The team had a plan. And they’re grateful they didn’t have to execute it.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when Tom Brady was retiring and the future of the Tampa Bay Bucs was tied to every potentially available quarterback in the NFL?
While media was speculating and fans were throwing support behind the likes of Kyle Trask, Russell Wilson, and even Jameis Winston, the team was doing it’s own quarterback search.
“We had started to uncover as many stones as we possibly could,” Arians told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche at the NFL’s annual meeting this year. “We would’ve turned over every stone. … Jason did his calls. We were in the midst of all that stuff when Tom decided to come back and thank God we could say, ‘No thanks, brother. We’re out of it.’”
In the days leading up to Brady’s announcement he was changing his decision to retire that he’d announced prior to the Super Bowl, the Bucs were connected with quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield.
Talented players looking for fresh starts after relationships between the players and the teams that drafted them had deteriorated.
One of those guys is now in Cleveland, and the other is on his way out it would appear.
Fortunately for Tampa Bay, it got to stay out of the dramatic shift in the NFL quarterback scene, and will once again benefit from Brady’s presence on the roster for a third year.
“The way he played last year, it might have been his best year ever,” Arians said. “There’s no drop off — Week 16, playoffs, he was on fire. And there won’t be any drop off this year. Coming after the season I said, ‘Tom, how do you feel?’ He said, “This is the best physically I’ve felt in years after a season.’ So I say, ‘Okay, we’ll keep that light on for sure, brother.’”
The light was on, Brady came home, and he brought Ryan Jensen, Carlton Davis, William Gholston, and Leonard Fournette back with him.