By: Trent Pruitt
Touchdown Tom took to social media on Tuesday morning to announce that he would not return to the Patriots for the 2020 season. In his note, he thanked his teammates, Bill Belichick, the Kraft family, and all of Boston. This set into motion a bunch of roster moves that included Teddy Bridgewater going to the Panthers, Philip Rivers going to the Colts, and left guys like Cam Newton and Jacoby Brissett curious about their futures.
The speculation started immediately after Tom sent out that tweet saying he would leave the Patriots. Where would he end up? Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, or even longshots like Miami or Chicago. As the day carried on our guy Adam Schefter finally broke the news:
Tampa is the expected landing spot for Tom Brady barring anything unforeseen, sources tell me and @JeffDarlington.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020
There's no signing date or announcement officially set up, but Brady is expected to be a Buccaneer.
So I wanted to give my opinions on the GOAT leaving Foxborough, whether this is the right move, and my initial outlook on the Bucs for 2020.
Was this the right move for TB12?
Ehhh, I’m indifferent about this move for Tom Brady. While I think a change of scenery will be good for the veteran, he really had a nice set-up in New England with that defense. On the contrary, Brady needs weapons on offense and that’s what he’s getting. His new targets will be Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard. I think O.J. Howard will be the most impactful as the tight-end position continues to become more significant in the NFL. And although Brady can’t launch the ball downfield like Jameis could, I think that having downfield threats will help open up underneath options for Tom and help establish a better run game in Tampa. Not too mention, Brady will now be working with Bruce Ariens. Ariens is an offensive mastermind and self-proclaimed “QB-whisperer.” I think these two will be able to do great things together but the concerns lie in their defense how they’ll matchup with their division rivals, the New Orleans Saints.
Will the Bucs win the NFC South?
In short, I think that the Saints will win the Division in 2020. But, with new playoff rules, winning the division or finishing with a great record isn’t as important. With only one team getting a bye, it’s very likely that the Bucs will have to play in the first round of the playoffs regardless of if they win the division or not. I’ve already covered the positives of the Buccaneers offense in the previous paragraph but the issue is with their defense. The Bucs defense was 30th and 25th against the pass in 2019 in terms of yards and touchdowns allowed. However, they did boast a fantastic run defense. They concern me though at this point in time as they’ll have to square up against the likes of Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, and Matt Ryan. It could prove problematic in the long run for Tampa Bay’s overall success.
What’s next for the Patriots?
I love to follow the odds, you all must know this by now. I started this website as a platform to talk about sports betting. Here are how the odds were affected after Tommy boy left the Pats:
Tom Brady has changed the odds in the AFC East. pic.twitter.com/sUq7LV9eUM— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) March 17, 2020
In short, I agree and think these odds are about right. I don’t think that the Patriots are going to turn into a dumpster fire just because Brady left. They still boast one of the better defenses that the NFL has seen over the past decade. They still have Bill Belichick at the helm… he’s like the best coach in the history of the game. And look, I like Tom Brady a lot but I recognize that his play has declined over the last couple of years. I don’t think it’s that far fetched that they grab a new quarterback and compete for the East.
My initial thoughts on who will be under center for the Pats next season? I’d throw names like current Pats QB, Jarrett Stidham or guys like Jacoby Brissett or Jameis Winston into the mix. They could go the draft route and trade up for Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. Bill Belichick is a wizard when it comes to working the draft – we’ve all seen the memes. So who’s my guess for the following act for Tom Brady? I will go with Jarrett Stidham gets his chance or they trade up and grab Justin Herbert out of Oregon. This team is still primed for Super Bowl runs and I think they stick with Stidham for now considering he is knowledgable of the playbook and knows the system. He’ll be their best bet over bums like Cam Newton or Andy Dalton or going with a rookie like Tua or Herbert.