While several teams’ interest in Tom Brady appears to be waning, another franchise reportedly is trending in the opposite direction.
A report Wednesday from the Tampa Bay Times indicated the Buccaneers are planning on going “all in” on Brady, who’s eligible to hit free agency for the first time in his career March 18 when the new NFL year begins. The report wasn’t a complete stunner, as Bucs head coach Bruce Arians at the NFL Scouting Combine made his interest in Brady fairly apparent.
One former Patriots player doesn’t believe New England’s brass will be fazed by Tampa Bay’s reported intentions. In fact, ex-linebacker Ted Johnson believes Bill Belichick and Co. might embrace Brady taking his talents to Central Florida.
“I think the Krafts and I think Bill Belichick would be totally fine with Tom going to Tampa,” said on “Early Edition,” as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “You know why? Because I think Bill thinks Tom isn’t going to win there. They’re not going to be successful. It’s just an inherently bad franchise. Tom going there is not going to all of a sudden turn around their fortunes.
“So, I feel like this is getting personal. So I’m basically saying that Bill Belichick wants to see Tom Brady fail. He might, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there would be a part of him that’s like, ‘Yeah, go ahead, Tom. Go to Tampa.'”
Johnson’s suggestion coincides with the Patriots’ reported plan of challenging Brady to find a better situation on the open market. Sure, New England has plenty of work to do this offseason, but the case can be made Foxboro still provides the star signal-caller with the best chance for success in the 2020 season.
The Bucs can begin speaking with Brady on March 16 when the NFL’s legal tampering period opens.