NFL Futures: Tom Brady's Next Team
- The Los Angeles Chargers roster is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball
The reason we’re backing the Chargers
There are pro and cons of pretty much every team that Brady could sign for, but the Chargers tick plenty of boxes. They have fantastic talent on both sides of the ball that could mean they are capable of winning the Super Bowl as immediately as 2020 with the right moves. That talent is especially notable when it comes to their skill positions, including a big body target in Mike Williams and a reliable pair of hands in Keenan Allen.
If the Chargers re-sign both Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler then the chance of Brady signing could improve further. In that situation, the Chargers would have everything that Brady looks for in a skill position group, including the big tight end and the elusive running back out of the backfield.
Benjamin Allbright from Pro Football Network reported that Brady likes the fact the Chargers run a similar Erhardt-Perkins style offense to the one run by the Patriots. The concern for Brady is unsurprisingly the Chargers offensive line, but that is something they would be looking to improve regardless, and Brady may be willing to wait and let them enter the offensive line free agent market before he signs on the dotted line.
From the Chargers point of view Brady makes perfect sense. His star power in LA could draw more fans to their new stadium and help them attract celebrity fans to the game. He would also be the perfect mentor if they were thinking of drafting Justin Herbert, or if they believe Easton Stick could be the future of the franchise.
(0.5u) Indianapolis Colts @+4000
- The Colts have one of the best offensive line units in the league and a team capable of challenging in 2020
The reason we’re backing the Colts
The Colts 2019 season was derailed when Andrew Luck retired two weeks before the season began. However, prior to Luck’s retirement they were seen as a dark horse candidate to win the Super Bowl last season.
The reasons for that lie in their offense, which has one of the best offensive line groups in the league, and some interesting options among their skill position players. If Brady wants to play behind a strong offensive line, and a team that has a chance to be in the conversation for the Super Bowl in 2020, then it may not get much better than the Colts. However, they will likely need to convince Brady of their plans to add more depth to their defense and their receiving group, which is not as strong as some of the other teams in the running.
(1u) Tennessee Titans @ +1000
- Adam Schefter recently identified the Titans as the team he views as favorites on the Rich Eisen Podcast
The reason we’re backing the Titans
When Schefter talks it would be wise to listen as he is one of the most plugged in people in the entire NFL universe. On top of that there are a lot of reasons the Patriots joining the Titans would make sense. Firstly, their organisation is loaded with ex-Patriots players and personnel, including head coach Mike Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson.
The Titans roster is undeniably talented, as their run to the AFC Championship game last season demonstrated. They have plenty of talent in the skill positions, with Corey Davis, A.J. Brown, Adam Humphries and Dion Lewis offering everything that Brady likes in a group. However, they have pieces of their own to take care of, such as tackle Jack Conklin and running back Derrick Henry, so cap space could potentially be an issue for the payday Brady is looking for.
The others in the mix
A return to the Patriots remains the most likely outcome simply because of the long history he has in New England. The Patriots and Brady’s agent, Don Yee, will meet at the combine to discuss the position of the two sides. It is unlikely we hear much about that meeting, but if the Patriots start putting out feelers for potential trades then it may mean Brady is on his way out of the door. The odds here at -280 simply do not offer any value.
The Las Vegas Raiders have reportedly been said to be offering Brady a two-year $60 million deal. Having Brady as their main attraction to open their new stadium may be just what the Raiders need. There has been plenty of links between Brady and the Raiders, whether it is Brady’s discussions with owner Mark Davis at a UFC event, or Brady buying property in Las Vegas.
However, the Raiders are lacking talent in plenty of spots on the roster and have one of the most polarizing head coaches in the NFL. It should not be forgotten that in 2019 the Raiders outperformed expectations. They are realistically unlikely to challenge for the Super Bowl in 2020 and perhaps 2021, which ultimately should be enough to keep Brady from signing in Las Vegas.
The Miami Dolphins have also been heavily linked. Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline reported that during Senior Bowl week the Dolphins and Brady were much discussed. The two main talking points were that Brady’s wife Giselle prefers Miami and the rumors that Brady will buy an ownership stake in the Dolphins in the future. However, as Dolphins head coach Brian Flores discussed at the combine and owner Stephen Ross mentioned during Super Bowl week, why would Brady want to sign for a team that is still at least a couple of years away from challenging.
Ultimately, while the Dolphins make sense for a lot of reasons, including a wonderful climate and the ability to pay Brady what he desires, the lack of ability to challenge for another ring should make the Dolphins a no-go for anyone looking to bet on Brady’s eventual location this offseason.