
Brady has never been the most mobile quarterback, and at 42 he definitely isn’t going to start. Therefore, he needs an offensive line which will allow him time in the pocket. That is exactly what Brady would get if he signed with the Bucs. Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranked Tampa Bay as the 7th best offensive line in the NFL last season. Center Ryan Jensen and guard Ali Marpet are two of the best players at their respective positions. PFF gave the Buccaneers’ guard and center positions the second highest grade in all of football last year. Also, if the Bucs can resign pending free agent tackle Demar Dotson (which they should be able to), then they can offer Brady one of the top offensive lines in the NFL. Based on the information so far, Brady should already be eager to sign with the Buccaneers, but if there are still lingering concerns, they can be fixed with the final reason.
Money, Money, and More Money
Obviously at 7–9, the Buccaneers have some holes to fill if they want to become a contender. Good thing for the Bucs they have the fourth-most cap space ($79.9 million) heading into the offseason. While Brady would use a chunk of that, the Buccaneers would still have a lot of money left to fill needs. The two glaring needs Tampa has is at running back, and on defense. However, if you take a deeper look, the defense wasn’t totally bad. They have the NFL sack leader in Shaquil Barrett (who they can re-sign or franchise tag). The Bucs also posted the number one ranked rush defense last year, allowing only 73.8 yards a game. The real weakness for the Bucs is their pass defense, which ranked in the bottom-three in yards allowed per game. But if we’re being completely honest, most defenses would struggle some when their quarterback was constantly forcing the defense back on the field (see Jameis Winston’s 35 turnovers last season). The pass defense should improve with a QB not throwing 30 interceptions in a season, but Tampa Bay could still look to sign free agent cornerback Byron Jones to help fix those issues. The Bucs could also focus on defense throughout the NFL draft. As for the running back dilemma, Tampa Bay could look to make a big splash by signing a free agent back such as Derrick Henry or Melvin Gordon. If those options are too expensive however, the Bucs could look to target cheaper backs such as Jordan Howard or Carlos Hyde. While the desire may be the make the big signing, backs like Howard (3,895 yards in his first four seasons) and Hyde (1,070 yards last season) would give Brady enough of a run game where he wouldn’t have to carry the team by himself. So while Tampa Bay may not be the first name brought up when mentioning Tom Brady, it’s actually the best spot for TB12 to get another championship.