Grading Bucs' Signing of Tom Brady
The Bucs executed one of the biggest coups in NFL free agency history by landing six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady. Aside from a hopeful few, no one really expected the future Hall-of-Famer to leave New England to join a franchise that has not been to the playoffs in over a decade.
Tampa Bay signed Brady to a two-year, fully guaranteed $50 million contract with another $9 million in incentives, giving him the sixth-highest cap number of any passer in the NFL.
However, the average annual value of his Bucs contract is less than $5 million more than his last two years with New England. Considering Brady's record and consistency, a mild raise to leave his team of 20 years is a pretty good deal for Tampa Bay.
While Brady's age is a concern—he will be 43 when the season starts—Bruce Arians is convinced he has not lost a step. Brady averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt last season, his lowest since the 2002 season.
However, his receiving corps was nonexistent in 2019, with nearly half his throws going to wide receiver Julian Edelman and running back James White. No other player caught more than 30 passes from Brady.
In Tampa Bay, Brady will have arguably the NFL's best receiving tandem in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin along with tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.
If he can tap into the potential that made the Bucs the league's top pass offense last season while maintaining his own low interception rate, Brady will likely lead the Bucs to their first playoff berth in years. That alone would give the signing high marks.