It's the question no Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan wants to ask: What happens if Tom Brady doesn't work out?
The short answer? Nothing the Bucs have not already experienced in the last decade. or more.
The Bucs didn't sign Brady with any other intention than to win championships. He's a six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time league MVP. Succeed is just what Tom Brady does.
Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a sure bet in the NFL. No matter how great Brady has been in the past does not guarantee he'll be great in the future. For every Denver Bronco Peyton Manning, there is a Kansas City Chief Joe Montana.
So, what happens if Brady pulls a Montana and fails to meet Tampa Bay's lofty expectations? Frankly, nothing they haven't done two or three times in the past decade: reset.
The biggest consequence of a Brady flame-out would be the ousters of general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians, though Arians is more likely to simply retire. Licht would likely not survive anything less than several playoff wins or even a championship, much less outright failure.
Still, the Bucs would not be completely bereft of talent or in a dire cap situation should Brady's run fail to yield results. The Bucs boast one of the best wide receiver corps in the NFL led by Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who should be signed to an extension within the next year.
The defense also boasts significant young talent, including first-round picks Vita Vea and Devin White. The secondary in particular has been built up over the past three years, including four second-round and two third-round picks.
However, the roster would undoubtedly be thrown into flux with a change in the front office. Fortunately, the Bucs do not have many expensive long-term contracts that they could not easily cut, thanks to their contract structures courtesy of Bucs Director of Football Operations Mike Greenberg.
The Bucs are no strangers to losing, managing just two winning seasons in the past ten years. A franchise shake-up in the wake of a tumbling Tom Brady would not be any more of a killer blow than the firings of Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith or Dirk Koetter. It would just keep the Tampa Bay stuck in the cellar of the NFL, as it has been for a very long time.