Bruce Arians Acknowledges Bucs’ Interest In Tom Brady As Free Agent

INDIANAPOLIS — Bruce Arians is a straight shooter. So when he was asked Tuesday about the possibility of about Tom Brady becoming the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback this offseason, Arians shot straight.

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine, the Bucs head coach acknowledged the 42-year-old Brady — who’s set to hit free agency when the new league year opens March 18 — would be a QB worth pursuing he becomes available.

Tampa Bay has a glaring question mark at quarterback this offseason with Jameis Winston, its wildly erratic sixth-year signal-caller, headed for free agency. Winston threw for 30 touchdowns and more than 5,000 yards this season but also tossed 30 interceptions, becoming the first player in NFL history to join the 30-30 club.

Arians, who guided the Bucs to a 7-9 record in his first year in charge, later said on NFL Network he has a plan for his team’s future at quarterback, but that he has not informed Winston. Teams are not permitted to negotiate with impending free agents until the league’s tampering period begins March 16.

It’s unclear whether Brady would have any interest in playing in Tampa, but the Bucs do boast two of the NFL’s premier wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and enough salary cap space (nearly $80 million, per Over The Cap) to make the six-time Super Bowl champ a competitive offer.

Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel also left the door open for potential Brady pursuits should the QB hit the open market. Brady re-signing with the Patriots before free agency also remains a possibility.

Thumbnail photo via Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Images