Tom Brady’s imminent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the biggest news of the NFL offseason. The sight of Brady in anything other than a Patriots jersey will be jarring, but a pairing with elite Bucs receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin is highly intriguing. So is the connection with Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians, who has a history of working with great quarterbacks.
Brady’s presence in Tampa will have a huge effect on the NFL, with ripple effects on his new division, conference, teammates, ex-teammates and just about everyone else in his orbit. Here are 20 ways Brady’s move south will change the NFL in 2020:
Your fantasy team is going to look different
Brady’s arm might not be what it used to be for deep throws, but many of his problems in 2019 were connected to a lack of dynamic receiving weapons. Evans (1,157) and Godwin (1,333) both topped 1,000 yards last season, and are versatile, physically dominant targets. Brady might not have been a good fantasy option in 2019, but expect that to change this season.
AB to TB?
It’s no secret that Brady hit it off with Antonio Brown during AB’s one-game career in New England. Brady reportedly was unhappy when the Patriots cut Brown. The NFL still hasn’t made a decision on Brown’s future as far as a suspension, but if he is reinstated, might Tampa Bay try to load up at wide receiver and simply outscore every team on its schedule? Would Brady be able to keep three elite receivers happy? It would be a spectacular drama to behold, making Bucs games must-see TV for the first time since …. well, the first time ever.
The Saints have a new rival in the NFC South
Tampa Bay tied for second in the division last season, but no team was even close to New Orleans’ level. That should change with Brady around. Drew Brees just re-upped for two more seasons, and Teddy Bridgewater is now in Carolina, so the path back to the playoffs in the Big Easy looks a bit more tenuous than it did a few days ago.
Trouble brewing in New England
What exactly is Bill Belichick going to do now? In their 20-year pairing in New England, Brady was the starter at the start of every season except his 2000 rookie year. Brady inarguably turned many likely losses into wins during his tenure. Even if Belichick lands one of the available free-agent quarterbacks on the market, chances are that that player won’t be as good as Brady. New England eating a $13.5 million dead cap hit for Brady won’t make rebuilding the roster any easier.