Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Don't Be That Guy, Tom. Don't Go to Tampa Bay. Hang 'Em Up

Tom Brady in a Bucs jersey? Eesch. But he won’t be last great player to put on new duds. From l. to r.: Brett Favre as a Jet, O.J. Simpson as a Niner, Johnny Unitas as a Charger, Joe Montana as a Chief, Peyton Manning as a Bronco, Hank Aaron as a Brewer, Jerry Rice as a Seahawk, Wade Boggs as a Devil Ray, Wayne Gretzky as a Ranger and Michael Jordan as a Wizard.
Tom Brady in a Bucs jersey? Eesch. But he won’t be last great player to put on new duds. From l. to r.: Brett Favre as a Jet, O.J. Simpson as a Niner, Johnny Unitas as a Charger, Joe Montana as a Chief, Peyton Manning as a Bronco, Hank Aaron as a Brewer, Jerry Rice as a Seahawk, Wade Boggs as a Devil Ray, Wayne Gretzky as a Ranger and Michael Jordan as a Wizard.
Illustration: Eric Barrow

Tom Brady has the greatest resume of any quarterback in NFL history and is one of the most successful athletes to play any sport, which is why he has nothing left to gain by playing another snap in the NFL.

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Yet, after 20 seasons in Foxborough, nine Super Bowl appearances, six Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl MVPs and three league MVPs, he’s decided to continue his football journey “elsewhere.” And that elsewhere looks to be Tampa Bay, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brady is in a position that very few athletes find themselves at the end of their careers: he’s healthy, wealthy, and a surefire Hall of Famer.

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There is nothing left for Brady to accomplish that doesn’t come with a higher risk than reward. There’s no need for us see you look all awkward and out of place in a Bucs jersey.

The notion that he needs to prove he can win a Super Bowl without Bill Belichick is beyond asinine. There is no dynasty in sports history that does not come with the perfect player and coach tandem.

Do Tim Duncan’s five rings not glisten because he never won one without Greg Popovich?

The idea that one person can accomplish true greatness without being in the presence of other great individuals is a loser’s mentality.

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There is no need to add a failure to a legacy that has been permeated with success.

Brady will be 43 by the start of the 2020 NFL season. He has a beautiful family and is starting to stack his cash outside of the game. He doesn’t need to play his way into an afterthought, he can leave on his own terms.

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Peyton Manning left the Indianapolis Colts after 14 seasons following a neck injury that sidelined him the entire 2011 season. He was a Super Bowl champion with the Colts in 2006 but left to chart a new path with the Denver Broncos.

After four seasons with the Broncos, Manning made three pro bowls, had two first-team all-pro selections and went to two Super Bowls. But his record-breaking MVP season in 2013 ended with a 43-8 drubbing in Super Bowl XLVII. His 2015 campaign was the worst season of his career, playing only ten games, failing to complete 60 percent of his passes, while throwing 17 interceptions to just nine touchdowns. He ended his career with a Super Bowl win over a young Carolina Panthers team, but we’ll remember that squad for its all-time defense that won in spite of its 39-year-old quarterback. That ring didn’t bolster or add to Manning’s legacy.

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If Brady has a post-Belichick point to prove and Manning’s tenure in Denver is the best-case scenario for Brady’s post-Patriots career, then you have to ask the question: is it worth it?

These things rarely end well.

Remember Brett Favre setting the wrong kind of records in New York? How many falls per game did Shaq average in Phoenix and Cleveland? Even Jordan, arguably the best to ever play in the NBA, gained nothing by finishing his career as a Washington Wizard.

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There is no reason for Brady to continue his career in the NFL, to allow his pride—one of the driving forces behind his unprecedented success—to morph into hubris and risk failure.

It’s a trap, Tom. You let go of New England, let go of the game, too.

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