Tom Brady shocked the NFL when he decided to leave the New England Patriots in favor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, there were reportedly two other teams he seriously considered.
Tom Brady kept his options open before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
Earlier this offseason, Brady decided to leave the New England Patriots after spending 20 seasons with the squad that drafted him. But who were the other teams Brady considered before joining the Buccaneers? According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, they were the San Francisco 49ers and the Las Vegas Raiders.
When analyzing Brady’s options, there are a few factors that can offer insight into his thinking.
Why the 49ers?
Growing up in California, Brady was a San Francisco 49ers fan. Hall-of-Famer Joe Montana was his biggest idol. Brady even attended the infamous 1981 NFC Championship Game, where Montana threw the game-winning touchdown to Dwight Clark in the iconic play known as “the catch.”
While nostalgia may have played a part in Brady contemplating joining his favorite childhood team, so did the 49ers’ recent success. The Niners took the NFL by storm in 2019, going 13-3 in the regular season. They even held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl before eventually losing 31-20.
With Brady’s former backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm, Brady may have viewed himself as the key to winning the 49ers a Super Bowl. Ultimately, Brady must have came to the conclusion that Garoppolo is San Francisco’s guy for the long haul. There was a theory that the 49ers could cut Garoppolo without owing him money and sign Brady, as ESPN’s Dan Graziano mentioned on ”Get Up.”
Why the Raiders?
Perhaps Brady felt sympathy for the team he beat in the AFC Championship game due to the “Tuck Rule”? All jokes aside, going to the Raiders was probably a brief thought for Brady for one reason: The Raiders are going to play their first season in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas would have been a fantasy atmosphere for a player with as much celebrity buzz as Brady. Merchandising and jersey sales would’ve been off the charts. The Raiders also don’t have much of a controversy at quarterback. Locked in with Derek Carr, coming off a 7-9 season, does not give the Raiders much to move on from. In the same breath, the Raiders are a young team inside the same division as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Las Vegas would’ve been a great escape for Brady, solely for a change of scenery. However, it didn’t seem likely that it would lead to as much success on the football field.
Why the Buccaneers?
Ultimately, Brady was looking for a new beginning. One where he could have more input than he had in New England. A place where he had a shot to win and they had weapons on the offensive side of the ball. The Buccaneers do have the threats at the wide receiver position like Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin to be a solid offense. It was an offense that helped Jameis Winston throw for over 5,000 yards last season, prior to getting LASIK surgery to fix his eyesight.
“They want to listen to what I have to say. I’m excited to be embraced fully for what I can bring to the Bucs,” Brady said via The Players Tribune. “In turn I’m ready to embrace fully a team that is confident in what I do — and what I bring — and is willing to go on this ride with me.”
It looks like TB12 made the decision that was best for him.