The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won exactly one Super Bowl in franchise history. That came back in 2003. They routed the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, as Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden took his former team to the woodshed. In fact, the Raiders had traded Gruden to Tampa Bay before the 2002 season. Oakland was a four-point favorite, but Tampa Bay’s ironclad defense sacked Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon five times and picked him off five times, taking three of those picks back for touchdowns. Near the end of the third quarter, Tampa Bay led, 34-3, before taking their foot off the gas. Since then, it has been a long drought for the Buccaneers, who have spent the last five seasons with Jameis Winston, a highly talented but also highly inconsistent quarterback, who last year had the same QBR as Tom Brady while leading the NFL in passing yards — but who also posted the first 30-30 season (30+ touchdowns and 30+ interceptions) in NFL history. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers decreased the sports betting odds of winning the Super Bowl from 60/1 to 10/1 by signing New England legend Tom Brady to a contract. Should you consider taking the Buccaneers now? Take a look at our perspective, NFL Odds and Super Bowl Odds.
Tampa Bay’s Odds of Winning the Super Bowl after Free Agency Wave #1
Pro #1: Tom Brady can choose a lot of his teammates
The Buccaneers went into the offseason with tons of room under the salary cap. So not only could they back up the armored car in front of Brady’s house and leave as much money as he wants, they can also go out and get some of the teammates that he would like to have around him.
Pro #2: When did Tom Brady have this much receiving help in New England?
Rob Gronkowski at tight end and Julian Edelman at wide receiver gave Brady a pair of great options. Add James White and Rex Burkhead out of the backfield, and Brady had a lot of choices when it came to getting the ball out quickly.
Brady goes from Julian Edelman and a bunch of no-names to a pair of Pro Bow wide receivers in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. They each rolled up more than 1,000 yards of receiving last year. What about tight end, you say? The Buccaneers have not one but two athletic tight ends who can run routes and catch the ball in Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard. It’s arguable that Brady never had this many choices in the wide receiving and tight end corps in New England.
Pro #3: Bruce Arians could let Tom Brady open it up down the field
Arians likes schemes that feature plays that take longer to develop, with routes down the field. He also likes to see his quarterbacks air it out. Brady spent 2019 dumping passess off because he didn’t trust his offensive line. Tampa Bay has a solid offensive line.
Pro #4: Tampa Bay doesn’t play in the AFC
That means that Brady doesn’t have to go through the Ravens, Chiefs or the Titans next year. There are some solid contenders in the NFC, of course, but as good a season as San Francisco has, they were a goal-line play from losing the division to Seattle in Week 17, and they almost lost to Arizona, not once but twice, in the regular season. There’s a lot more parity over here.
Con #1: It’s Tampa Bay
Brady and Belichick turned New England from a laughingstock of a franchise into the name for quality in the National Football League. Now Brady heads to another team that has not had success in years. So there’s not a lot of pressure on Brady, but there’s also not a lot of prestige. What happens if the team starts 2-2 and he loses interest?
Con #2: The Buccaneers don’t have a culture of winning
It has been 13 years since Tampa Bay qualified for the NFL’s postseason. Since then, they have gone 71-121 in their regular season contests. The media reported that Brady’s first request was the phone number of each of his new teammates. But can Brady turn around a whole culture by himself? Remember — Tampa Bay has to get by New Orleans just to win the NFC South, let alone make a Super Bowl.
Con #3: Arians will expect Brady to throw the ball down the field
Does Brady still have accuracy down the field? Does he have the patience to stand in the pocket, or to move in a rolling pocket? What if Arians and Brady find that they can’t come to a compromise?