It’s the end of an era in New England, and in the NFL.
Tom Brady is no longer a member of the Patriots. The legendary quarterback officially announced on Friday that he had signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The move is a monumental change in an NFL that has been heavily shaped by Brady’s nearly 20 years in Foxborough.
CBS Sports NFL analyst Phil Simms joined Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray on WFAN later on Friday to talk about all the news around the league. Simms thinks that Brady picked one of the best teams available for him.
“I kept thinking that the San Francisco 49ers would be the team that would make a bid for him … but then Tom Brady really picked, I think, the next best team for him, and that was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” said Simms. “A team with weapons, a good offensive coordinator in (Byron) Leftwich, but Bruce Arians is there. I think they’re an up-and-coming team. If you look at last year, they had a chance to win basically every game, and they found ways to lose.”
According to multiple reports, the interest for Brady in the free agent market essentially came down to the Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Chargers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the deal with Tampa will pay Brady a base salary of $50 million over two years and also includes clauses that prohibit trades and franchise tags.
“He has it. Yeah, it was different, they played tight. They were really playing with their defense, trying to protect the ball, not turn it over … so it was a different style for the New England Patriots, no question. But they played to help their defense … but to answer your question … his footwork is elite. It is still elite. He can bounce around the pocket as well as any NFL quarterback in the league. And his arm … I did not see one single bit of evidence that it’s any weaker now than it was the year he came into the league.”
Simms thinks Brady will succeed partially because he’ll feel so refreshed and challenged by a new environment.
“I like this marriage ... He’s going to find it extremely invigorating to be around a new group of people, new coaches, a completely different atmosphere, and, of course, learning a new offense … it’s going to be a great challenge that he will love.”