The Buccaneers should only care about the Super Bowl, but the individual awards are nice too.
The Buccaneers were not well-represented in the All-Pro voting. The Pro Bowl was also oddly devoid of any players from one of the best teams in the NFL. Even the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting skewed towards one of the weakest defensive seasons by a rookie ever instead of Antoine Winfield Jr.
While the Lombardi Trophy is the only award that matters, the bias against the Buccaneers is still laughable. How is it that the best team in football is still one of the forgotten ones?
This saga of keeping the small-market teams out of the limelight continued today when, according to Adam Schefter on Twitter, Deandre Hopkins and the Arizona Cardinals won the Alpha Award for “Best Sports Transaction of the Year” at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers would like a word.
The Buccaneers and Brady should be the clear favorites here
Acquisition is the operative word here. If this was open just to trades, the Cardinals should be in contention for certain. An All-Pro like Hopkins for pennies on the dollar is one of the best NFL trades in recent years, but if this award is open to all additions, then Tom Brady and the Bucs make a much more compelling case.
Whether you are looking at numbers, team record, or playoff record, the Buccaneers with Brady were a much better team than the Cardinals with Hopkins.
The Cardinals added Hopkins and won three more games in 2020 than they did in 2019. The Buccaneers added Brady and won eight more games than in 2019, four of which came in the playoffs on the road to a Super Bowl victory.
Hopkins helped out his offense. Brady changed the entire trajectory of a franchise.
In addition to what they did for their teams, Brady came to the Buccaneers for free. No trade was made, and Tampa Bay gave up nothing to bring in a player that was directly instrumental in taking the team to the Super Bowl. The Cardinals had to trade for Hopkins to win a few more games. The value just isn’t lining up here.
As Bucs fans, we’re used to the disrespect. This is par for the course in Tampa. Players are forgotten in the minds of the media, but that is quickly changing. The Buccaneers are starting to show what ignoring them brings, and the rest of the league got to experience what the actual best acquisition was first hand last year.
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