This might astonish some people, but… I am not Tom Brady. I know, I know, shocking, I’m just some “twitter yapper” pontificating about where I think the living legend is going to spend the final two-to-three years of his career. Today, I’m going to break down the where’s, the why’s, and the why-not’s.
Tom Brady, this one’s for you.
Tom Brady’s Guide to Free Agency
The New England Patriots
For the first time since George W. Bush was in the White House, the New England Patriots are looking for a quarterback. Located in the Boston-ish area, why should you pick the Pats?
Led by reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots have one of the best defenses in professional football. You’d get to play under arguably the greatest coach in NFL history, Bill Belichick, for a franchise that played in four of the last six Super Bowls, winning three. Plus. while Foxboro (Foxborough?) isn’t exactly Boston, it’s close enough. If you love Dunkin’ Donuts, this place is going to blow your mind.
And if nobody else is going to say it, I will, the AFC East is a joke. Adam Gase is hell-bent on sabotaging New York’s offense, the Miami Dolphins couldn’t even tank correctly, and the Buffalo Bills are starting a quarterback that has never thrown for 300 yards in a game. Even Matt Schaub accidentally threw for 300 yards in a game last season.
The why not is pretty easy for this one, Tom. You’ve uh, already been there. It’s been a while, but you did spend the first 83 years of your career playing for the New England Patriots. You actually had a bit of success there, won a couple of championships, threw a few touchdowns.
But there are plenty of reasons to leave. Firstly, you want to prove that your success wasn’t a product of Bill Belichick. You want to do what your idol, Joe Montana, did by leaving the comfort of a Hall of Fame roster for a new challenge. And it’s not like you’re leaving a ton of weapons behind.
With the exception of your pal, Julian Edelman, who isn’t getting any younger as is, the Patriots aren’t exactly loaded on offense. N’Keal Harry failed to make an impact as a rookie, Mohamed Sanu only gave you 206 yards in eight games, and Rob Gronkowski has made WWE a priority over a football return.
You’re not getting any younger, and you wanna try and squeeze out at least one more title! And as good as New England’s defense might be, that offense isn’t doing you any favors. It’s like Henry Ford said, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Which… I’m realizing now wouldn’t be the worst thing because it “got” you six Super Bowls…
The Indianapolis Colts
One of the NFL’s oldest, proudest franchises, the Indianapolis Colts have a strong history of quarterbacks. From Johnny Unitas to Bert Jones to
John Elway Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck, this is a franchise that knows a thing or two about quarterbacks, and they need one.
First thing’s first, I know you and Peyton had a pretty fierce rivalry there for a while. You’re probably the most hated man in the history of the Indianapolis Colts, and Tracy Porter had a game-clinching pick-six in the Super Bowl. Imagine going from public enemy number one to hero. Major LeBron James in Cleveland vibes.
Secondly, as much fun as it might be, playing football is still a job. And if you’re doing a job, you want to get paid. Guess what, the Colts have money to spend! As of this writing, they have $86 million in cap space, and you could easily grab 30-40 million of that without a ton of backlash.
And even if you don’t take all that money, the team could use it on weapons. Amari Cooper? Trade for Le’Veon Bell? The team doesn’t have an abundance of weapons, but they could!
Well, they’re not exactly a playoff contender. Sure, your former teammate Jacoby Brissett held the team back, but they weren’t explosive on offense. Their running game was perfectly adequate, but their leading receiver was somebody named Zach Pascal, and he only had about 600 yards. The team lost seven of their last nine to end last season, and even with you, I don’t know that they can compete with a Houston Texans team that’s improving annually.
Plus, Indiana? Are you gonna tell Gisele that you and the kids are spending the winter in Indiana? Hey, speaking of places Gisele doesn’t want to go.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
On the surface, I think Tampa Bay could actually be very tempting for you, Tom. There’s a lot to like about this franchise as a free agent quarterback. I mean hell, Jameis Winston had 5,000 yards here!
