Remember that article I wrote a few weeks back on Tom Brady’s retirement? Well, I take it back. Brady is officially back, as he took to Twitter a week ago saying, “I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands.” Many believed that Brady wanted out of Tampa Bay and wanted to play in either San Francisco or maybe even Miami. But all of that speculation has been put to rest as he is currently committed to playing what could potentially be his actual final season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With the news breaking that Brady is returning, one could wonder if Brady ever really wanted to retire in the first place. It is hard to believe that someone who put up a career year and was an MVP finalist would ever consider retiring. Brady once said, "When I suck, I’ll retire." Newsflash, Brady absolutely does not suck. So, it begs the question of whether Brady tried using his retirement as a ploy to get out of Tampa Bay. Nonetheless, if there were any issues with his relationship with the Buccaneers, it seems they were squashed and are ready to take on this upcoming season.
Now that Brady is officially making his return for his 23rd season, the Buccaneers can once again look to make a push for another super bowl. Tampa Bay was able to extend Chris Godwin to a three-year, $60 million deal, while also adding another young receiver in Russell Gage who had 770 receiving yards a season ago for the Atlanta Falcons. Add on to all that the fact that Bill Belichick gifted the Buccaneers an elite guard in Shaq Mason via trade for just a fifth round pick. The Buccaneers seem poised to be one of the favorites to come out of the National Football Conference this season.
As of right now, the NFC South is easily Tampa Bay’s to lose with how lackluster the rest of their division is. The only two teams that could threaten would be the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons. However, the only way either of those teams become any sort of threat is if they acquire Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans. Despite the loss of hall of fame quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints were still able to go 9–8 with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill playing quarterback, and the Falcons have players like Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson who fuel their offense. Even if Watson gets dealt to one of those two teams, it would be very difficult to see either of them threatening Tampa Bay.
Ever since Brady was traded from the New England Patriots, it seemed like there has been a competition to truly find out who was more responsible for winning, Brady or Belichick. Right now, Brady is winning by leaps and bounds. Not only has Brady won a championship, but it is also becoming glaringly clear that Brady alone is enough of an attraction for free agents to want to go play in Tampa Bay. It is becoming obvious this offseason that, without a marquee player such as Brady, less and less players want to come play for New England. If the Patriots end up having a dud of a season in 2022, the decision to let Brady go in 2020 will continue to haunt them.