NFL

Why the Buccaneers Pursued Tom Brady Over Teddy Bridgewater

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struck gold last week after securing the services of star quarterback Tom Brady in free agency. It was a move that quickly came together after Brady announced his departure from the New England Patriots. It was a cut-and-dry decision for the Buccaneers to push an all-out effort to secure the future Hall of Famer as their solution under center. That choice came with some thought about potentially pursuing Teddy Bridgewater, which the team elected to go with Brady for a couple of reasons.

Why Tom Brady chose the Buccaneers

In the weeks leading up to free agency, there was plenty of speculation around what Brady would do with his first time to explore the open market.

The 42-year-old took full advantage of the situation, which he first chose to depart from the Patriots after two decades with the team. It didn’t take long after that for him to single out his next landing spot in the league.

The Buccaneers emerged as the destination of choice as they had not only put out an all-out pursuit of Brady, but best met his criteria. The six-time Super Bowl champion’s decision-making process valued his family factor over offensive scheme or roster personnel as he wanted to remain close to his son from another relationship who lives in the New York area.

It also didn’t hurt that they possess a strong group of offensive skill position players such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, and Ronald Jones. All of that led to Brady inking a fully guaranteed two-year, $50 million deal with Tampa Bay.

Why the Bucs chose to pursue Tom Brady over Teddy Bridgewater

The Buccaneers entered free agency with a significant decision to make at the quarterback position.

The only known fact about their plans for the offseason was that they would make a strong push to sign Brady. However, Peter King of Pro Football Talk has revealed that the team had some strong interest in Teddy Bridgewater but felt the future Hall of Famer better fit what they are looking to have under center.

Tampa Bay chose the sugar-rush deal with Brady over a more secure long-haul signing of the 27-year-old Teddy Bridgewater for two reasons: The team believes Brady has a couple of Super Bowl-contending seasons left, and GM Jason Licht and Arians believe there are pieces in place in Tampa to help him win his seventh championship. They also think Brady’s never-ending search for perfection—as a player and in his personal and physical lives—will live on in his teammates at One Buc Place after Brady leaves.

The first factor for the Buccaneer was most important as Brady is heading into his 21st season in the league. The fact that they feel he can still perform at a high level at this stage of his career may have been the primary deciding notion to pursue him. Meanwhile, his leadership and influence on the rest of the team is a byproduct of bringing him on board.

Although Brady is signed for just seasons, the way his contract is positioned with no team option for the franchise tag after the second year does suggest he may want to play longer than that. Ultimately, the Buccaneers chose what would best put them in Super Bowl contention now.

Was signing Tom Brady the right choice for the Bucs?

The Buccaneers made their intentions clear by adding Brady to the mix that they are in a “win-now” mindset with a quarterback that is nearing the end of his career.

Meanwhile, Bridgewater is in the prime of his career while proving to be a capable starter last season that earned him a three-year, $63 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. It’s a decision that lays out what Tampa Bay is hoping to accomplish in these next two seasons to build a team that can compete for a Super Bowl.

Only time will tell if the Buccaneers made the right choice at arguably the most critical position on their roster.