Bruce Arians is an offensive mastermind. Remember what he did for an aging Carson Palmer? Hell, look at what I just said about Jameis Winston. The guy knows how offenses work, and he can get the most out of quarterbacks.
As far as weapons are concerned, have you seen Mike Evans? He’s big, he’s fast, he’s reliable, Tom, you would love throwing to this kid, and after a career of Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick, he’d love catching your passes!
And again, Tampa Bay has cash. to. spend. If getting paid is a priority, the Bucs can make it happen. The Bucs can bring the Bucks, and I’m not talking about Matt or Nick.
Tom, let’s be honest. You’re not going to win a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s no run game, the Saints are perennial contenders, the Falcons are a defense away from elite, and while you can make a lot of money, maybe pad your stats a little, at the end of the day, you can’t save that franchise, and your wife isn’t going to want to spend time in Tampa.
And I hate to say this Tom, I really do, but this offense isn’t for you. The receivers are great, but this is a very vertical offense, and even in your prime, it’s not like you were Brett Favre out there. You’ve always been more of a cerebral quarterback than a strong-armed one, and if you sign with Tampa Bay, I worry that you’ll show your age.
Plus, Tom, I’m not kidding. Tampa.
The Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans were up 10-0 in the AFC Championship game just this year! Sadly, you know all about that, Tom, they beat you in the Wild Card round. With Ryan Tannehill potentially hitting free agency, they might be looking for a new boo under center.
Tennessee lost to Kansas City because when the Chiefs took the running game away, Tannehill couldn’t carry the offense. But you could! The team will likely franchise tag Derrick Henry, so you’ll have a monster truck in the backfield, and A.J. Brown is only going to get better out wide! The defense is good enough, and how about this for fun, the head coach? It’s your old teammate, Mike Vrabel! From teammate to coach, how often does that happen in the NFL?
I’m gonna level with you Tom, I’m not optimistic about the future of the Titans. I don’t think Henry is going to like getting the franchise tag, and even if he re-signs, he has a crazy number of carries under his belt already. And without Henry, this offense lacks weapons. Not to mention, it’s losing Jack Conklin, a vital piece of the offensive line this off-season. Do you really wanna run for your life, just because you get to play underneath your old buddy?
The Dallas Cowboys
America’s Team might not bring back Dak Prescott next year, and they definitely can’t bring back Tony Romo (not at the rate he’s getting paid these days), so they’re looking for a new team captain.
After places like Tampa and Indianapolis, Dallas is going to feel like the mecca. Some of the most important football in history has been played in Dallas, often by a quarterback wearing #12! Don’t worry, Tom, I’m sure Roger Staubach would unretire the digits for you.
And man, you’d have a good time. Firstly, the NFC East is a joke. The Eagles barely won it last year, and they got knocked out in the first round. Secondly, you get arguably the best running back in football, and just listen to some of these names on defense.
Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, Demarcus Lawrence? They have the potential to rival what you had in New England!
The uh… the Cowboys are broke. Yeah, they’ve got pieces everywhere, but the team has to pay those guys. Maybe you get Amari Cooper, but outside of that, it’s not like you have a ton of weapons, and that offensive line isn’t what it used to be.
So you’re making less money, trying to get the most out of mediocre weapons, hoping Ezekiel Elliott returns to form, and oh, by the way, only the President is under more scrutiny than the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.
Plus your boss is Jerry Jones. Is that really what you want? Photo-ops with the crypt-keeper and his 22 year old girlfriends?
The Los Angeles Chargers
The third most popular team in the city of angels just ended a long-term relationship with Philip Rivers, who was, at best, a pretty good quarterback. They need someone new under center, and who can say no to the bright lights of Hollywood?
I heard you just started a production company out of Hollywood, Tom! 199 productions? Right? Because you were the 199th pick a lifetime ago? I like that branding. Hey, where better to manage your production company from than sunny Los Angeles?
And the team isn’t bad either. You’ve got Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and some depth at tailback. On defense, they have some great young pieces like Joey Bosa and Derwin James!
