Photo courtesy of Dwight Darian/New England Patriots
Tom Brady made a stunning decision to leave the New England Patriots in free agency this offseason. What shocked even more fans was his decision to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Fans were shocked to see him give up yearly Super Bowl contention with Bill Belichick and the Patriots for a team who has not been viewed as a Super Bowl contender in years. In fact, the Buccaneers haven’t even been viewed as a playoff contender for quite some time. They haven’t reached the playoffs since 2007.
Despite the questions, Brady’s decision is exactly what his legacy, and his career, needed. Tampa Bay will provide a new challenge, a new team, and a new opportunity to prove that he is much more than a system quarterback under Belichick. The spotlight is completely Brady’s in Tampa.
The words “regressing” and “aging” have been brought up a lot about Brady since last season ended with a pick-6 against the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. Many believe that he is on a downward track, but Brady doesn’t seem to see it that way. He doesn’t see it even close to being that way.
Brady ended up completing 61 percent of his pass attempts in 2019 with the Patriots to go along with 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Those aren’t bad numbers for a “washed up” quarterback.
Add in the fact that Brady had Julian Edelman as his only true weapon to throw to, and things look even better.
An Upgraded Supporting Cast
Now, Brady will have more weapons than he has had in years. Mike Evans is one of the NFL’s best wide receivers and Chris Godwin took a step towards stardom last season. He also has a forgotten tight end in O.J. Howard, who has top-notch athleticism and the potential to have a massive breakout season with Brady throwing the ball.
At 42 years old, Brady is looking to defy the expectations for NFL quarterbacks. He is starting a brand new journey in the twilight of his career and he has no fear. Brady truly believes he can take the Buccaneers back to Super Bowl contention.
Joining a team with an offensive guru like Bruce Arians as the head coach makes perfect sense. Arians has always had an elite offensive game plan, although Byron Leftwich is calling the plays. Both Arians and Leftwich will know better than to assert their dominance over Brady, and could even work with Brady to develop a new offensive system.
If Brady is able to make the impact that the Buccaneers think he will have, his legacy will take a huge leap forward. Brady will go from being part of the best quarterback-head coach duo in league history to being the man who unquestionably powered the Patriots and Buccaneers to Super Bowl victories. That is exactly why this move makes perfect sense for Brady despite the questions.
The Brady Legacy
Tampa Bay will be a fun team to watch this season. Many will be rooting for Brady to fail, while others will be intrigued to see how good the “GOAT” is without Belichick by his side. No matter which side of the fence you are on, the Buccaneers are going to be must-watch football.
Brady will be back in the spotlight once again this season, but now more than in recent history. This change was needed to not only prove to himself that he is the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL, but to win over those who simply hated him because he played for the Patriots.
Over the years, Tom Brady has risen up and destroyed his critics. It will be more of the same for him with the Buccaneers.