More and more reports centering around Tom Brady’s first-ever look at free agency are indicating that he will be wearing a different uniform next season.
Brady, who will turn 43 years old soon, is actually holding up free agency, especially with the quarterbacks. There are a number of teams who need a quarterback and there are multiple free agent quarterbacks this offseason.
Brady and his agent have been talking with numerous teams over the past month and have not hid that fact. Current and former teammates are coming out and saying there will be a move.
I have read the reports and have my own ideas on where Brady will end up. I am basing my thoughts on teams with talented skill players for Brady to team up with, salary cap space to sign him, and attractive locales for the west coast native. In other words, a team that is a quarterback away from the Super Bowl, warm weather out west, and talented players to throw the ball to.
Here are my rankings and reasons.
Not the best location for Brady, but this franchise is Super Bowl ready. The Titans made a run last season with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback and he is mediocre at best. Brady could jump to the team that just eliminated him from Super Bowl contention. Tennessee has a great runningback in Derrick Henry, a defense that made Brady and the Pats look bad in the playoffs, and they have talented receivers in AJ Brown and Corey Davis. And his buddy and former Patriot, Mike Vrabel, is the head coach. I think this stopping point would be his best chance to take another team to the Super Bowl.
Los Angeles Chargers
Location is great for the California native. The Chargers have made it clear the Philip Rivers era is all the way over. That means the team sits pretty with north of $50 million in cap space, and after a down season, it also happens to sit on a top-six pick in the draft. The franchise won 12 games back in 2018 and the roster has not changed much. Brady’s top receiver would be Keenan Allen and that is a step up from anyone the Patriots have. Word has it that Brady met with Chargers officials at the recently concluded NFL Combine.
Las Vegas Raiders
Vegas is even closer to Brady’s hometown in Northern California. Still, it seems like a renegade type move for #12 to end his career as a Raider. But, hey, Brady would take Las Vegas by storm. It sure would be a fresh beginning for the Raiders as they enter their first year in Vegas. Head coach Jon Gruden would likely turn over the offense to Brady. I just do not see the Raiders as a Super Bowl ready team. The franchise hasn’t won more than seven games in a season since 2016. I guess that Brady plus more than $50 million in cap space plus two first-round picks in the top 20 this year could make for an interesting foundation.
Not the greatest location. But Indy has talented receivers to go along with a strong offensive front and a better than average defense. The Colts have over $86 million dollars in cap space. Indy is looking for a replacement for Andrew Luck. It would look strange to see Brady wearing the same uniform as his one-time rival, Peyton Manning.
Tampa Bay Bucs
Another long shot. But one full of weapons. Location wise, Brady would be on the Gulf Of Mexico vs. the Pacific Ocean. But he would have great receivers to throw to including Mike Evans who just put up 1,157 yards and eight scores in 13 games. Evans runningmate at receiver, Chris Godwin, is a breakout star. Bruce Arians is the coach at Tampa and he has let it slip out that he would love to have Brady. Financially, the Bucs have $85 million in cap space and a top-15 pick in the upcoming draft.
New England Pats (saved my top pick for last)
I just do not see Brady leaving New England. I know my choice is boring but I still feel this is the most realistic landing spot for Brady. What I think is going on are both parties posturing for leverage in contract talks. Brady wants the going rate for quarterbacks after giving New England a hometown discount for years. And Bill Belichick does not want to tie up $30 million on a quarterback in his mid-40s. Still, it likely will not make sense for Brady to up and leave the Patriots and Belichick at this stage of his career. Is that as thrilling as Brady going somewhere else? From an outsider’s perspective, no. But in the end, I feel the pluses of not having to start over somewhere new will win out.