Black or Green.
For some athletes, it’s never over until it's over. For every John Elway, there is a Brett Favre. So when Tom Brady left the field after throwing an astounding 66 passes, most felt he would not go out that way. There may still be a chance that he retires but most feel that he will continue to play.
Tampa Bay ended their season at 8-10 and it could have been worse. In today’s football with almost half of the teams going to the playoffs, a team like the Bucs could host a wild card game even though they had the worst point differential (-45) in their division winning it with an 8-9 record.
Tom Brady’s Struggles:
Tom Brady never had a rocket arm but he could handle a pass rush by making those short passes to tight ends and running backs. He could throw off his back foot or off balance and still make the throw accurately to turn a loss or a possible sack into a short gain that kept the drive going. To the average fan, this wasn’t a big deal, but to those in football, this was one thing that made playing Brady so tough. He was clutch and always seemed to make something out of nothing.
That was then and he can no longer do that. He didn’t have the quality tight end or running back outlets this year at Tampa Bay that he is accustomed to and it showed. He needs as much talent at those positions more than ever. It's doubtful that Brady retires so let's look at the probable and possible destinations for him.
The Top 3 Destinations for Tom Brady:
Las Vegas Raiders:
Why it will happen: So far the team most linked to Tom Brady is the Raiders. They had moved on from their present quarterback situation, and with his ties to Raider coach Josh McDaniel, it seems like a perfect fit. Add that Raiders owner Mark Davis has told many news outlets that he would love to have the local Brady (he grew up in the south bay), this is a safe bet for a Brady destination. The Raiders spent a ton of money on offense and Brady will have a lot of excellent players to throw to in the glitz of Las Vegas.
Why it won’t happen:
Some in the media say it’s hard to think Tom Brady would move away from his kids who are on the east coast. Brady also wants to win one more super bowl and he may feel the Raiders are not close enough to that goal. There also is this big obstacle in the AFC West called the Kansas City Chiefs with a quarterback called Patrick Mahomes.
New York Jets:
You can just picture the New York media losing their minds right about now. Don’t laugh. Head Coach Robert Saleh has brought a swagger to gang green. The Jet's defense is for real and people forget that promising running back Breece Hall tore his ACL vs Denver in game 7 and he should be all systems go by next season. He brings toughness and big play ability and was missed. Young offensive line studs Alijah Vera-Tucker & Mekhi Becton also missed some of 2022 due to injuries and are in great shape and doing fine in rehab and they will be back as well. Tom Brady with a young, tough, and hungry Jets team? It will be standing room only in the Big Apple if this happens. The Bills vs Jets games will be must see tv.
Why it won't happen:
Brady may not have the patience to deal with a young unproven team. To be honest I can't see a lot of negatives. This will also keep him closer to his kids.
It Could Happen But Probably Not:
New England Patriots:
Tom Brady remains a close friend to Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Brady and Belichick have great respect for one another. Mac Jones has been very inconsistent and when he’s bad, he's very bad and not in a good way. Another run for old times' sake may not be out of the question. The Patriots aren’t exactly tearing up the NFL without Brady there and he’s still very much beloved.
Why it won’t happen:
Bill Belichick may want to completely break ties with Brady. Mac Jones seems pretty wound up at times and bringing back Brady definitely won’t boost his confidence. Thomas Wolfe wrote the novel you can’t go home again and in this case, it may be true. The media and fans have ripped on co-offensive leaders Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, but they conveniently forget Belichick put them in those positions. The Patriots may have the least talented roster in a division that may be loaded next year and that could play a role.
Even though Brady’s friend Mike Vrabel is the head coach, it’s hard to think Brady would go here because the Titans lack talent. The Titan's offensive line is a hot mess with their plan to replace 3 to 4 of the positions players. They have average wide receivers and tight ends as well. Only the Saints and the Bucs have it worse in the cap space situation being 24 million over the cap. Add that Ryan Tannehill has a unique situation. If the Titans waive or trade him after June 1st they save 27 million against the cap. The catch is they have to wait that long, and his money won’t be off the books until after June 1st. Tannehill will probably be staying put.
The Dolphins announced that they are going forward with Tua Tagovailoa as their starter for 2023 thus taking them out of the Tom Brady sweepstakes. To be honest, Tua would have to sit on the bench for 2 years if Brady were signed and I don’t see him doing that in the prime of his career (24). Tua is in the last year of his rookie contract.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
That slam you heard is the window for winning closing in Florida. The Bucs have the worst cap space situation in the NFL at around 43 million over the cap. It’s already being reported that their OC Byron Leftwich will be fired and everyone seemed to be saying goodbye after the Cowboys beat them in the playoffs. It’s hard to think that Brady will go through another tough season in Tampa Bay with an aging and overpaid roster.
San Francisco 49ers:
Do the 49ers even need Brady? They have Trey Lance ready for next year and Brock Purdy who may lead them to the Super Bowl. Both are young and talented so to bring a soon to be 46 year old Tom Brady in, just doesn’t make sense.
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