Brady’s time in New England has almost reached mythical status. It can also be separated into two or three chapters. There was the first dynasty featuring a young Brady with fantastic veteran defenses, then a decade-long stretch where Brady did not win the Super Bowl (shocking we know), where he enjoyed the company of wonderful supporting casts spearheaded by Randy Moss, then the second dynasty where Brady was the veteran surrounded by a great young core offensively and defensively. All of three of these eras were of course by the greatest coach of all time Bill Belichick. The thing is, despite all of that, the Buccaneers have much more talent on paper than any of those Patriots teams surrounding Brady.
More from Tom Brady
- NFL Rumors: ‘Keep an eye on’ Tom Brady returning to NFL for 2023 season
- Tom Brady just started a conspiracy theory that he’s returning for the 2023 season
- Tom Brady reveals when he’ll make his NFL on FOX announcing debut
- Report: Tom Brady considered three teams to sign with before deciding to retire
- Tom Brady retires from NFL: Everything to know about his iconic career
As shocking as it may seem, the only Hall of Famers to play with Brady in New England are Ty Law, Randy Moss, and Junior Seau. Law and Seau played on the opposite side of the ball, and while Moss is the best receiver Brady ever had, and they combined for the greatest combination passing season in NFL history in 2007, that didn’t equal a championship. Moss, like Seau, aren’t universally seen as Patriots greats either despite their success in 2007.
Despite these three, that isn’t to say Brady’s Patriots teams were devoid of talent. They may lack in Hall of Famers (for now), but they aren’t lacking in the “Hall of Very Good”. Players like Richard Seymour, Willie McGinnist, Tedy Bruschi, Logan Mankins, and Julian Edelman will certainly hear their names come up when the Hall of Fame picks their semi-finalists, or even finalists, but unfortunately may never hear their names called when it comes to enshrinement in Canton. Their chances are waning with each passing year.
Then there’s Rob Gronkowski. Apart from Brady, Gronkowski is the only other active slam dunk first ballot future Hall of Famer from the Patriots dynasty. As fate would have it, he’s now Brady’s tight end with the Buccaneers. Sure, he may not be “in his prime”, but he did still catch two touchdowns in Super Bowl LV. Which brings us to the rest of the Buccaneers.
Gronkowski is a lock for Canton, but he isn’t alone on the Buccaneers roster. Ndomukong Suh may very well hear his name called for the Hall when it’s all said and done, and if Shaq Barrett keeps up this production, he may very well be on his way. Jason Pierre-Paul is a long shot, more likely to wind up in the aforementioned “Hall of Very Good”. Lavonte David should also end up in the Hall of Fame, especially when you realize he numbers are right up there with Derrick Brooks, with Devin White looking like his clone. Other young guns like Vita Vea and Antoine Winfield Jr. also see their careers trending up. That’s also just the defense.
Edelman and Deion Branch both won Super Bowl MVP as receivers playing with Brady, but Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are better than both of them, or any receiver he had in New England with the exception of Moss. Brady had great offensive lines with the Patriots, but Tristan Wirfs could end up better than all of them when it’s all said and done, and a strong case can be made he’s already the best right tackle in football after just his rookie season.
The crazy thing about this Buccaneers team though, is that they are young, and not going anywhere any time soon. This is primarily thanks to Brady reworking his deal, as he would do in New England, in order to keep his team together and maintain his status as the ultimate winner. The Patriots way was that the whole were greater than the parts thanks to the greatness of Brady and Belichick, so the “Patriot Way” didn’t require top-tier talent to succeed.
With the Bucs, the parts are much more special. The Buccaneers were able to win the Super Bowl in Brady’s first year in Tampa due in large part to his and the individual talent of the roster, and all 22 starters will officially be back to run it back. There’s also a little thing called the Draft on the horizon that the Buccaneers have done pretty well with as of late. On paper, and on turf, the Bucs have the most talent surrounding Brady that he’s ever had.