There may not be a more recognizable figure in sports than quarterback Tom Brady, and after 20 years he is leaving the New England Patriots for Tampa Bay. Brady has won six championships and many fans think he is the greatest quarterback ever, going 219-66 over two decades in New England.
Brady, at 42, is taking the risk of injury and tarnishing his legacy, but I believe his historic move to Tampa Bay benefits him, the league, and football fans alike. One reason this will make fans so happy is he will elevate an already competitive division of the NFC South into one of the best divisions in football. Brady will have to face future first-ballot Hall of Famer and the all-time passing leader Drew Brees twice a year, while also going against former MVP Matt Ryan’s Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons recently acquired the elite Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley as well.
Brady, known for beating Father Time, will also have to go against the up-and-coming star Teddy Bridgewater and the Carolina Panthers. This action-packed division will test how much gas Brady has left in the tank. My unwavering belief is that Brady’s decision is the best decision for him and the rest of the league.
Going to Tampa, Brady switched conferences from the AFC to the NFC, where he would have to face off against other all-time greats like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson in order to make it to the Super Bowl.
One question that lingers with many sports fans is why would such a big name take his family and his supermodel wife Gisele to what sports analyst Colin Cowherd called, “A city on the wrong body of water even for Florida. It’s too close to the Redneck Riviera for Brady to go.”
While the Tampa Bay Bucs were a mere 7-9 last year and 5-11 the year before that, it is still the place where Brady can win the fastest. Tampa has many weapons on offense, including two All-Pro wideouts in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, along with Rob Gronkowski who is coming out of retirement to reunite with Brady. All these assets helped lead the Bucs to the most receiving yards in the NFL.
The team still finished below .500 because of turnover-prone and trigger-happy former QB Jameis Winston. While Winston led the league with 5,109 yards, he also led the league in interceptions, throwing a whopping 30. To put that number in perspective, the 2018 interception leader threw only 16, and the most Brady has ever thrown in a single season was 14. Winston’s play wasn’t the only thing that held the Bucs back. He has faced accusations of groping an Uber driver and stealing crab legs from Publix. Replacing him with one of the greatest motivators and leaders in sports should propel the organization to instant success. Brady to Tampa makes sense because he can add experience and limited turnovers to one of the best offenses in the league, who were only a quarterback away from being relevant in 2019.
TB12 to TB also allows Brady to prove his legacy apart from one of the greatest coaches of all time, Bill Belichick.
ESPN writer Bill Barnwell made a strong argument for the famous coach when he said, “Belichick is the first person in league history with eight Super Bowl rings. He has pieced together 15 consecutive 10-win seasons in a league in which the previous record was eight. Since 2001, the Patriots have won 209 games, 30 more than any other team.”
Belichick is the best coach of all time, and for Brady to prove he can win on his own he decided to leave Foxborough and one of the most hated organizations in sports (not only because they cheated, but because they just don’t lose) to partner with veteran head coach Bruce Ariens.
Many have tried to extend their career by switching teams in several sports. Some have succeeded like Peyton Manning while others, like Michael Jordan, have failed. Yet I believe Brady will create a dynasty in Tampa Bay for many years to come.