Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were eliminated from the 2022 NFL Playoffs – losing 31-14 to the Dallas Cowboys in the wild-card round – meaning the greatest quarterback in league history has once again become an unrestricted free agent. . Brady, 45, is reserved about his future, but he still plays at a high level; he recently broke his own record for most completions in a season.
The last time Brady was a free agent, after the 2019 season, he left the New England Patriots to sign with the Bucs and quickly won the Super Bowl in his first year. but less than two months later, he reversed his decision and led the Bucs to the NFC South title.
Now Brady has options again. He could return to the Bucks to fight for his eighth Super Bowl title, sign with another team, or retire and pursue a career as a television analyst.
Where should Brady to want play in 2023? What can the Bucks do as a quarterback if Brady leaves? We asked our panel of Sportzshala NFL experts to weigh in on what’s next for GOAT and the Bucs:
Which NFL team should do their best to sign Brady in 2023?
Jeremy Fowler, NFL National Writer: Raiders. Las Vegas seems to need three things: a cultural shift, an exciting player who will generate interest, and a quarterback who can handle Coach Josh McDaniels’ offense better than anyone. Brady fits on all fronts. Raiders also need to win now. Brady can help with that too.
Dan Graziano, National Writer for the NFL: Dolphins. I know it sounds like they want to stay with Tua Tagovailoa, assuming he’s recovered from his concussion by then. But with the players they have on offense, small changes to the offensive and defensive lines will make this lineup a winner now that could be a Super Bowl contender with a more reliable quarterback.
Jenna Lane, Bucs correspondent: Buccaneers. Despite Monday’s defeat, the problems they’ve had this season have been due to injuries to their offensive line. Getting back into the center of Ryan Jensen, having a great run over Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith again, swinging at another defenseman in the draft and picking up wide receiver speed to complement Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will go a long way to bringing this offense back. to what it was in 2021. Tampa Bay have questions including: How much money can it continue to invest into the future while still being able to re-sign linebacker David Lavonte, cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, and safety Mike Edwards?
Sal Paolantonio, NFL National Correspondent: Jets. If Miami is truly committed to bringing Tagovailoa back, that takes the Dolphins out of Brady’s draw and should make the Jets contenders. If Brady is looking for a similar situation with the Bucks in 2020, it’s the Jets who have the defense ready. He could remake the crime the way he wanted. And he’ll meet Bill Belichick and the Patriots twice a year. Get your popcorn ready.
Jason Reed, Andscape NFL Senior Writer: Raiders. With longtime starter Derek Carr gone, they need to upgrade. As Jeremy mentioned above, Brady already has a relationship with McDaniels since their time together in New England. This should be the starting point for the raiders who will push for it.
Mike Tannenbaum, NFL front office insider: Raiders. They have offensive playmakers Davante Adams, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow and could re-sign Josh Jacobs – and continuity with the coach and front office. The Raiders must sign Brady and select another quarterback; they own the seventh overall pick in the April draft.
Field Yates, NFL Analyst: Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has adjusted its wage cap strategy since acquiring Brady, taking a number of profitable steps and investing in the future by maximizing that window. Can you blame the franchise? Of course not. And with Brady still playing well enough to make the playoffs every year, the Bucks must be desperate for his return.
However, since Brady chooses his team where he want to sign?
Fowler: Buccaneers. Tampa Bay, when healthy, still has a roster, including several offensive stars at Brady’s disposal. From family to football, the Tampa Bay setting is familiar. And the Bucks are likely willing to make the necessary changes to the staff or players to accommodate him.
Gratiano: Dolphins. This is Miami and its talented cast for all the reasons I listed earlier.
lane: Buccaneers. Remember, Tampa Bay gave him 11 days off in the middle of training camp to take care of his family, no hesitation from coach Todd Bowles and general manager Jason Licht. This is unprecedented for a rookie NFL quarterback. The Bucks have a well-constructed locker room with selfless players that Brady truly loves to play with every day—”family” as quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen described it to me—and they have demonstrated unwavering loyalty to him, not just as a quarterback, but also as a man in one of the most difficult years of his life.
