It looks like the Tom Brady sweepstakes are coming to a close. The expectation is that Brady will sign with the Buccaneers, sources told Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Tampa’s offer is “roughly” $30MM annually, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets, although the duration is unclear.
Rapoport added that the Buccaneers have been confident all day about landing him. It’s not at all unexpected given today’s developments, but it still is a wild conclusion to an unpredictable saga. A couple of years ago we got the first reports that Brady might want out of New England, but nobody at the time could’ve predicted it would end with him teaming up with Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay. It became clear in recent months that Brady leaving was a very real possibility, and earlier this morning the legendary quarterback announced he wouldn’t be back with the Patriots in 2020.
We heard just a little while ago that the Chargers were out of the running, which left the Bucs as the only known team aggressively pursuing Brady. The Raiders had been floated at various points, but they recently signed Marcus Mariota and the same report that had the Chargers out indicated Brady wanted to stay closer to his family on the east coast.
The Patriots were one of the best teams in the league last season, but it was mostly because of the defense and not the offense. Brady had one of his worst seasons statistically, averaging his lowest yards per attempt (6.8) since the 2002 season. The Pats were widely criticized for not providing him with enough weapons, and that won’t be an issue in Tampa.
The Bucs have arguably the best receiving duo in the league, with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans forming a matchup nightmare for any opposing secondary. Their defense also made major strides down the stretch last season under DC Todd Bowles, and they’ll now be considered an instant contender in 2020.
Brady spent 20 incredible years in New England, helping to create one of the most iconic dynasties in sports history. He’ll leave the Patriots at the age of 42, having won six Super Bowls with the team. We may never know exactly what happened the last few years, but it seems clear that Brady wanted a fresh start. His frustration with the offense was evident toward the end of last season, and it culminated in an embarrassing home loss to the Titans in the first round of the playoffs.
As for the Buccaneers, they’ll obviously be moving on from Jameis Winston, who they drafted first overall back in 2015. The game of quarterback musical chairs has almost ended, and there aren’t too many starting jobs left available for Winston to nab.
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