Tom Brady

Tom Brady Hoping To Be Ready By June Minicamp

Despite going under the knife this offseason, Tom Brady is hoping he’ll be able to participate in his standard training this offseason. Speaking to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, the veteran quarterback revealed that he’s recovering from his knee surgery and is hopeful that he’ll be a full participant at mandatory June minicamp.

“Yeah, I hope so. I hope so. I feel pretty good, and I push myself pretty hard,” Brady said. “I feel pretty good. I don’t know if I could go this week, but we’ll see how things play out. It’s a long time between now and the beginning of the season, and just be smart about all these different things that we have to do and fulfill; but we all take a lot of pride in being ready to go, and I’m sure we will be.”

“It’s good, it’s good. It’s good progress. It’s rehab. None of that is fun, but looking forward to getting back to real training and stuff, which is hopefully here pretty soon. … I’m cool with it. It’s just part of what you deal with. Things come up. You deal with them the best way you can, with the best opportunity to improve. I’m definitely feeling a lot better than I did six or seven weeks ago.”

This is a somewhat notable development; while GM Jason Licht previously revealed that Brady was recovering quickly, it sounded unlikely that the quarterback would be a full-go during 7-on-7 work in June.

It’s notable when any quarterback has a knee procedure, much less an iconic quarterback who will be 44 at the start of the next season. Still, no one within the organization seems to be all that concerned. We previously learned that the procedure had been planned for a while, and Licht had described the surgery as “minor.”

The Buccaneers still haven’t added a definitive backup quarterback this offseason, although the sentiment is that they’re expected to re-sign Blaine Gabbert.

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Latest On Tom Brady Knee Injury

When it was revealed in February that Tom Brady was undergoing knee surgery for an injury that would keep him sidelined from team activities until at least June, it understandably raised some eyebrows.

A 43-year-old quarterback getting knee surgery that will knock him out for a handful of months is significant no matter what. But fortunately, it sounds like everything is going well with Brady’s recovery. “I talked to him last week,” Bucs GM Jason Licht said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. “I know things are going well. I don’t want to put an exact timeline on it right now because I don’t want to set expectations one way or the other, but I know that things are going very well.”

The injury also apparently wasn’t out of left field for the team, and the procedure had been planned for a while. Brady had been planning on having the surgery for months, and the news was “not a surprise” to the Bucs, a source told Laine.

Licht also called it a “minor surgical procedure” although it can’t really be that minor if Bruce Arians was saying back in February that he was hopeful Brady could do some 7-on-7 work in June. Obviously if there’s anyone who doesn’t need much offseason time it’s Brady, but this will still be something to monitor as the ageless wonder gets set to turn 44 in August.

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QB Notes: Brady, Mahomes, Teddy, Falcons

Just over a year ago, Matt Rhule said he was “unbelievably excited” to coach Cam Newton. That never came to fruition, with the Panthers releasing their longtime starter a few weeks after those comments. This year, the Panthers’ desire to upgrade on Newton’s replacement — Teddy Bridgewater — has not exactly been a secret. David Tepper is said to be eager to make a strong offer for Deshaun Watson, and the Panthers offered their No. 8 overall pick and change for Matthew Stafford. Rhule, however, said he “can’t wait” to have Bridgewater back as QB1, via Joseph Person of The Athletic (subscription required).

I think he’s controlling what he can control, and he’s having a great offseason, I’m sure,” Rhule said. “I can’t wait to get him back here. And I think he’s determined to play his best football next year. As far as where he stands with us, he’s our quarterback and nothing’s changed since the end of the offseason.”

In addition to the Panthers’ interest in veteran upgrades, they were present at Trey Lance‘s pro day Friday and are planning to be at the other first-round-caliber QBs’ showcases, per Person. Bridgewater’s $63MM deal runs through 2022, but his grip on Carolina’s starting job is far from firm.

