The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked the world by luring Tom Brady away from the New England Patriots and other suitors in free agency this offseason, signing him to a two-year deal. They believe the six-time champion can lead them to success soon. Despite the skepticism Brady has faced regarding the decline of his arm decline ahead of his age 43 season, general manager Jason Licht thinks the veteran has enough to get the job done.
“Well, the tape to us showed that he had plenty of arm,” Licht said on ESPN’s Get Up Monday. “And in fact, we thought that he had an ideal arm for Bruce (Arians) and his system. He can still throw it deep. We felt like the mobility was still the same as he’s always had, which, he’s never been able to out-run anybody, but he certainly is good in the pocket in terms of eluding pressure and with his poise and his instincts. We did not see a decline in his arm talent whatsoever, and in fact we felt like he could play for over two years for us. And hopefully, that’s the case.”
Jameis Winston led the NFL in passing yards (5,109) in 2019 after Arians’ first year at the helm, but the 26-year-old also led the league in interceptions thrown (30). Brady’s decision making could be key to maximizing the potential of wideouts like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who combined for 2,490 receiving yards and 17 scores last season. Evans has eclipsed 1,000 yards for six straight years since entering the NFL in 2014 while Godwin has steadily improved since his rookie year in 2017 tallied his first 1,000 yard season in 2019.
Brady had an elite tight end in Rob Gronkowski with the Patriots, but who’s the last star wideout he had? Not counting Antonio Brown of course. Randy Moss? We saw what he was able to do with Julian Edelman, Wes Welker, and Deion Branch, but what can he do with Evans and Godwin? Arians loves to take shots down the field, and Brady’s new arsenal will give him a great chance to be successful doing that.
Fantasy football analysis: Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin
Evans has been a top 10 fantasy wideout in three seasons while catching passes from Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Winston, and others. He was even the NFL’s most productive fantasy receiver in 2016, when he notched 96 receptions for 1,321 yards and hauled in 12 of Winston’s 28 touchdown throws. Evans produces regardless of who’s under center, so you should expect him to crack the top 10 with Brady, who completed 100 passes to Edelman last season. Evans is one of of the most physically imposing wide receivers in the game and excels at making contested catches. We could be in for one of his best seasons yet.
Godwin led Tampa Bay in targets (121), receptions (86), receiving yards (1,333), and receiving touchdowns last season and established himself as one of the most reliable targets in the league. He doesn’t drop the ball. His 2.2% drop rate is the lowest mark in the NFL since 2015, and his 4.42 speed adds to his effectiveness. Only the Saints’ Michael Thomas had more season-long fantasy value than Godwin. Evans is still the top dog in Tampa Bay and played three fewer games than Godwin last year, but Goodwin could very will finish as a top 10 wideout for a second straight year. Evans and Goodwin thrived with an inconsistent quarterback last season, and should continue to thrive so with the GOAT calling the shots.