Thirty million dollars is rather enticing, especially for a quarterback who routinely signed deals below market value in an effort to help the Patriots have enough spending power to remain competitive. Now is his time to cash in, even if the payday won't be the longest. Now is also his moment in the sun, serving as a leading topic for the entire offseason up to this point and remaining in the news cycle with off-field endeavors, too.
We're finally going to progress from "is Brady returning to New England?" talk to "where is Brady headed?" NFL Network's Tom Pelissero notes an announcement from Brady on his team is not likely to come Tuesday, with NFL Network's Mike Silver later adding that, per a Chargers source, the Bolts have heard "nothing" Brady's camp about a decision. It's great to be able to move forward, even if it's just a first step. Let's examine how Brady would fit with each of the aforementioned suitors.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*EDITOR'S NOTE: *Brady has an agreement in principle to join the Bucs for roughly $30 million per year, Rapoport reported, per a source informed.
There's a reason the ballpark offer of $30 million is coming from Tampa, and the reason is wearing a duckbill hat (in fact, you can buy a Bucs one here!).
Bruce Arians has turned water to wine with veteran quarterbacks in the past, most notably riding Carson Palmer's final stage to perennial contention in the desert before his string finally ran out. He's a quarterback whisperer to many, a beloved coach and one who doesn't quite have the patience for development. After all, he came out of retirement for this job. Remember that forever home featured in All or Nothing? Yep, it's still there, but Bruce isn't staying there during the season -- even after he essentially pledged to do so when he retired from the Cardinals.
There's little time to waste, and Arians and general manager Jason Licht can put together a delicious pitch featuring two fine cuts in 1,000-yard receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, a side dish of tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate and a garnish of a promising defense. Sure, the potatoes (the offensive line) might need a little seasoning, but they're still serving their purpose.
This offense is ready to fire (the cannons!) and just needs the dead-eye to do it. Brady should be salivating at the thought of playing with these weapons after being forced to work with muskets in New England last season. Add in that stockpile of cash, the warm weather of Florida and the other $30 million available for the Bucs to spend, and this might just be the move for ol' TB12.
Los Angeles Chargers
Chargers fans couldn't possibly forget Philip Rivers faster than if they saw him replaced by the quarterback who routinely beat him in the playoffs. Instead of throwing up a banner of, say, Derwin James on whatever exterior real estate the Rams afford the Chargers at SoFi Stadium, let's put Brady in a powder blue top. The marketing power would be fantastic, especially for a team that struggled to even get home fans to fill its tiny temporary soccer stadium. Get those jerseys on the racks!
As for the football side of things, everything is in place. The Chargers have Keenan Allen and Mike Williams ready to catch Brady's passes, they franchise tagged tight end Hunter Henry over the weekend and retained Austin Ekeler. Yes, the approximate salary figure of $30 million will likely make it tough to keep Melvin Gordon, but that might have been inevitable anyway. The Chargers are also going to have to figure out what to do at left tackle, but answered a huge question with the trade that netted them guard Trai Turner (official on Wednesday).
Defensively, the Chargers have a nice mix of youth and experience and could use a few additions. Defense wasn't the problem in 2019, though -- closing the slight point differential was.
The Chargers finished 5-11 but were one possession away from winning NINE of their 11 losses. You think Brady isn't getting them over that hump at least five times? No, you don't, because you know better.
Pack the U-Haul, wave to Rivers (either in Florida or in Indianapolis) on the way and move west. Open a new TB12 facility in L.A. It's time for Brady to return to his home state.
EDITOR'S NOTE: NFL Network's Jim Trotter reported that Brady's camp has led the Chargers to believe he's going to stay back East because of family considerations. The team made a serious run at Brady but unless he has a change of heart they believe they are out of the running for him, Trotter added.
Bonus team: Miami Dolphins
The time is now for Miami to acquire a bridge quarterback! After all, they showed on the first day of the negotiating window that they aren't afraid to spend plenty of that league-leading $70 million in cap space to get better quickly, plus they're coached by a former Patriots' assistant in Brian Flores...