After nearly two decades of dominance, the New England Patriots dynasty looks to be coming to an end. The defense was great, but the offense simply couldn't get it done in a 20-13 loss at home to the six seed Tennessee Titans. Tom Brady looked like a shell of his former self, even though he was facing a below-average Titans secondary. He finished the game completing 20 of his 37 passes for 209 yards and the game-sealing pick-six.
After the game, Brady said he intended to return next season and will become a free agent this offseason. With there being noted tension between Brady and Pats head coach Bill Belichick, it wouldn't be surprising to see Brady look elsewhere in free agency. Today, I'll be looking at three potential destinations for Brady, plus an honorable mention. Stay tuned, I'll be giving one of my world-famous predictions at the end. Let's get it.
Three Best Destinations for Tom Brady
Honorable Mention: New England Patriots
I'd be crazy not to put the Patriots on here. Brady's spent his entire career in New England, where he's won six Super Bowls and cemented himself as the greatest quarterback in the history of football. With the Patriots, he has arguably the best defense in the game, which means he'd only have to put up around 17-20 points a game.
However, the offense is severely lacking. They desperately missed Rob Gronkowski's production last year. Not only was Gronk an incredible receiver, but he was also one of the best blocking tight ends's in the league. He was influential in the Pats run game. The Pats were also without the services of their center David Andrews, who missed the entire year after being diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. They still have Julian Edelman, who's one of the best security blankets in the NFL, but they lack a big-play threat that can beat secondaries over the top.
Brady already sold his house in Boston and with his relationship with Belichick on the rocks, I don't think he comes back. Folks, get ready, it's going to be the end of an era in Foxborough.
Las Vegas Raiders
Could you imagine if the Raiders pull off this splash move as they move their franchise over to Las Vegas? It would be incredible to see Brady in the silver and black. Plus, they'd damn near sell out every home game in about seven minutes.
While the Raiders defense isn't nearly as good as the Patriots, they do have some good young talent, led by the young pass-rush duo of Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrel. They'll definitely look to upgrade the defense in the draft, as they have two decently slotted first-round picks in a very good draft class.
Now, onto why Brady would sign here? The Raiders have an intriguing, up and coming offense. Upfront, they have a strong offensive line, that when healthy is one of the better lines in the game. There is also familiarity for Brady, as he would potentially reunite with his former right tackle Trent Brown.
The Raiders also boast a collection of young and talented players at skill positions, starting with running back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs battled a shoulder injury for most of the season but still managed to have a great rookie season, one that has him in contention for offensive rookie of the year despite missing a couple of games. On the outside, he would have a receiver in Tyrell Williams, who's an explosive, big-play threat that is arguably a top 20 receiver when healthy. Lastly, they have an emerging tight end in Darren Waller, who's arguably the best athlete at the position and finished the season with over 1000 yards.
And of course, how could I forget about Jon Gruden. It would only be right if after the tuck rule game, these two team up to try and go for a Super Bowl. Are the Raiders ready to move on from Derek Carr though? Carr has put up pretty good numbers with Gruden, but the record hasn't been good. If the Raiders decide to move on from Carr, Brady should definitely think about a move to Vegas.
Another pretty interesting scenario. Brady goes where his arch-rival Peyton Manning spent almost the entirety of his career. While you may think that the Indianapolis Colts wouldn't be on Brady's shortlist of teams, when you look deeper into it, it could potentially be the perfect match.
Having a good coach is probably up there on Brady's wish list for a new team. With the Colts, he gets that and more with Frank Reich. Reich, who wasn't even Indianapolis's first choice, led the team to the playoffs last season in his first year as head coach. Oh, and did I mention they started out 1-5? He dealt with even more adversity this year, with Andrew Luck shockingly announcing his retirement just a few weeks before the start of the season. Despite losing an all-pro caliber quarterback, he still managed to lead them to a 7-9 record. Imagine what he could do with a quarterback like Brady.
With the Colts, Brady gets a strong offensive line, arguably the best in the game. He'll be able to sit back, relax and maybe even smoke a cigar before he has to worry about getting pressure. Additionally, he gets a talented running back core, led by Marlon Mack, who will take the pressure off of Brady.
While his receiving weapons aren't necessarily the strongest, the Colts still do have T.Y. Hilton, who, when healthy, is a great slot receiver that can make plays down the field. Also, the Colts have a pretty strong security blanket in tight end Jack Doyle, who will be taking over the starting spot as Eric Ebron is unlikely to return.
The Colts did just give former Brady disciple Jacoby Brissett a contract, but I think the Colts would be open to rolling with Brady and having Brissett as the backup. Brady should definitely think about a move to Indianapolis.
Los Angeles Chargers
Could Brady head to the Los Angeles Chargers? He grew up in California and the Chargers definitely have a strong enough roster that can compete for a Super Bowl. Furthermore, Phillip Rivers is likely out, which means the Chargers are likely going to be going hard for their pursuit of Brady.
The Chargers have the strongest defense on this list and one of the better ones in football. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram make up a wildly talented pass rush partnership, while Casey Hayward Jr. and Derwin James team up to make the L.A. secondary a force to be reckoned with. Like I explained for the Patriots, it would take a lot of pressure off of Brady to put up points.
However, the Chargers offensive weapons are significantly stronger than what he had with the Pats. He gets a thunder and lightning running back combination that can do it all in Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. Keenan Allen continues to prove he's one of the most underrated receivers in football and would give Brady a clear number one option. Hunter Henry provides a big, explosive, red-zone threat that Brady can count on.
However, the one issue with the Chargers is their offensive line. They couldn't stay healthy and even when they were all healthy, they couldn't block anybody. I think the Burbs football staff definitely could've gotten a few sacks against this porous group. That is something that definitely could deter Brady away from returning home. Another deterrent could be Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. Lynn is a good coach, but he's mostly been a running backs coach and that could definitely hinder Brady.
This is a tough choice for me and it's going to be an even tougher decision for Tom Brady. There will be more teams involved in the Brady sweepstakes too. However, I think he narrows it down to these three teams. If I were him, I would go to Los Angeles, as they have the more talented roster out of these three. However, I think Brady's going to value coaching and offensive line with this decision. That being said, I think Tom Brady will sign with the Indianapolis Colts.
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts