Do you believe Brady and the Bucs are serious?

by Gary Shelton on February 29, 2020

in general

Could Brady move to the South?/JEFFREY S. KING

SATURDAY, 4 a.m.

The notion is a sexy one, I admit. The best-ever quarterback and the worst-ever franchise, linked on the gossip pages. How can you not find a headline in that?

But I don't buy it for a second.

No matter what you read, and where, Tom Brady is not coming to the Tampa Bay Bucs. The whole idea is a giggle and a snort.

Oh, elsewhere, you can find more headlines linking the two than Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston, the sequel. Why, Tom Brady might leave the Patriots! Why, the Bucs aren't happy with their quarterback! What more do you need?

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Well, logic might be a consideration.

Look, I understand the banter from the Bucs' point of view. Jameis Winston is the league's most polarizing quarterback, a 5,000-yard,30-touchdown who also seems to have an opposing cornerback in his progressions. You can talk about his interceptions, and you can talk about his fumbles, and you can talk about his winning percentage (40 percent).

So it's understandable if the Bucs want to look in a different direction.

But New England?


Well, according to Pro Football Talk, the Bucs are fifth on the list of favorites to land Brady. Bleacher Report ranks them third.

Do you buy it? Does it pass the smell test? Can you really envision it happening?

Personally, I don't see it. Not because of the Bucs, who could talk themselves into a win-now, worry-about-2022-later type of thinking. But because of Brady.

Think about it. Why would the quarterback who is primarily known for winning Super Bowls go to a franchise that hasn't come close since 2003, when Brady was a spry 26? Aren't there any teams closer?

Here's a number you can chew on. Since 2003, the Patriots have had 17 straight seasons of double-digit wins and played in seven of Brady's eight Super Bowls. The Bucs have finished fourth 10 times.

Oh, we both know how this game works. No one thinks about Seattle, because Seattle has Russell Wilson. No one thinks about Green Bay, because Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers. Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes. Dallas has Dak Prescott. Houston has Deshaun Watson. And on and on. There are only a few franchises that will pay big bucks for a guy with a ton more yesterdays than tomorrows.

There is also a logic to Brady leaving New England. A lot of great players have while they still have had tread on the tires. Richard Seymour. Wes Welker. Logan Mankins. Chandler Ward.

But remember this: Robert Kraft is a huge Brady fan. He isn't going to let go of that. It isn't as if the Patriots have a great quarterback in the wings.

At this point in his career, Brady isn't just playing for money. He's playing for his legacy. He doesn't want to be another guy who couldn't win without Bill Belichick.

He wants to win. Now.

If you were he, would you bet on the Bucs to make it happen?

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