Tom Brady rumors: Buccaneers could be most attractive landing spot for longtime Patriots QB


All anyone wants to know entering 2020 NFL free agency is where Tom Brady will be playing.

The longtime New England Patriots quarterback is reportedly approaching the open market with the intention of signing elsewhere, and a handful of teams have already met with the QB’s representation in advance of free agency kicking off on March 18.

Some, however, believe it’s still not out of the question that the 42-year-old signal-caller returns to the Pats for yet another run under Bill Belichick. NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran, for example, reported this week that Brady “will listen closely to what the Patriots have to say,” has an undeniable attachment to the New England area and is far from a sure thing to even hit the market.

In the event Brady actually fields inquiries once he becomes an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career, CBS Sports’ Pick Six Podcast crew seems to agree No. 12’s market could revolve around two teams: The Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“The Patriots have always been the favorites,” host Will Brinson said on Tuesday’s show, “but to me, (the latest odds) are a swing in the direction of him leaving.” (Brinson noted that some of the latest Brady props have New England as 1-2 favorites to re-sign the QB, with the Titans at 4-1 and Buccaneers at 14-1 to land the repeat Super Bowl champion.)

The Titans’ own coach, former Brady teammate Mike Vrabel, was rumored to have been FaceTiming the longtime Patriots QB during Brady’s visit to the Syracuse-North Carolina basketball game on Saturday alongside Patriots receiver Julian Edelman. “I don’t think it would qualify as tampering,” Brinson said, “but if you were to translate that to a marriage situation, like, you would definitely get in trouble, right? … It’s certainly toeing the line a little bit if you’re Tom Brady in terms of a flirtatious free agency situation.”

The Bucs, meanwhile, just might have the strongest selling points of any team in the market for a QB.

“A, it gets you out of the AFC; there’s no Patrick Mahomes to worry about … (and) you don’t want to go up against Belichick,” John Breech argued. “No. 2, Bruce Arians, his pitch is going to be, ‘Look, man, I’m 67 years old. I’m not coaching for five more years. I’m coaching for, like, two more years … I want to win right now, (and) I’ve got all these offensive weapons. I just feel like the Bucs have the best selling point as far as the most potential to win right now.”

Not only that, Breech added, but Tampa is also flush with salary cap space — so much so that if Brady were to request that the Bucs pursue other high-profile help, like Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, they’d be able to grant his wishes.

“I cannot picture him in that Tampa Bay jersey,” Sean Wagner-McGough countered in jest. “I just can’t do it.”

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