For the last decade-plus, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have typically been doormats in an NFC South division that has been generally ruled by the New Orleans Saints.
But now, things may be changing.
The Buccaneers signed legendary quarterback Tom Brady to a two-year deal in free agency, and Saints head coach Sean Payton is well aware of the type of impact Brady can have:
“The thing that is the most troubling is you know he’s gonna raise the bar relative to how that team then performs,” Payton said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com.
Tampa Bay went just 7-9 this past season, but there is no doubt that it looks like a frightening team heading into 2020.
Brady will have a fine group of weapons at his disposal, ranging from wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. He should also get some solid protection, as the Bucs have a good offensive line.
In addition, the Buccaneers also have some impressive talent on the defensive side of the ball and were actually the No. 1 run defense in football in 2019.
Of course, Brady will also have to alter what has largely been a culture of losing in Tampa Bay.
Since last winning the Super Bowl during the 2002-03 campaign, the Bucs have made just two playoff appearances. To make matters worse, the Buccaneers’ last trip to the postseason came 12 years ago, representing the longest active playoff drought in the NFC.
But if anyone can make Tampa Bay a winning franchise, it’s the greatest quarterback of all-time.