Should teams be wary of ancient quarterbacks?

by Gary Shelton on March 12, 2020

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

And so I read that the Tampa Bay Bucs will be "all in" on Tom Brady. That's no surprise.

On the other hand, if Brady was "all in" on the Bucs, well, that would be news.

I've said it before. I don't blame the Bucs one bit for sending candy and flowers to Brady's agents. These are desperate times. The team hasn't won a game in the playoffs since game films were in black-and-white and the flying wedge was all the rage. The winless streak can drive now -- it's 17 years old -- and the coming season looks uphill, too.

But, I repeat, does Tampa Bay make any sense for Brady? Isn't his won-loss record simply too big for the Bucs?

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Look, I can believe the Patriots would let Brady go despite the man-crush that owner Bob Kraft has for Brady. The Patriots have stayed relevant by letting other hig- priced players go even when they had more in the tank. I suppose they could do the same with Brady.

But Brady is going to make a lot of millions anywhere he goes. Isn't there another option that is closer to the title than the Bucs?

Then there is this rather large question: Shouldn't the Bucs, or any team, move carefully when it comes to hiring a legendary quarterback in his twilight?

A review of Hall of Fame quarterbacks:

Peyton Manning, Denver: Manning is the shining example of what teams are shooting for. Granted, Denver was a good enough team to make the playoffs in 2011. But Manning -- while not the slinger he had been with the Colts -- won 45 games and made two Super Bowls -- winning one -- for the Broncos. He was 36 when he joined Denver. Grade: A.

Joe Montana, Chiefs: Montana wasn't the star with Kansas City that he had been with San Francisco, but he was very good. He went 8-3 and 9-5 in two seasons and made the playoffs both times. On the other hand, the Chiefs had reached the playoffs for three straight years before he came. He was good; he just wasn't Montana good. He was 37 when he joined Kansas City. Grade: B.

Johnny Unitas, Chargers: Unitas will still get support as the finest quarterback to play, but his time with the Chargers won't make his list of memories. He was 40 when he made the move. He was 1-3 and had a rating of only 40.0. Grade: F.

Joe Namath, Rams: Namath is a Hall of Famer, although some would argue the point. But he was only 1-7 in his final season with the Jets. He had only four starts for the Rams, and went 2-2. Pretty much, it was a waste of time. Grade: F.

Brett Favre, Jets-Vikings: At age 39. Favre won nine games with the Jets and, at 40, 12 in his first season with Minnesota at the ages of 39 and 40. But his final season was just 5-8 with 19 interceptions in 13 games. He did make the playoffs twice. Grade: B.

Warren Moon, Seahawks-Chiefs: Moon was 41 when he joined Seattle. He was 11-13 in two years, then joined Kansas City, where he was 0-1 over two seasons. Were any of those last four seasons mentioned in his Hall of Fame speech? He was 40 when he joined Seattle. Grade: D.

Ken Stabler, Saints: Stabler was only 11-11 in three years with the Saints, and he played his final season without a start. He was 37 when he became a Saint. Grade: C.

Norm Van Brocklin, Eagles: Van Brocklin was a terrific quarterback for the Rams, but in three seasons with the Eagles, he was just 19-16-1. He was 10-2 in his final season, however, and lead the Eagles to the NFL title. He was 32 when he went to the Eagles. Grade: A.

Tom Brady, TBD: Brady will be 43 when the season begins, and for all of his greatness, he's had a bit of slippage recently. He'll be expensive, and he won't be around long. But the worse a team has done lately, the better his resume looks. Grade: We'll see.

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