The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady made their two-year marriage official on Friday. Brady has signed a two-year, $50 million contract, with $9 million in incentives, and language that prevents a trade or use of the franchise or transition tags.
Prior to the signing, there had been some speculation that the Bucs might wait to see what happens with Jameis Winston in free agency and still potentially bring him back. That is no longer the case, and Winston acknowledged the obvious on social media Saturday morning.
Winston remains part of a small group of talented quarterbacks that have an assortment of questions. Winston can air it out with the best of them, but his decision-making resulted in the first 30+ TD, 30+ interception season in NFL history. Cam Newton is available via trade, but injury concerns could result in him simply being released. Andy Dalton has a solid floor, but has a limited ceiling and is available with the Bengals expected to draft Joe Burrow in April.
There are a host of teams that could still use a quarterback following the first three days of free agency. The Patriots are the most obvious, with Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler on the depth chart. The Los Angeles Chargers currently have Tyrod Taylor atop the depth chart following Philip Rivers departure for Indianapolis. The Chargers are claiming they won’t add a veteran option, and with the sixth overall pick and a couple intriguing QBs likely to be on the board, that makes sense. The Las Vegas Raiders signed Marcus Mariota to compete with Derek Carr, but one has to wonder if that’s enough.
The Patriots seem the most likely to add one of the veterans. Their first round pick is No. 23 overall, so barring a move up, they might be out of luck on a first round quarterback. Even if they landed a Jordan Love, for example, they would want a veteran option to bridge to the future. Any of Newton, Winston, or Dalton makes a ton of sense for New England, but we might be waiting a bit given the inability to conduct physicals — especially with Newton’s foot a question.