Tom Brady Wants to Build a Superteam, But He's Not LeBron James

Kyle Koster
One of these things is not like the other.
One of these things is not like the other. / Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
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Tom Brady will be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer when all the details are worked out. He goes to a team that finished 7-9 last year and is replete with game-breaking wide receivers. He'll team up with Bruce Arians, who knows how to put points on the board. It may not be the best fit to win now, but it is arguably the place where he'll have the most offensive weaponry.

And he could court more. Per Adam Schefter, there's been a flurry of players reaching out to the Bucs to see if they might have the honor of playing with the legend.

The LeBron James effect hasn't really filtered through the NFL like it has the NBA. Surely Tampa Bay is now a more attractive landing spot for those on the move. But where was this cavalcade of players pounding down the door to suit up with Brady last year? The Antonio Brown experiment went horribly awry, yet it wasn't as though there was much help down the roster and an impotent offense eventually spelled doom for the Patriots.

Obviously a football team is more than just offensive skill positions. The Buccaneers could use help on the lines or secondary. Having three phases working in the same direction is extremely helpful and the addition of Brady will make them better in unseen ways. His leadership will pay dividends. He makes Tampa a destination for free agents.

Allow me, though, to ask a few practical fly-in-the-ointment questions.

First, does this mean he'll be leaving a bunch of money on the table for more acquisitions? One of the main points of contention between Brady and New England was the feeling he wasn't being respected. It wasn't all about money but it was sort of about money. When the details of his new contract are released, I expect them to be closer to fair-market value than they were the last several years with the Patriots. The hometown discount will be gone.

Also, Brady, for all his greatness, will be 43 years old if and when the season starts. What, exactly, can he build? How much does he have in the tank? LeBron went to Miami in the in prime of his career. Touchdown Tom is in the twilight or, more realistically, the night of his.

While I don't doubt there's more interest in the Buccaneers among players who could help win football games, a cynical reading of Schefter's information is that Brady's camp needs to exert some more pressure in order to end up on the winning side of the final details. I know, I know .. crazy idea.

Brady is not LeBron but following the LeBron playbook, at least in the abstract. In practice, it probably won't be as fruitful.

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