Tom Brady Done with Pats: Bucs Next?

Tom Brady Not Returning to Patriots, 3/17/20 Brady to Bucs or Chargers?

On Tuesday morning, Tom Brady announced via Instagram that he will not return to the Patriots this upcoming NFL season. It marks the end of a 20-year stint in Foxborough, leading to the big question of: Where will he sign?

Brady Announces he won’t Return to Patriots

The 42-year-old wrote Tuesday on his Instagram that he won’t be returning to Foxborough next season. "I don’t know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career," Brady announced on his social media. The full statement can be viewed here.

This will be the first time since Brady entered the league in 2000 as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan that he won’t suit up for the Patriots. He finishes his Patriot career as a six-time Super Bowl winner, a four-time Super Bowl MVP, a three-time league MVP and a 14-time Pro Bowler. He also led the league in passing touchdowns four times, the league in passing yards three times and was a two-time NFL passer rating leader as well. For good measure, he also won NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2009 after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 1 of the 2008 league year.

It’s arguably the most decorated career in NFL history, but now Brady will be playing elsewhere in 2021.

What’s next for Brady?

That, along with what the Patriots will do at quarterback, becomes the biggest question moving forward. As late as Sunday night, oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com listed the Patriots with the best odds of rostering Brady in Week 1 of the 2021 season at 5/8. The team with the next-best odds were the Bucs at 3/2, followed by the Chargers at 6/1 and the Raiders at 20/1.

Immediately following Brady’s announcement, Sportsbook.com updated their odds to show Tampa Bay at 5/6 and the Chargers at 13/10 to sign the 42-year-old free agent. From there, the odds drop off dramatically, as the 49ers are 10/1, the Colts are 15/1 and the Dolphins at 18/1. The Bears (25/1), Raiders (30/1) and Cowboys (75/1) round out of the teams listed, while Sportsbook.com also has “Retired” as an option, with 25/1 odds.

Prediction

While all the value has been sucked out of the odds, the best bet to sign Brady is the Bucs. For starters, they’ve reportedly offered Brady $30-plus million and according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Bucs are going “all in” on Brady. Chris Simms of NBC Sports also reported Sunday that Brady’s decision was down to the Patriots and Bucs while Michael Giardi of the NFL Network notes that the Bucs have made their intentions to sign the 42-year-old loud and clear.”

Whether Brady wants to sign with Tampa is another story, but perhaps his falling out in New England has as much to do with not feeling wanted by Bill Belichick as it does with anything else. With the Bucs showing as much interest as any team in the league, maybe that’s all Brady needs to want to sign in Tampa and this will all go down quickly.

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