Here is the latest from the quarterback position, moving to some rather famous passers:

  • Thanks largely to void-years maneuvering, the Buccaneers have Tom Brady set to collect a massive 2021 sum but only count $9.1MM against their cap. On his latest extension, Brady will take home $41.1MM this year, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The contract calls for a $24MM cap number in 2022, when Brady is only due to collect $8.9MM. The Bucs are stacking three void years to make this work, and Pelissero adds the team will save $19.3MM against this year’s cap by making this move (Twitter link). A whopping $24MM in void-years prorations will reside on Tampa Bay’s 2023-25 caps. If the Bucs do not extend Brady again by the time this contract expires in March 2023, they will be hit with the entire $24MM in dead-money sum on their 2023 payroll.
  • The Chiefs restructuring Patrick Mahomes‘ 10-year, $450MM contract saved them $17MM in cap space. Mahomes will now only count $7.43MM against Kansas City’s 2021 cap, per OverTheCap. He is only due $990K in 2021 base salary.
  • Matt Schaub‘s retirement and the Falcons waiving Kurt Benkert leaves Matt Ryan as the lone quarterback on Atlanta’s roster. While the Falcons are expected to add two more QBs this offseason, new HC Arthur Smith is not certain he wants to sign a veteran to be Ryan’s primary backup, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes. Schaub worked as Ryan’s backup for the past five years.

Buccaneers, Tom Brady Agree To Extension

The Buccaneers will sign Tom Brady to a one-year extension (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The new deal will keep Brady in place through 2022. 

Technically speaking, the new add-on is actually a four-year contract extension, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. However, those final years are voidable, making this a one-year extension that ties him to Tampa for just one additional year.

Exact terms of the contract are not yet known. But, the revised deal will provide the Bucs with approximately $19MM in cap room this year (Twitter link via Schefter). As of last week, the Bucs were said to have only $11MM available. Meanwhile, Brady’s presence should help the Super Bowl champs keep the band together. In the coming days, the Buccaneers will work to keep top free agents such as tight end Rob Gronkowski, edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, and wide receiver Antonio Brown.

The future Hall of Famer was initially on the books for $28.4MM in 2021. Coming off a rather successful age-43 season, Brady says he’s open to playing past age 45. Brady will turn 44 in August, so the two sides could be talking extension again in March of 2022.

The Bucs’ bid to keep the band together is already off to a solid start. In recent days, they’ve assigned the franchise tag to Chris Godwin and re-upped linebacker Lavonte David ahead of free agency.

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Bucs, Tom Brady Discussing New Contract

With Tom Brady recently moving the goal posts on his long-established play-until-he’s-45 target, the Buccaneers are discussing a new deal with their quarterback. And the sides are making progress, according to veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (on Twitter).

Brady is on Tampa Bay’s books at $28.4MM in 2021. An extension would be a way to reduce that number and help the Super Bowl champions retain some of their high-profile free agents. GM Jason Licht said last month a Brady extension was on the radar.

Coming off a rather successful age-43 season, Brady has said he is open to playing past age 45 now. (Brady will turn 44 in August.) His two-year, $50MM contract runs through 2021.

The Bucs have $11MM in cap space and can only retain one of their marquee free agents with the franchise tag. Chris Godwin and Shaquil Barrett are Tampa Bay’s tag candidates, and the team also has Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Ndamukong Suh and Leonard Fournette looming as free agents-to-be. Free agency opens March 17, but the legal tampering period begins two days earlier.

The Bucs have said they want to keep everyone in this group, and some of these cogs have indicated they would like to return. While Brady’s presence and the Bucs’ status as defending champions stands to be a draw for veterans during a year in which many could be available — due to the likely reduced salary cap — the aforementioned contingent played a significant part in Tampa Bay claiming its second Super Bowl title. Losing a few from the group would sting.

Although Brady did not make the Pro Bowl, he climbed back into the top 10 in QBR (seventh) after a spotty 2019 season in New England. The future Hall of Fame quarterback bounced back from a three-INT second half in the NFC championship game, throwing three TD passes in the first half of Super Bowl LV. He will miss much of the Bucs’ offseason program due to knee surgery and may be out until June. However, Brady having spent a year in Bruce Arians‘ offense figures to make this offseason less important than last year’s for the 21-year veteran.

