Tom Brady will have options this offseason.
Brady is set to become a free agent for the first time in his lengthy NFL career. While one has to assume he’ll work out a new deal in New England if he elects to keep playing, it’s certainly not a guarantee given how his 2019 campaign has transpired. It’s tough to imagine Brady playing for any team other than the Patriots, but it soon could be the reality.
So, where might Brady choose to take his talents if he were to leave Foxboro? Former NFL linebacker Bart Scott believes there’s a pretty good situation set up across the country for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
“Well, if we’re going to play quarterback musical chairs and we think maybe Philip Rivers is going to go to the Colts, I think the perfect destination for Tom Brady would be the Chargers,” Scott said Thursday on ESPN’s “The Jump.” “You talk about their skill set. He’d be going home. They’re going to their new stadium this year. They need to fill that stadium. They’re not filling a soccer stadium. So when they move there, you talk about creating some sizzle. There’s a lot of Patriots fans that are out on the West Coast, he’s a West Coast guy. I think he still has something to prove because we’ve had this argument for years, whether it’s Bill (Belichick) or if it’s Brady. I think Brady wants to prove he can win without him. Going out there with Anthony Lynn, with a team with a tremendous tight end in (Hunter) Henry. You think about Keenan Allen, maybe one of the best receivers he’d ever play with and the (Mike) Williams kid is a splash. Even if they don’t bring back (Melvin) Gordon, they still have (Austin) Ekeler. I think he’d have some of the best weapons he’s had in years.”
Scott isn’t the first to suggest the Chargers as a potential landing spot for Brady. Skip Bayless wants to see it happen, and Peter King isn’t entirely ruling out the possibility, either. But when you break it down, would it really be the best move for Brady?
For starters, the 42-year-old likely only is interested in playing for a legitimate Super Bowl contender at this stage in his career. While the Chargers certainly have enough talent to be a playoff team, they probably won’t be the frontrunner in their own division for the foreseeable future as long as the Kansas City Chiefs’ star core stays intact. The Patriots have been virtual locks for the AFC East crown over the past two decades, and although the other three teams in the division are on the rise, it still feels like New England’s race to lose.
Brady also has vast institutional knowledge with the Patriots, and there’s an invaluable comfort that comes with being in the same situation for such a long period of time. Learning an entirely new system and adjusting to a new team is a tough task for any quarterback, let alone one who’s never had to do so over a 20-year tenure.
The Brady hypotheticals surely will be tossed around ad nauseam in the coming months, but it sure feels like sticking with the Patriots or retiring are the two likeliest options for TB12.