- 26-23 record
- Super Bowl Champion (XXXVII)
- Pro Bowler (2002)
Brad Johnson was one of the last batch of quarterbacks who felt like they were born old and were allowed to function in NFL offenses deep into their careers. He helped bring the first Super Bowl to Tampa Bay at the age of 32, which was ancient by 2002 standards, but he won as more than the game manager some make him out to be.
Johnson wasn’t setting the world on fire, but he threw 22 touchdowns and just six interceptions during the Bucs Super Bowl season, which helped him get to the Pro Bowl. That’s more a statement on how far the league has advanced and evolved offenses, so adjust for inflation and Johnson’s season is one of the best on record.
It’s certainly one of the best seasons for a Buccaneers quarterback regardless of the era. The 2002 team is rightfully remembered for how legendary the defense was but Johnson did more than just stay out of its way. He also stuck around and turned in a few more 3,000 yard passing seasons with the Bucs before leaving in 2005 to return to his Minnesota roots and finish his career with the Vikings.
In stark contrast to Jameis Winston — and why he ranks slightly higher than him — is the fact that Johnson rarely made mistakes. He made the most of the opportunities the defense afforded the offense, which makes him more than just a game manager and into one of the best quarterbacks the franchise has ever had.