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Bucs Notes: Brady, JPP, Brown

There are several high-profile Buccaneers that have undergone offseason surgery already. According to head coach Bruce Arians, five-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady has gone under the knife to clean up the knee issue we heard about several weeks ago (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). Though Brady will not be ready to participate in team drills until June, the fact that Tampa is willing to discuss an extension with him suggests the club is not particularly worried about his prognosis.

Meanwhile, OLB Jason Pierre-Paul underwent a knee surgery of his own today, as Jenna Laine of ESPN.com passes along. JPP had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee in July, and he landed on the injury report throughout the 2020 season as a result of the injury. Still, he didn’t miss a game and led the Bucs with 9.5 regular season sacks, so he will head into a contract year with plenty of momentum and, hopefully, a clean bill of health.

On a related note, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that RB Ronald Jones recently had a pin removed from his broken left pinky finger, which required surgery in December. Jones played through the injury and finished off a successful third pro season. After a disappointing rookie year, Jones is living up to his status as a former second-rounder and, like JPP, has a good chance to set himself up for a big payday if he can replicate his 2020 performance in 2021.

Here are a few more notes on the defending champs:

  • As you know by now, the Bucs have a number of big-name free agents, which could make this offseason a difficult one for GM Jason Licht to navigate. The team has made it clear that it wants to bring back players like WR Chris Godwin and LB Lavonte David, and it sounds like Godwin might be willing to offer Tampa a hometown discount. Fellow wideout Mike Evans has also expressed a willingness to take a paycut, but Arians isn’t sure that outside FAs will be willing to take less than market value just for the opportunity to play with Brady and the Bucs. “Dollars still talk,” the 68-year-old HC said (Twitter link via Greg Auman of The Athletic). Because of how many in-house priorities Tampa has, Arians suggested his club might not be especially active in the free agent market anyway.
  • In addition to Evans’ willingness to make a personal sacrifice to keep the band together, there are a number of other players who are open to restructuring their own deals, per Arians (Twitter link via Stroud). Such restructures would not result in less money for those players, but it would open up more cap space for the Bucs to retain most, if not all, of their top FAs.
  • Another free agent the Bucs want to keep, Antonio Brown, obviously has off-field matters to tend to. Britney Taylor’s lawsuit against Brown is set for trial in December, and as Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic writes, Taylor wants to subpoena copies of all documentation the Bucs have related to Brown (she is subpoenaing Brown’s three former teams as well). Taylor is not seeking to depose any team executives, and she needs court approval to send the subpoenas.

Bucs To Talk Extension With Tom Brady?

Jason Licht talks to Tom Brady “often.” Their next convo could include contract extension discussions, the Buccaneers GM says.

[RELATED: Latest On Buccaneers, Chris Godwin]

It’s a possibility. He certainly didn’t look like he slowed down any this year,” Licht told Rich Eisen (Twitter link). “It appears that he had a really good time this year winning the Super Bowl…It’s a match made in heaven, so we’d like to keep this going.”

A Brady extension isn’t necessarily the team’s No. 1 priority, since the veteran is signed through the 2021 season. However, a new deal could allow the Buccaneers to retain more of their standout free agents and retool as necessary. This year’s out-of-contract group includes wide receivers Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebacker Lavonte David, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and running back Leonard Fournette. Fortunately for the Bucs, Godwin seems willing to give a bit of a hometown discount.

The goal obviously is to get paid, right? But, at the same time, I’m not stupid,” Godwin said recently. “I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I’m going to be miserable for some years to come just for a couple extra dollars. I think my happiness is paramount in all of this and part of that happiness is winningJust having a bunch of different guys on the offensive side that can make your job a little bit easier but also give you the best chance to win is something that I’m strongly considering.”

Brady, who will turn 44 before Week 1, still says that he wants to play forever and ever. Meanwhile, he’ll undergo surgery to clean up a lingering knee injury that hampered him in 2020.

