Brady makes Tampa Bay a better place

by Gary Shelton on March 29, 2022

in general

It's good to be Brady's neighbor./TAMPA BAY BUCS

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

It's a bad time to live in Cleveland.

Your football team, the one without yesterdays, has just traded in a lot of its tomorrows' for a controversial quarterback who hasn't played in a year, and one who might not play until much of next year has passed. The fanbase wants to get excited, the way talented quarterbacks can incite, but there are too many accusations for comfort. No, the grand juries did not indict, but that's not the same as exhoneration. And so the fans wonder just how loudly they should cheer.

It's a bad time to live in Green Bay.

The Packers finally convinced Aaron Rodgers to come back for another year, but at such as high price that the talented wide receiver core has left town.

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Rodgers is the MVP? Then why isn't he making deals to keep them in a Packers' uniform, the way that Tom Brady is down in Tampa Bay.

It's a bad time to livein Atlanta, too.

The Falcons, pretty much, have flown away. Your team lost out on the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, and still, you gave away your quarterback for a third-round draft pick. If a third-round draft pick is all you can get for a quarterback you're paying millions, then you asked for too little or paid him too much. Your wide receivers are gone.

Oh, there are good places to live if you are an NFL fan. Buffalo, which has added Von Miller, and Denver, which has added Russell Wilson, and Miami, where the additions include Tyreek Hill. Tampa Bay, where Brady has been the NFL's best recruiter. Las Angeles, where the Chargers and Rams are the teams that the New York Sluggos wish they were.

That's what free agency -- and the draft -- are supposed to do. They're supposed to invite a fresh new look at an old powerhouse. They're supposed to give energy to a new franchise, to convince you that holes have been filled.

Anymore, however, there are so many players leaving for the size of the paycheck. It's hard to blame them, of course, because a football player has only so many years to buy yachts, but at some point, doesn't the team concept have to matter a little?

It would be tough to live in New Orleans.

The head coach that has kept your franchise in control of the NFC South is gone. Terron Armstead is gone. Your team is paying Jameis Winston $14 million a year. The Saints still have a talented roster, and they should be second in the division. If such things inspire you.

It's a tough time to live in New York.

The Giants are a wreck, and the Jets are a mess. Or is it the other way around? Regardless, there are no playoffs on the horizon for either Big Apple team.

It's a tough time to live in Houston.

The Texans might as well apply for membership in the Big 12. They've hardy got an NFL-caliber roster.

It's a tough time to live in Carolina.

They, too, lost out on the Watson bidding. Instead, they have Sam Darnold. Whee.

Yeah, things are tough all over. At least Jacksonville got rid of Urban Meyer, but it's a tough rallying cry to shout "we fired a moron!" Pittsburgh is without Ben Roethlisberger. Seattle is without Russell Wilson. Detroit is still Detroit.

Again, things are sprightly in some corners. Cincinnati mafe a rare move (going to the wallet) rebuilt its offensive line. Las Vegas added Devante Adams, among other interesting moves. Kansas City scampered to try to offset the loss of Hill as much as possible.

But, most places, it's a hard time to feel good about the future.

Here, we'd probably feel the same if Tom Brady hadn't unretired and led the marching band back to One Buc. For that reason,he's been the most important signing of any team this off-season.

Hey, if you still want to debate last year's MVP vote between Brady and Rodgers, I'm game. Brady had as many wins, more yardage and more TDs. But this off-season has shown that he's a much more powerful force for winning in his own locker room. He unites. Rodgers? He is out after every nickel he can get, even if it means breaking up the team to get it.

Also, he makes an observer feel better about his football team.

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