Star quarterback Tom Brady is about to begin his first campaign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It comes after his decision to leave the New England Patriots after two decades. Brady‘s entire free-agency process was viewed as being relatively clean and narrowed down to a couple of choices. However, there was another team that he nearly joined.
Tom Brady chooses Bucs as new NFL home
For the first time in his NFL career, Tom Brady will play with another franchise aside from the Patriots.
It’s been a few months since Brady decided to inform New England that he was leaving after two decades. The 43-year-old has quickly transitioned over to his next chapter with the Buccaneers, which has created plenty of buzz.
Tampa Bay hasn’t wasted time in surrounding him with additional star talent this offseason. It includes trading for longtime teammate Rob Gronkowski along with signing Pro Bowl running back Leonard Fournette. Before all that came to fruition before the 2020 season, Brady nearly entertained joining another franchise in free agency.
Tom Brady nearly signed with the Chicago Bears
During Tom Brady’s brief experience in free agency, the notion was that he narrowed down his choices between the Buccaneers and LA Chargers.
However, it was a situation that he had his options expanded much further than those two organizations. Longtime sports talk host Dan Patrick revealed on his show that the Chicago Bears were also in the picture as a landing spot. (H/T Bears Wire)
“The final list that Brady was looking at, the Chargers, the Bears, and the Buccaneers. I was told this yesterday. I said ‘wait a minute, the Bears?’ [Source] said yes. Brady was considering the Bears, the Chargers were a long shot because of the west coast…the fact that he was considering the Bears, Chicago at least – because he wanted to be [close] in proximity to New York where his son is…but ended up taking Tampa Bay.”
There wasn’t much public chatter around the Bears being a potential destination. The only mention of Chicago came about due to their quarterback struggles with Mitchell Trubisky. The franchise did meet much of Brady’s criteria, which was headlined by his desire to stay play closer to his son, who lives in New York.
For whatever reason, Brady chose to sign with the Buccaneers, which likely led to the Bears’ domino decision to trade for Nick Foles. The team has also committed to Trubisky as their starter to begin the season. Beyond that, it shows how close Chicago’s outlook for the 2020 season could have been much different had Brady to play for them.
Bucs’ 2020 season expectations
The 2020 NFL season has finally arrived, putting Tom Brady’s entire focus on winning a Super Bowl in his first campaign in Tampa Bay.
There are high expectations given the slew of Pro Bowl talent around him, which could be argued as the most he’s had in his illustrious career. The Buccaneers are pinned as one of the Super Bowl favorites, which they may challenge the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South division title.
It’s been an offseason unlike any other due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Brady is in a promising position. He has a prime opportunity to add to his legacy with a highly successful stint with the Buccaneers. The table is set for Tampa Bay to push forward significantly, it’s on the 43-year-old’s shoulders to make the most out of the situation.