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Bucs GM: Blaine Gabbert Could Eventually Take Over For Tom Brady

At some point, Father Time will catch up with Tom Brady. Whenever that happens, the Buccaneers could turn to backup Blaine Gabbert as his heir, according to GM Jason Licht.

[RELATED: Shaq Barrett Eyeing Bank-Breaking Payday]

First of all, I love his energy,” Licht told Pewter Report. “I’ve really gotten close to Blaine this year just being on the sidelines. He’s a really smart guy but he is one guy, my scouts and I talk about this a lot, he’s just one guy that I love to watch throw every day in practice because he has got a cannon. He’s very accurate with his throws as well and he can just really whistle them in in tight windows. If he had been forced to play, he played in the Detroit game, but if he had been forced to play more I think that he would have really opened a lot of people’s eyes about how talented he is, especially being in the same system for a couple of years.

Gabbert, 32 in October, came into the league as a first-round pick of the Jaguars in 2010. Since then, he’s compiled a career 13-35 record as a starter with the Jags, 49ers, Cardinals, and Titans. Needless to say, he hasn’t lived up to his draft status or built a resume to rival Brady’s. The Bucs aren’t about to anoint Gabbert as Brady’s heir, but Licht is “not going to rule anything out right now.”

Fortunately, the Bucs won’t have to consider such a scenario anytime soon. Brady is signed through the 2021 season and, as he’s said repeatedly, he plans to play for as long as possible. Right now, the Bucs will keep the focus on their pending free agents. Among their out-of-contract star contributors: Chris Godwin, Rob GronkowskiLavonte David, Ndamukong Suh, Antonio Brown, and Leonard Fournette.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tom Brady To Undergo Knee Surgery

Tom Brady plans to return to the Buccaneers to spearhead their Super Bowl title defense, but his return to work will wait a bit.

The five-time Super Bowl MVP’s offseason will include a knee surgery, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). Brady suffered a minor knee injury during his initial Bucs season, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The injury occurred early in Tampa Bay’s season, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

This does not sound like a cause for concern. Bruce Arians described the 43-year-old quarterback’s upcoming procedure as a cleanup-type operation. Brady played in all 20 Buccaneers games, leading them to their second Super Bowl championship. While the superstar passer spent time on numerous Patriots injury reports during his New England run, he has not missed a game due to injury since 2008.

Brady, who will turn 44 before Week 1 of the 2021 season, has one season remaining on his Bucs contract. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer has long hoped to play through his age-45 season but has now opened the door to voyaging further into uncharted waters by playing quarterback into his late 40s. Brady attributed his injury fortune as a reason he will consider playing beyond the 2022 season.

With Arians and OC Byron Leftwich returning for the ’21 campaign, Brady involvement in pre-training camp activities stands to be less important than it was during his acclimation year. OTAs and minicamp are also on track to again be virtual.

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Bucs’ Bruce Arians “Wouldn’t Be Surprised” By Tom Brady Extension

The Buccaneers have Tom Brady signed through the 2021 season. Still, head coach Bruce Arians “wouldn’t be surprised” to see the future Hall of Famer ink an extension sometime after the Super Bowl. 

[RELATED: Arians Says “Hell No” To Retirement]

I don’t have anything to do with contracts, so that would be a Jason [Licht] question,” Arians told reporters on Thursday. “I think Tom’s real happy with where he’s at, and I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Brady will turn 44 in August and he’s teased playing past the age of 45.

Yeah, definitely. I would definitely consider that,” said B week (via NFL.com). “Again, it’s a physical sport. Just the perspective I have on that is you never know when that moment is. Just because it’s a contact sport and again it has to be 100 percent commitment from myself to keep doing it.”

I’ve been fortunate over the years. Alex (Guerrero) and I work really hard to make sure physically I can perform at my best because you take different hits, over the course of the year you deal with different bumps and bruises, different injuries and so forth. You know, it’s just going to be me continuing to make that commitment to making it part of my year-round process to play football and continue my career.”

Even though Tom Terrific hasn’t been totally perfect with his new team, the Bucs are four quarters away from winning it all. And, win or lose, Arians also says that he’s in for at least another season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.