Paolo Antonio: Planes or dolphins make the most sense because of their compositions. He should stay away from the Raiders, who play AFC West with stars Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.
Reed: Raiders. A union in Las Vegas makes sense because of McDaniels’ presence. While Brady had an impressive cumulative stat this season — he finished third in the league with 4,694 passing yards — his game didn’t always pass the eye test as the Buccaneers battled for an 8-9 record. At this late stage in his career, another partnership with McDaniels would be his best bet to try and win another title.
Tannenbaum: Buccaneers. Next season their offensive line will be much better. They would have a great opportunity to bounce back, win another division title and win a home playoff game or two.
Yeats: 49ers. From a purely football standpoint, it’s easy to see the appeal of the 49ers, who have arguably the best lineup in the league and are loaded with experienced players. What’s more, it’s a team from Brady’s hometown. There are questions about whether Brady would want to play on the West Coast (away from his kids living on the East Coast) and whether the 49ers would be looking for a quarterback, but if we’re only talking about his best chance of continuing to win, San Francisco stands out.
If you were Bucs GM Jason Licht, what would you suggest to Brady to get him back?
Fowler: It’s about a strong, veteran line-up in a familiar setting. In addition, NFC remains weak. Let’s take advantage. Win multiple Super Bowls in the second jersey. Tampa Bay would pay him well, too.
Gratiano: You need to be able to convince him that you are going to improve your offensive line. Whether that means the boys are coming back healthy, or looking to rejuvenate the market, Brady needs better defense than this season or he’s out.
lane: Not every organization will go out of their way to accept even a seven-time Super Bowl winner. But when Brady expressed a desire for the team to sign a player or tinker with things on offense, the Bucks were more than willing to go along with him. At this point in his life, it’s not just about winning. It’s about truly enjoying each day. Tampa Bay provides it.
Paolo Antonio: The Bucks pitch is simple: Bowles is a great coach. The list is still loading and will be improved. They own the division, so the postseason is almost guaranteed. There is no state income tax in Florida and he would be close with his children.
Reed: Licht should start by reminding Brady of what the future Hall of Famer in Tampa Bay has achieved. In three seasons, Brady led the team to a Super Bowl championship and two division titles. There is a track record of victories. As Brady is well aware, there is no guarantee that he will achieve the same success with another franchise.
Tannenbaum: It’s about Brady’s legacy – he doesn’t have to go anywhere. Licht can offer him a two-team career and win several titles for both teams.
Yeats: Licht and the Bucks made the win-win moves that Brady wanted, to the detriment of their salary cap. What other year? They also don’t have a great alternative if he leaves.
The Bucks still have a solid roster. Where else do they need to improve this offseason?
Fowler: Can they convince Rob Gronkowski to return? Brady is at his best with a future Hall of Famer by his side. They need to add offensive lines and defensive reinforcements after an injury-riddled season. And it’s probably time to get away from Leonard Furnett running back; they could replace Furnett with a younger player along with Rachaad Whyte.
Gratiano: At some point, they will need to find a way to get younger on defense. That and the O-line would be my off-season priorities at Tampa Bay.
lane: They need to bring back the health of that offensive line and maybe make changes to the defender, depending on whether Luke Goedecke can improve there or if Nick Leverett can show that he is their long-term answer. The game on the ground should also improve. Brady doesn’t want to back down and pass 50 times in a game at this point in his career. The speed at the receiver will also help. And return as many of their secondary roles as possible in conditions of free will.
Paolo Antonio: Offensive line. On the way back. Tight end. Ask Brady for more offensive help. Bowles will need a corner or two, too.
Reed: For a start, health improvement will help. Throughout the season, the Buccaneers were weakened by injuries to wide receivers, linemen, and defensemen. Most teams would be seriously hurt defensively if a gifted forward like Shaquille Barrett lost before the end of the season. The Bucks also finished last in the league in total yards (1,308) and yards per carry (3.4). Regardless of who lines up behind the center in Tampa Bay next season, those numbers should improve.
Tannenbaum: They need to get better and healthier in the offensive line. Can they find a new left tackle? AND…