Buccaneers figured Tom Brady would re-sign with Patriots
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers found a new quarterback when Tom Brady inked a deal to join the franchise early in free agency. Despite the reality, Bucs general manager Jason Licht figured that Brady would wrap up his career in New England with the Patriots, thereby eliminating his prospects of heading to Tampa Bay.
“Oh, definitely,” Licht said via ESPN of Brady’s return to New England. “I had thought that several times.”
Brady had been the Patriots’ full-time starting quarterback since 2001, having amassed arguably the greatest professional career of any signal caller in league history. The Buccaneers had developed a solid nucleus, but it wasn’t one that even found the team in the postseason last year, let alone in Super Bowl contention. Yet, here Brady is.
While there were rumors of dissention in the ranks with Brady and former head coach Bill Belichick for an extended period prior to what ultimately culminated in a departure, few had guessed ahead of time that the Buccaneers would allow their own franchise quarterback, Jameis Winston, to walk in free agency, thereby creating an open spot for the 42-year-old Brady.
Winston undoubtedly comes with his question marks, but the decision to let the only 5,000-yard passer from the 2019 season walk away in free agency could come back to haunt Licht and the Buccaneers’ front office if the Brady experiment does not pan out.
For now, Licht and Co. are reveling in the fact that the Buccaneers will get a handful of years out of a player that many have deemed the greatest of all time.