Yes. It is true. Tom Brady is the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, there is still plenty of work to be done for the Bucs to be ready for the start of the 2020 season. And, if they truly have aspirations of being the first team to play a home game in the Super Bowl, they shouldn’t wait long to continue the build.
One of the more appealing aspects of the Bucs roster for Brady was most certainly the pairing of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at the wide receiver position. Between the two, they are arguable the best one-two punch Brady has had in quite some time. However, it takes more than two receivers to win a Super Bowl.
With guys like Emmanuel Sanders off the board, who could the Bucs turn to in the free-agent market?
Breshad Perriman enjoyed a career-year in his first season with the Buccaneers in 2019. He hit career highs in receptions (36), yards (645) and touchdowns (6) in just 14 games. A former first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, Perriman offers a combination of size and speed that most teams covet and he would give Brady another speedy option. Something he has lacked with the Patriots. Perriman cost the Bucs $2 million last season and would likely command a bit more than that, certainly on the open market. With roughly $20 million in cap space still available, the Bucs have some flexibility. Familiarity and the chance to play with Brady could help get a deal done.
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Entering the league the same year as Perriman, Robby Anderson went undrafted but has enjoyed a very nice four-year stint with the Jets having played in 62 of a possible 64 games. Over his career, he’s hauled in 207 passes for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns. He is a solid route-runner with a nice catch radius. He has had issues with drops in the past, often hovering around a 52 percent catch rate, however, more consistent quarterback play could help that. Anderson enjoyed a nice pay bump from the Jets last year but will likely cost less than Perriman, even at a bit of a discount. Plus, Anderson has expressed his desire to play with Brady in an interview on Sportscenter early this month.
Chris Hogan suffered through an injury-riddled first season with the Panthers last season after a strong three-year stint with the Patriots where he won two Super Bowls. Given his age and shortened season a year ago, Hogan will likely be had at a very small number. However, his value to the Bucs may be inflated given his relationship with Brady. And, since Brady is entering a whole new situation for the first time in his career, it may be good to have a familiar face in the mix, assuming the Bucs couldn’t pry Julian Edelman away from the Patriots. In three years with the Patriots, Hogan averaged 36 receptions for 550 yards and four touchdowns. If health, he missed just eight games in three years, he could be a nice complementary piece for this receiving group.
The Buccaneers signed Brady to win a Super Bowl. Plain and simple. The window to do so is short given his age so half measures shouldn’t be an option. If Antonio Brown is eligible to play, the Buccaneers should strongly consider bringing the ultra-talented but troubled wide receiver into the mix to create, by a large margin, the best wide receiver group in the NFL. It is evident Brady and Brown share a relationship off the field and in his brief time with the Patriots there was clearly a blossoming connection on the field. Quite simply, Brown is the perfect wide receiver to pair with Brady.