NFL free agency is only weeks away, and many are wondering which team will make a splash, and reel in the big fish that is Tom Brady. For the first […]
NFL free agency is only weeks away, and many are wondering which team will make a splash, and reel in the big fish that is Tom Brady. For the first time in his prolific 20-year career, the legendary Tom Brady is expected to be a free agent on March 18th.
While Dak Prescott is the No. 1 ranked NFL free agent, according to nfltraderumors.com, you would have to think the overwhelming interest is moreover in Brady – who is right behind Prescott at No. 2 in free agency.
The football world is captivated that the New England Patriots’ all-time quarterback, Brady, might actually be in a different uniform next season. This has a shock value of like seeing another ‘g.o.a.t.’, Michael Jordan, wearing a Washington Wizards jersey – just crazy.
Tom Brady is not only the best quarterback in his Patriots’ franchise, he is considered arguably the greatest in all of football. Brady has played in a record nine Super Bowls, winning six of them, the most of any player in NFL history.
There will always be the Joe Montana-Tom Brady debate, but with Brady’s astonishing resume, it’s hard not to argue that he is the goat.
Now let’s have some fun and dispute who is going to win the Tom Brady sweepstakes. Let’s start with his familiar team, New England Patriots.
Case #1 in New England
It is noteworthy that Tom Brady’s free agency drama could really begin this week at the NFL Combine. According to the New York Post, Patriots officials are expected to meet Brady’s agent, Don Yee.
While there is rumors that Brady could certainly leave New England, this report should be encouraging news for Patriots fans. If Brady and the Patriots can agree on a contract in the next month, then New England can hold there breathe before other teams make there pitch.
The question for the Patriots, like other teams on the market, is if they are willing to pay the $30 million the 42-year old would likely fetch in free agency. Do teams really want to give Brady the max, who is likely to retire after next season, possibly two seasons, tops?
It is hard to break from familiarity, and especially with greater age, comes a greater challenge. The Patriots will not only have to seek Brady’s financial motivation, but also acquire much better talent around on him on offense.
If New England can do ‘a’ and ‘b’ above, and also ‘c’, with acquiring a top free agent talent like Amari Cooper or AJ Green, then the goat shall remain in his habitat.
Case #2 in Tennessee
The Tom Brady free agency debate has been going on over a month since the Patriots’ disappointing early playoff exit against the Tennessee Titans, and continues to grow exponentially. According to nj.com, ESPN’s Adam Schefter appeared recently on the Rich Eisen podcast, and recounted an intriguing conversation with ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington.
Schefter said that Darlington is fully tuned in on the Brady situation, and lists the Tennessee Titans as the favorites to sign Brady. Darlington lists the Las Vegas Raiders next, and then finally the Patriots.
Schefter also said that the Los Angeles Chargers are a longshot to sign Brady.
Brady to the Titans would certainly be interesting. The Titans did eliminate the Patriots in the AFC wild-card playoffs, and soon after pulled off another upset against the Baltimore Ravens, who were the Super Bowl favorites.
The Patriots really have lacked a solid running game in the past several seasons, and their offense quickly became one-dimensional, which made it predictable for opposing teams. Derrick Henry, could really change that scenario for Tom Brady, which is what made Ryan Tannehill such an overnight sensation in Tennessee.
While Henry, and others on the Titans have been rumored to still ride with Tannehill, he too is a free agent, and the Titans could go with another option at quarterback. Derrick Henry was an absolute monster last season, and especially in the playoffs – he became the second player in history with three postseason games with 150+ rushing yards (Terrell Davis had 4), and the only player with 175+ in consecutive games (Davis is the only other with two in a career).
There is also the consensus that Tom Brady could fit in quickly with his former teammate, Mike Vrabel, who is the Titans head coach. The relationship with Vrabel could certainly help make another case for a lengthy, convincing conversation on why Brady should join the Titans.
Case #3 in Las Vegas
With the move to Las Vegas, there is the belief that the Raiders can lure some big names in free agency. The Sin City Raiders will turn out to be some type of brand, and what better way to trademark themselves even more with Tom Brady.
The question is though, does Tom Brady really want to go to a franchise like the Raiders?
The Raiders, aside their successful 2016 season, have not had another playoff appearance since 2002. They made it to the Super Bowl, but lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and their now Head Coach Jon Gruden.
Jon Gruden has had the reputation to roll the dice as a coach, and could be willing to go all-in on signing a max deal to Brady. Gruden reportedly has had interest in the gun-slinger quarterback Jameis Winston, who threw for a record 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions last season.
The Raiders weren’t terrible last season however, going 7-9 and losing a number of close games. It is also just Jon Gruden’s second season back as a head coach prior to 2018, since his 2009 fallout in Tampa Bay.
A few more pieces could definitely put the Raiders in playoff contention, and if they draft Brady, they certainly will have sign other skill position players instead of going for a quarterback.
Can Brady really help the Raiders, and possibly make them a Super Bowl contender? It is a tough call, after seeing that Brady’s stats weren’t even as good as Raider’s quarterback Derek Carr’s were last season.
According to clutchpoints.com, Carr had a much higher completion percentage (70.4% compared to 60.8% by Brady). There always is the argument though Brady has had less talent around him, so possibly with a better receiving core the Raiders have, and a stud rookie like Josh Jacobs on the backfield, the legendary quarterback could get some new juice.
The problem, or risk though for the Raiders signing Brady is their salary cap situation. If the Raiders sign Brady, they will be going all-in on 2020, because signing him won’t be for cheap, which will hinder their chances at signing more free agents.
It is hard to pinpoint where Tom Brady is going to go, and what he is thinking right now…but it is certainly fun to ponder all of the possibilities!
*featured image credits: https://clutchpoints.com/patriots-news-titans-considered-favorites-to-sign-tom-brady/*
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