Ay straight up, Tommy, the Chargers don’t have fans. I don’t mean that like, “haha they have a small fanbase,” I mean that like, I can write this openly, without sugarcoating it, because literally nobody will be offended by it. The team doesn’t have a fanbase, just some twitter bots. Every home game is gonna look like an away game, is that really what you want?
And man, the franchise might be cursed. You’ve literally never lost to them, and you’ve played them in the post-season plenty of times. You personally have been to and won more conference championships, let alone Super Bowls, than they have.
And all those great players I mentioned? Are gonna be on IR before the season starts. Don’t do it. Don’t take the money, just to be closer to your production company, just so you can lose to the Raiders.
The San Francisco 49ers
One of the most storied franchises in NFL history has a quarterback already, but they’re not necessarily committed. They were one bad throw away from their seventh Super Bowl win, and they might be looking for someone to come fill Joe Montana’s shoes.
I don’t have to tell you why, it should be obvious for three huge reasons.
Firstly, you grew up a fan of the 49ers. You were at Candlestick when “the catch” happened, for crying out loud. Secondly, they’re the defending NFC Champions, and they probably would’ve been Super Bowl Champions if Jimmy Garoppolo hit Emmanuel Sanders in stride. And finally, this offense is perfect for you, Tom, and I mean perfect.
This offense is built around the run game and creating yards after catch. Just go back and watch the 49ers post-season run, Jimmy Garoppolo barely had to do anything, his rushers and receivers did the rest. This offense is the fastest in the NFC, and if that’s too soft for you, check out George Kittle, your monster tight end.
Well, they uh… already have a quarterback. This is kinda awkward because you guys have worked together before. That’s right, it’s Jimmy Garoppolo. And he’s due a lot of money, as is. And much like your new division rivals, the Los Angeles Rams, are learning, it’s hard to keep a team together when you have to pay everybody.
Next year, you get the Rams and Seahawks twice, and then you have to face the best teams the NFC has to offer, and uh… the AFC East. Which on the one hand, hey! Easy! But also, the game would be in Foxboro. How desperate are you to go home?
And Tom, not to split hairs, but they don’t really play in San Francisco. They play in Santa Clara.
The Las Vegas Raiders
For this part, I’m gonna need a little help… from my close, personal friend… Elvis Presley. Take it away, Elvis!
Professional football has come to Las Vegas! One of professional football’s oldest and boldest franchises, the Raiders, have a brand spankin’ new stadium in the Desert, and even though they already have a quarterback, they could make room for you under center!
In many ways, the Raider offense is built for you, Tom. When he returned to the team, he said he wanted to make the Raiders the “next generation’s Patriots,” and boy, wouldn’t that be easier with their quarterback?
You like throwing to tailbacks out of the backfield? Josh Jacobs and Jalen Richard are both very capable receiving backs. You like big, athletically gifted tight ends? Darren Waller broke out last season. I know how much you love shifty slot receivers, and Hunter Renfrow is going to make your wildest dreams come true. As far as outside threats go, Tyrell Williams is finally healthy, and the team isn’t done adding speed to the outside!
And don’t worry about shoddy protection, the Raiders have a great offensive line. Remember Trent Brown? Guess what?! He’s already there! So is Rodney Hudson, the league’s best pass-blocking center. The offense is perfect for you, Tom, and you’d get to execute it in front of the best fans in the world.
Well, the offense is great, but the defense… isn’t quite what you’re accustomed to. They’re young, and hungry, and definitely not on the same level as the Patriots D. And while the AFC East was a cakewalk, the AFC West is not. You play Denver, one of the few teams that’s had your number, the ever-improving Los Angeles Chargers, and this kid named Patrick Mahomes has made the Kansas City Chiefs quite the adversary.
And those fans are great. They are probably the best fans in American sports. But the same passion that separates them from the other 31 teams is still there when things don’t go well. They only thing they love more than winning rhymes with itching, and they haven’t done a ton of winning lately.
Plus uh, I don’t know if there’s a coach in the NFL less like Bill Belichick than real-life meme, Jon Gruden.