Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady has plenty of options to weigh up over the next few months.
After 20 seasons on the team, the Patriots' popular caller is becoming a free agent for the first time in his career. Speculation has increased since their season suddenly came to a standstill in a shocking wild card round against the Titans. Fans and experts had to decrypt any “breadcrumb” that could point to Brady's next chapter.
The Chargers, Dolphins and Raiders are among the many teams in the league in need of quarterbacks, but NBC Sports' Peter King believes there is another team that needs to be discussed as a viable Brady landing pad.
"The one I believe is the sleeping giant in this is Tampa Bay" King said at Dale & Keefe from WEEI on Thursday. "And when I say that Jameis Winston, whatever he demands from his contract, will, in my opinion, be the Bucs' quarterback next year if he's realistic. But I don't know. I hear some things from Tampa that he could be, and his agents may want a little more money than the Bucs want to pay. And we'll see if it works. We will definitely see it. "
A determination of Brady's recent contract renewal prohibits the team from using the franchise tag. The deadline for patriots to re-sign Brady is March 18. Patriot owner Robert Kraft was determined Brady should stay on the team, but the 41-year-old's intentions aren't that transparent.
After a photo of Brady and Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis went viral on UFC 246, Brady Westwood One said he was "open minded" to leaving the patriots.
"Hey, look, everyone can say, 'No, not this team. No, not this team, ”said King. "But we're talking about Tom Brady and we're talking about a guy who obviously does as much for it as soon as he joins your team, including ticket sales, as no one else in this free agent market will be. Me So look at it and say, when I think of Tampa Bay and Tom Brady, it makes as much sense to me as to any of these other teams out here, with the possible exception of the chargers. ”
The Buccaneers are certainly a dark stallion, but King argues convincingly why Tampa Bay could go well with Brady, who has been loudly frustrated this season by the inability to commit his offense.
"Look, they have a pretty good line of attack and they have two excellent recipients [Chris Godwin and Mike Evans]King said. "You have a really good young ending [O.J. Howard]and they have a very imaginative head coach and offensive coordinator in passing. "
On the other side of the equation, the separation between Buccaneers and Winston is very plausible.
The former Florida State Heisman winner was selected for the first time in the overall standings in the 2015 NFL Draft, and the team took advantage of the $ 25.4 million, including one, option for the fifth year of its rookie contract in 2018 $ 16.7 million signing bonus. Since entering the league, Winston's career has been marked by inconsistencies and sales. He ended the 2019 season as the first quarterback in history with at least 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
Head coach Bruce Arians was extremely honest when he spoke of his quarterback's performance.
"You watch it and there is so much good and so terrible," said Arians at the end of the season press conference of the Buccaneers. "If we can win with it [quarterback]We can definitely win with another one. "
The Buccaneers are entering the free agency high with a team's highest cap ($ 86.4 million) in the league, according to Spotrac. You could exercise Franchise Day to keep Winston for another year, but Winston is hoping for something better. According to the network designThe 26-year-old quarterback wants a contract of at least $ 30 million a year and would be "extremely unfortunate" if the team used the franchise day for him.