TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The choice to pursue Tom Brady in free company was a no brainer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That’s to not counsel loads of pondering and planning didn’t go into it.
In snaring the six-time Super Bowl winner, who signed a two-year, $50 million contract that’s totally assured, the Bucs additionally pulled the plug on making an attempt to develop a gifted and far youthful Jameis Winston right into a championship quarterback.
The first general decide from the 2015 draft, the 26-year-old Winston has been wildly inconsistent over the primary 5 seasons of his profession. There had been flashes of brilliance on the best way to changing into Tampa Bay’s all-time main passer, but additionally a league-leading 111 turnovers that hindered the workforce’s prospects for fulfillment.
Brady, who’ll flip 43 in August, has been probably the greatest ever at defending the ball, main the Patriots to 9 Super Bowl appearances, 13 AFC championship video games and 17 division title in 20 seasons with New England.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians and normal supervisor Jason Licht are assured Brady can nonetheless play at a excessive sufficient stage to not solely finish Tampa Bay’s 12-year playoff drought, however win one other Super Bowl — or two.
“He is a Buccaneer today not for what he has done in the past, but for what we know he can accomplish here in the near future as well,” Licht mentioned. “We know that Tom is going to have a transformative effect in our locker room, and he is going to demand the best out of himself, his teammates and anybody that is around him.”
Three elements that made it a straightforward choice to hunt Brady as a alternative for Winston:
Winston led the NFL with 5,107 yards passing in 2019. He additionally threw for 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions to turn out to be the primary 30-30 participant in league historical past. Opponents returned a file seven interceptions for TDs final season and scored 112 factors off his league-high 35 turnovers general.
Brady has by no means thrown greater than 14 interceptions in a season. His 1.79 profession interception share is the second-best of all time behind Aaron Rodgers amongst quarterbacks with at the least 2,500 go makes an attempt. He’s thrown simply 27 picks complete whereas throwing for practically 13,000 yards and 85 touchdowns the previous three seasons.
Winston’s interception share was 4.eight final season, mountaineering his profession mark to three.5.
HE WINS … A LOT
Brady’s .774 common season successful share ranks first within the Super Bowl period amongst quarterbacks with at the least 50 begins. With 249 victories general, together with playoffs, he’s received nearly as many video games in twenty years because the Bucs have received (273) within the franchise’s 44-season historical past.
Winston topped 4,000 yards passing in three of his 5 seasons in Tampa Bay, however that didn’t translate to workforce success. He was 28-42 as a starter and produced only one successful file, 9-7 in 2016, which wasn’t adequate to make the playoffs.
“When we looked at everybody that might be available at the quarterback position, obviously really never dreaming that Tom would be available, but if he was, he was going to be our No. 1 choice,” Arians mentioned. “Mainly because he can do everything that we want to do in our offense, but more than that it’s his leadership ability that we need in our locker room to get where we want to go.”
The surest path to the playoffs is a division championship. The Bucs have completed final within the NFC South eight of the previous 11 seasons.
Brady received the AFC East 17 of the 18 seasons wherein he was New England’s major starter, together with the previous 11 years.
Winston struggled to determine himself in a quarterback-driven division that includes Drew Brees in New Orleans, Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Cam Newton in Carolina — all of whom have been to Super Bowls. Brady is trying ahead to getting higher acquainted with the Saints, Falcons and Panthers.
“Winning the division is always the hard thing to do. These teams know each other so well, and I didn’t play this division but once every four years, so I’ve got to learn the players. I’ve got to learn the schemes,” Brady mentioned.
“Great offenses aren’t about one player. Great offenses are about every guy being on the same page and playing with confidence and anticipation.
“It’s going to be a busy offseason for me learning a lot of new things, which is a great challenge and a great opportunity for me. I’m just going to do it the only way I know how to do it, which is just to fully engulf myself in what is done here,” Brady added. “It’s a new program that I’m a part of and they have their way of doing things. They’re committed to winning and I’ve got to come in and do my part. That’s why I’m here.”