With the Buccaneers’ underwhelming season in the rearview mirror after a playoff loss to the Cowboys, it’s time to discuss Tom Brady’s future. The Bucs Super Bowl window, as currently constructed, has come to a close. With several impending key free agents and the second least amount of cap space in the league, a rebuild is inevitable.
That brings us to the Tom Brady factor. It’s well documented that Brady seriously considered leaving prior to this year, even retiring for a brief period of time. This season certainly didn’t help with the offensive line play and lack of run game. Brady will certainly be looking at his options and deciding where his best chance is to win one more Super Bowl before riding off into the sunset.
The Titans themselves had quite the disappointing season, losing seven straight to end the year. There were countless injuries and dysfunction from the top down, including the firing of GM Jon Robinson in December and numerous coaches after the season. With new GM Ran Carthon in place, the Titans have a major dilemma on their hands. Do they retool or rebuild?
Brady allows for a quick retool
A retool isn’t as difficult as many people may think based on the results of the 2022 season. A retool would start with the QB Position. Ryan Tannehill was fine but not spectacular when healthy. Deciding to go their separate ways could potentially be the best thing for both parties. An upgrade at QB can cover a lot of holes on any roster.
People will point to the offensive line and say that if Brady leaves Tampa Bay because they couldn’t protect him anymore, why would he come to Tennessee? The fact of the matter is that the Titans can address OL significantly in the draft and in free agency. The fact that Brady got the ball out faster than any other QB in 2022 adds to this idea that a rebuilt line for the Titans could work with Brady quite well.
There are several players on this roster that, if you’re not going to retool and make another run at the Super Bowl, may end up traded away for additional capital. The biggest such name in this category of players is Derrick Henry, who has put his body through the wringer for this franchise since being drafted in 2016. Brady has never played with an RB of his caliber, and Henry would take a large chunk of the load off Brady’s plate. Safety Kevin Byard is another player approaching the wrong side of 30 years old. The Titans owe it to them to go all in and make one last run at a Super Bowl.
Vrabel and Brady already have a great relationship
Mike Vrabel and Tom Brady were teammates for eight years in New England, winning three Super Bowls together. Since Vrabel became the head coach in Tennessee, they are often seen chatting it up before games or joint practices. It’s obvious that there is a ton of respect between the two, and both have a tremendous desire to win. The two would undoubtedly have a strong player-coach relationship.
In the last few seasons, the defense has carried the offense in Nashville. It’s time to bring in a QB who can lead the offense to a level similar to where the defense has been for a few years now. Brady and whoever becomes the Titans’ new OC could work together closely and allow Vrabel more time with the defense.
Can Tennessee afford Brady?
Tennessee is pretty cash-strapped, but a few big moves could free up a ton of room in a hurry. Cutting Tannehill, Dupree, Woods, Lewan, and Cunningham would free up over $63 million. These players, outside of Tannehill, didn’t contribute enough for the 2022 Titans to justify keeping them around. That’s not even mentioning the fact Brady is known for taking a pay cut to improve the roster around him and is typically paid like an average QB. The salary cap shouldn’t be the reason the Titans don’t pursue Brady.
When you have a QB like Brady, players will take pay cuts to play with him. That doesn’t just mean offensive players either; many defensive players would love to play on the same team as the GOAT. Along with the lure of Brady, Nashville is a town that players definitely wouldn’t mind living in.
Brady brings a “contender” floor
Brady is arguably the greatest competitor in sports history. He will do anything to win and that elevates the teammates around him to have a similar mindset. In the NFL, every team is talented. Games are won by the little things, such as who studies more film or who better prepares their bodies each week.
Fan interest would be at an all-time high in Nashville if Brady was at the helm. Bringing in Brady would have the fan base the most engaged and excited it’s been since the Steve McNair days. Titans fans, for better or worse, have complained about the lack of national media coverage over the years. This would certainly put an end to that. What fan base wouldn’t want Tom Brady representing their team? The return on investment for the franchise seems like an absolute no-brainer.
The bottom line is if the Titans sign Brady, it will allow the Titans to do a quick retool and push their chips all in on winning now. The worst case for the Titans if they sign Brady is it doesn’t work out and they start a full rebuild. The biggest reason for going after Brady is it gets them out of the mediocrity they’re currently mired in.