Tom Brady’s goodbye on Wednesday may cause a domino effect around the NFL.
After 23 seasons, Brady announced his retirement on social media as he said he was done “for good” a year after ending his career and returning 40 days later.
Brady’s decision doesn’t directly affect the Jets, as he was rumored to possibly sign with the 49ers or Raiders if he didn’t decide to stay with the Buccaneers. However, this will have ripple effects on the rest of the 2023 quarterback market this offseason.
Let’s look at what Brady’s retirement means for the Jets and some of the other quarterback-needy teams around the league.
There was a better chance of a zombie apocalypse coming to Florham Park than Brady ever donning the Green and White. But the Jets are in the market for a veteran quarterback, and Brady’s retirement has the Buccaneers now looking for a signal caller.
Rumors are circulating that the Packers could trade Aaron Rodgers to the Jets. His former offensive coordinator is now in New York and he could help groom Zach Wilson, who will now at least be the team’s backup quarterback in 2023.
The Jets also have been rumored to land Raiders quarterback Derek Carr or even Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson should he become available. Either way, the Jets are giant whale hunting for a veteran quarterback in a critical offseason for coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas after losing six straight to end 2022.
But with Brady retiring, the Jets will have a lot of competition for Rodgers and/or some of the other veteran quarterbacks around the league.
I was in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl this week and someone at the Waffle House asked me if Carr could go to the Saints? My response was absolutely.
Carr to the Saints might make more sense than going to the Jets. One major reason is Carr’s record in cold weather games.
In games where the temperature was 36 degrees or lower, Carr has a 0-7 record as he has thrown 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
With eight or nine games guaranteed in the Superdome each year, Carr wouldn’t have to worry about a lot of cold weather. The Saints also play the Falcons, Buccaneers and Panthers, teams where cold weather won’t likely come into play very often.
Brady was connected to the Raiders due to his relationship with Josh McDaniels as the two worked together in New England for years. With that no longer an option, Las Vegas could turn its attention towards another veteran quarterback.
On Twitter late Wednesday night, Devante Adams was asked which neighborhood former Green Bay teammate Rodgers is moving to and he responded by saying, “mine.”
The Raiders still plan to move on from Carr after benching him for the final two games of the 2022 season. They have to move fast as his $32.9 million base salary for 2023 will be guaranteed if the Raiders don’t release or trade him by Feb. 15.
Las Vegas also could draft a quarterback in April with its No. 7 selection. But with an offense full of weapons, Rodgers going to Sin City makes a lot of sense and would unite him with his former All-Pro receiver.
Tennessee also would have been interested in signing Brady with ex-teammate Mike Vrabel as its coach. The Titans will need to pivot after their first losing season (7-10) since 2015.
Ryan Tannehill is under contract as he is scheduled to make $36.6 million in the final year of his deal. The likely scenario is that the Titans release Tannehill after his ankle injury likely cost them another trip to the playoffs.
After drafting Malik Willis in the third round of last year’s draft, it doesn’t appear he’s the team’s solution at quarterback. Carr could make sense here, or so could a player like Jacoby Brissett, who started 11 games for the Browns while Deshaun Watson was suspended.
Brady’s retirement benefited Trey Lance probably more than anyone else. With Brock Purdy out until at least training camp, if not longer due to an elbow injury, Lance will have an opportunity to reclaim the 49ers starting quarterback role, the same one he had before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2.
Jimmy Garoppolo will be a free agent as 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he doesn’t see “any scenario” where he returns next year. The smart move for the 49ers is to see what they have in Lance.
San Francisco traded up to No. 3 to draft Lance in the 2021 draft. With the 49ers weapons on offense and their top-tier defense, Lance could at least do what Purdy did when he helped the team reach the NFC Championship before losing to the Eagles.
That sound you hear off the Gulf of Mexico is Buccaneers fans jumping off the bandwagon following Brady’s retirement. Now it will be interesting to see what obscurity is like for Tampa Bay without Brady under center
Prior to his arrival in 2020, the Buccaneers hadn’t made the playoffs since 2007. Todd Bowles faced a ton of criticism in his first season in Tampa Bay and not having an aging Brady who was still a top-10 quarterback certainly won’t turn down the heat.
Garoppolo or Carr could be in play in Tampa Bay as they certainly have enough talent to win the NFC South again with the rebuilding Panthers, Falcons and Saints in the division. Whoever the quarterback is in 2023, they likely won’t be Super Bowl contenders.
But don’t cry Buccaneers fans because the Brady experience is over, smile because it happened.
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