Is this it? Is this the year that Tom Brady rides off into the sunset leaving behind one of the greatest careers that the sports world has ever seen? Not likely. The soon to be, 43-year-old’s contract is set to expire this off-season, making him an unrestricted free agent. He has not shied away from the possibility of playing until his mid-to-late 40s, saying this is the best he’s felt in his career. While as crazy as it sounds not to see number 12 playing quarterback for the patriots and leaving for a new destination, it just might become a reality. Is this the end of Tom Brady as a Patriot? What is Tom Brady’s big move?
Trouble in Paradise
Over his 19-year career, Tom Brady has helped build a dynasty unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the N.F.L. but, the same question comes to mind, was the success because of Tom Brady or Bill Belichick? The duo has won more super bowls together than any other quarterback and coach. Both considered being the “G.O.A.T.” at their job.
Even with all their successes together, the lingering question has caused a rift in their relationship over the years. It was also rumored in 2017 that Bill Belichick was prepared to move on from Brady and begin the Jimmy Garoppolo era. Confident in his ability to play into his 40’s, It was rumored that Brady went above Belichick to the owner, Robert Kraft, and demanded the trade of Jimmy G. While none of this was ever fully proven, as the old saying goes “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
In an interview with broadcaster Jim Grey in 2018, Brady was asked if he felt “appreciated” by his long-time head coach. Brady responded, “I plead the fifth.” He said this in a joking manner it’s presumed there was still a lot of tension over his potential trade between the duo.
While this was years ago, his recent play could also be another sign of Brady departing from the patriots. Tom Brady is playing incredible for a 42- soon to be 43-year-old quarterback but, the numbers have fallen. While he still has a 14-5 touchdown/interception ratio, Brady has fallen to 15th in QBR (56.4) and has only been able to manage four touchdowns in his last five games.
Is this Father Time finally catching up to old Tom, or is the supporting cast on the offense to blame for this decline? The offense has struggled so far this season, looking out of sync and off rhythm. On his Monday morning appearance on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show, Brady admitted he is frustrated with the offense. He stated, “The strength of our team is our defense and our special teams.”
While Tom Brady very well could resign and finish out his hall of fame career with the patriots, I lean on the side of thinking Brady will be in different colors next season. A new team and a new arsenal of weapons might just be what Brady needs to win his seventh ring. This would also allow both Brady and Belichick to prove who was responsible for success.
So now we ask the question, where would a 43-year-old, 6-time Super Bowl champion go? There is no shortage of teams that need a QB but three that stand out as “win now” teams that could use Brady.
1.) Los Angeles Chargers- Best Fit
After an impressive 12-4 campaign last season, ending at the hands of the Patriots, the chargers looked poised to make a Super Bowl run, or not. After a 4-7 start, the chargers are pretty much out of post-season hopes. The problem? Phillip Rivers. Rivers has struggled with turnovers this season, posting 14 interceptions and two fumbles to go with 15 touchdowns. While Rivers has had a hall of fame career himself, it looks like his career is on the decline. Rivers is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason and has been open to the idea of joining the Tennessee Titans.
The Chargers could snag Brady in hopes of a Super Bowl run in the shiny new So-Fi stadium. This is the best fit for Brady. Granted, the offensive line needs some work. The Chargers defense is stacked, and weapons like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler, and Melvin Gordon (if he resigns) is appealing to any quarterback. This could be just what Brady needs for his seventh ring. This also opens the door for a potential Belichick’s patriots vs. Brady’s chargers playoff game. Besides, what athlete wouldn’t want to play in sunny Los Angeles?
2.) Chicago Bears- Win-Win for Everyone
The Bears do not have a 1st round pick due to the Khalil Mack trade and they are desperate for an answer at quarterback. Brady inherits one of the NFL’s best defenses and solid weapons in Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Tarik Cohen. This would be an exciting scenario, first for the fans. Imagine getting to see two historical franchises and two hall of fame quarterbacks go head to head twice a year. Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears would be must-watch TV. This would also be a massive win for the bears. Given their general manager moved up in the draft passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson to take Mitchell Trubisky. This gives bears fans hope for the future in having Trubisky sit behind Tom Brady and learn a thing or two.
3.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Scariest Scenario
Imagine Tom Brady throwing to Mike Evans, Chris Goodwin, and someone with the athletic ability of O.J. Howard. Granted, the offensive line and secondary need a lot of work. Still, the offensive firepower and front seven alone are enough to entice any Quarterback trying to win a super bowl.Brady also gets another great coach in Bruce Arians to help build around him. Jameis Winston has been a turnover machine since being drafted number one overall in 2015. The Buccaneers get the “G.O.A.T” and Brady gets the offensive firepower he hasn’t had since Randy Moss. As a Panthers fan, this scenario might keep me up at night and haunt my nightmares.
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