While Tom Brady’s official announcement Tuesday morning that he was leaving the New England Patriots created a lot of sports media speculation and (desperately needed in a time of a coronavirus epidemic and next to no sports) content on where he’d wind up, it seems the uncertainty isn’t going to last all that long. Tuesday evening saw ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington report that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are “the expected landing spot” for Brady “barring anything unforeseen”:
Tampa is the expected landing spot for Tom Brady barring anything unforeseen, sources tell me and @JeffDarlington.
There's no signing date or announcement officially set up, but Brady is expected to be a Buccaneer.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later added some terms of the “agreement in principle,” saying it’s likely for around $30 million per year:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2020
Of course, there could be a twist in the road still. Free agency decisions can change before they become official, and while it’s unlikely we’ll see the equivalent of the Clippers’ 2015 lock-in of DeAndre Jordan (especially with Brady already announcing his intention to leave the Patriots), there could still be a last-second hiccup that leads to Brady going elsewhere. Despite Brady being 42 (and with an August birthday, he’ll be 43 when this year’s NFL season starts, if it does indeed start anywhere near as scheduled), he’s still been playing at a high level, throwing for 4,057 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season.
But the Bucs certainly seem to be the most likely team to land Brady at this point, especially with the Los Angeles Chargers (another rumored suitor) now being reportedly out of the mix. We’ll see if this does come to pass, but it sure seems like Brady is headed to Tampa Bay. And that’s outside of the AFC East, so the celebrations in Buffalo can continue…just not at bars.