Time to put on the tinfoil hats folks. I’ve been seeing this topic come up more and more across the internet. Twitter has been hopping with theories and conspiracies about this. Rumors are swirling of a chance for Tom Brady to come home in 2023.
I felt like I had to write about this. It’s just too juicy a topic not to cover. How much truth or validity is there to it? I honestly don’t know. These are just rumors and theories after all.
However, I do find it very interesting. Mainly because I don’t think it’s entirely impossible. A year ago? Yeah, I would have said 0% chance. Today though, I actually think there is a chance.
As crazy as that sounds, I do honestly believe there is a universe where Tom Brady comes back to New England to finish his career. Whether or not that is in this universe remains to be seen.
Let’s look at the reasons why Brady returning to Foxborough could happen:
Brady Wants Structure
I’ve been hearing it more and more in the national headlines. Tom Brady isn’t exactly thrilled with the way the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are being run. These issues have been present since Brady first came to Tampa. They have become more and more apparent this season.
It makes sense too. Brady came from the most disciplined, organized system in the history of the game. He had the greatest coach of all-time running the show. New England was always littered with intelligent coordinators and assistants as well.
It was always gonna be a challenge for Tom to go from that to Tampa Bay. Sure the Bucs were able to provide Brady with more talent in the short term. That lack of discipline or a sound system was always going to be a struggle in the end though.
There is no doubt Brady on his own is special. However it’s with Belichick’s system and the “Patriot Way” that Brady achieved legendary success. It’s the reason they were consistently dangerous for 20 years.
With all the chaos that has ensued in Tamp Bay over the last two seasons, it would not surprise me for Tom to want order again. Going back to New England where a tight ship is run makes a lot of sense. Tom’s getting too old to deal with all the drama that has infected the Bucs.
Patriots Don’t Have A Terrible Roster
Are the Patriots the most talented team in the league? Not necessarily. However, there are pieces there. You could argue if Brady were in New England right now, this is a high level playoff team in the AFC.
The Patriots have the defense to make them a contender. They also aimed to get younger and faster in the offseason, which has so far seemed to work. A young, quick, hungry defense that can only get better sounds pretty enticing.
The offensive line is much better than what Tom currently has in Tampa. One of the Buc’s largest problems this season is their revolving door of an offensive line. The Patriots have solid young lineman like Mike Onwenu and Cole Strange to protect Brady. I’m sure Tom wouldn’t mind a reunion with trusted center David Andrews also.
He’d have the best running back room he’s had maybe ever. Rhamondre Stevenson looks like one of the best young backs in the league. If they can keep Damien Harris, their RB room would remain stacked. Brady wouldn’t need to throw the ball 50 to 60 times a game like he does currently in Tampa.
He’s got two really solid tight ends in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, who I’m sure Brady could utilize. The receiver room needs some work, but he does have Jakobi Meyers and a young speedster in Tyquan Thornton there for now.
There’s enough there to ensure Brady can compete in his final years.
Patriots Could Have Some Room To Spend
According to Spotrac, the Patriots could have the 3rd most cap space of any team this offseason. They are currently projected to have around $54 million in cap space. That number could of course increase with contract restructures, and possibly moving on from some current deals.
The team also has 40 players already signed to deals next season, meaning a good chunk of this roster is going no where. The majority of the team’s free agents are either expendable or not worth the price of admission.
Just to compare, the Bucs are projected to have the 31st most cap space in the league this offseason. They are the oldest team in football, and will be nearly $50 million OVER the cap. What you see in Tampa Bay is pretty much what you’re going to get. Aside from the draft, there aren’t any major improvements coming.
New England could bring in Brady and pay him a sizeable salary, while still having money leftover to bring in some more talent. Perhaps a receiver of his choice. The financial flexibility has to be enticing to Brady.
Brady Still Has Love For New England
I don’t think it’s crazy to say that Tom misses the Patriots. It was just reported that he still watches the Patriots play every week. He still has a very close relationship with team owner Robert Kraft. There are so many players, coaches, and staff that are still in the building that he shares close bonds with.
You could see it in his face last season when he returned to Foxborough. There’s a part of him that misses it here. Now more than ever I believe he misses it. He’s going through a divorce. His team is a disaster. I’m not sure how Bucs fans receive him, but I can guarantee it’s not the same love like he got from the Foxborough Faithful.
With all the craziness surrounding him, coming back to New England would settle him. Bill like always would cancel out the noise and protect him. He would be able to focus on football, and football only. It would be maybe even therapeutic for him to return.
He could come home, and ride off into the sunset along with Bill. That was always seemingly the plan. It can still happen.
There are a tons of reasons why this probably wouldn’t happen, and I’ll tackle those in a separate blog. I want to keep this one positive.
As it currently stands, I’d probably say this has a 20% chance of actually happening. That’s low, but 20% is much higher than 0%. It’s probably a longshot, but I think Brady could at least entertain the idea. The image of Brady back in Foxborough, rocking the Pat Patriot red throwback uniforms has to excite all Patriots fans, including Tom Brady.
Featured Photo by AP Photo/Steven Senne
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