Tompa Bay

Tom Brady officially left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 17, 2020. He announced earlier that day that he would in fact be leaving the Patriots via Instagram. On his Instagram post, he thanked Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, the players, and the coaches of the Patriots Organization. The biggest question on most people’s minds is “Why?” Why did he leave the Patriots, and why did we choose the Buccaneers? I think there are three answers to each of the questions. First, let’s answer why did he leave New England.

Reason 1: Lack of Free Agency Signings

The Patriots have been historically known for not making many splashes in free agency, but this year had to be different, or so we thought. Tom Brady was frustrated all of last season with his receivers and tight ends. Most were inexperienced, N’keal Harry and Matt Lacosse, and the ones who were experienced were injured, Jullian Edelman, and Mohammed Sanu. Brady has carried teams with less than average to average receivers to deep playoff runs in the past. Just take his 2006 run to the AFC Championship Game where his receivers were primarily made up of castoffs, Reche Cadwell, and newcomers, rookie Chad Jackson. But that came when Tom Brady was in his 20s, he is now in his 40s, and while he is most definitely is a long way from being off the cliff, he isn’t what he once was. It was no mystery that the Patriots desperately needed weapons who could make an impact right away. Brady informed Robert Kraft that he would be leaving the Patriots just hours after the Bills traded for Stephon Diggs. I do not think that that was a coincidence. The Patriots had opportunities to trade for Diggs and Hopkins, who were both traded earlier that day, and sign weapons like Randall Cobb and Austin Hooper. Brady wants to win and with the weapons that the Patriots would have, it seems like he did not think that was possible.

Reason 2: Patriots Never Offered Brady a Contract

As crazy as that may be to hear, it is true, the Patriots never offered Tom Brady a contract. The report goes as follows, the Patriots wanted Brady to come to them and tell him he wanted to come back, Brady and his agent wanted the Patriots to come to them and tell him that they wanted him back. Robert Kraft thought that during the meeting with Brady, Brady would say I want to be back, but that obviously did not happen. I think Brady was offended in some way that after 20 years, he had to go to them. Obviously that meeting between Kraft and Brady went very differently. The lack of communication definitely cost the Patriots Brady.

Reason 3: Jimmy Garapolo Situation

This is the reason I do not fully believe in, but none of these are 100% accurate, we can only speculate. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, here is the quick rundown of the Jimmy Garapolo situation. The Patriots drafted a quarterback by the name of Jimmy Garapolo is the second round of the 2014 Draft. In 2016, Brady was suspended for the first four weeks of the season, so naturally, Jimmy Garapolo was called upon. Garapolo won his first two starts before getting injured in the third game after he threw for 300 yards. Fast forward to 2017, Garapolo was going into a contract year, and Belichick has to make a decision. That decision got tougher once Brady proved that he was not going to slow down, even at the age of 40. Brady won league MVP that season and took the team back to the Super Bowl where he threw for over 500 yards. But, Belichick wanted to keep Garapolo and was willing to part ways with Brady in the offseason. Brady then went to Robert Kraft and then Kraft forced Belichick’s hand by having him trade Garapolo to the 49ers. There are reports and analysts who think that Brady never got over this. This reason is not impossible. It happened with Kevin Durant and the Warriors. Durant never forgot about the Draymond Green incident. While I think this is not the big reason why Brady left, I do not think anyone can say that it did not play a factor.

Now it is time to answer question 2: “Why did Brady go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?”

Reason 1: Cap Space and Sales Pitch

After the Patriots were out of “The Brady Saga,” the two teams left were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Chargers. If Brady signed with the Chargers, which I think is the better all-around team, then the Chargers would not be able to make any more moves. The Chargers have some nice pieces, but they still need a corner and a left tackle (depending on how they use new acquisition Bryan Bulaga). Without any cap space, and the very real possibility the Chargers draft a quarterback with their first pick, none of those needs would be met. The Buccaneers have a plethora of offensive weapons, but their secondary and offensive line needs some work, but the Buccaneers, even after giving Brady $30 million, have $20 to $25 million in cap space to fill their needs. They also have a high first-round draft pick where they can draft an offensive tackle or someone for the defense. With $20 million left, Brady definitely saw potential with the team. But, the sales pitch had to have been good, to keep Brady out of his home state, with a solid team like the Chargers. The Bucs had to have shown Brady the plan they had with their remaining cap space.

Reason 2: Weapons

The Buccaneers are loaded with offensive weapons. Their receivers include Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Tight Ends include O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. The Buccaneers also have a solid running back in Ronald Jones Jr. Brady loves to throw to his tight ends and now he has two really good ones. He has not one, but two receivers that can stretch the field, and keep safety’s back. This opens up the running game for Jones, which in turn sets up the play-action pass. Brady has never been surrounded by so much talent, and with an offensive coach like Bruce Arians, he is going to have a lot of fun throwing the ball. The only problem is that Arians likes to throw the ball down the field and Brady typically throws more intermediate, and short routes. I believe that Brady will have input in the offense and you will see many plays New England used to run in Tampa’s playbook.

Reason 3: Family

This the least likely reason, but I think it played some factor in Brady’s decision. Tom Brady has three kids and a wife, who will be staying in New York. Brady is a family man and loves being around his family, and I think the 2-hour flight from Tampa is more appealing to Brady than the 6-hour flight from L.A. The reason I think this is the least likely of reasons is the fact that he is from California and has family there too. But, I do think his wife and kids did play a role in his decision.

Whatever the reasons may be, Tom Brady is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is looking to win a Super Bowl. The city is now “Tompa Bay.”