As you may have seen around the web, there is no shortage of articles about Tom Brady and where he may be headed. Some experts have discussed specific teams based on intangible needs or some have been known to curve data points to match their intuitions — whichever way you look at it, imperfect viewpoints are everywhere. This article aims to identify which teams fit certain essential criteria for Tom. Those teams identified will then be compared against each other with relevant data points collected before article creation to avoid any bias or marginalization.
Let’s begin this process with the following questions:
Could they afford Tom Brady?
Tom Brady is currently paid $23,000,000 per year, so we must assume that number is the standard. Any team well below that salary cap will be required to make sacrifices that nullify their present data from carrying over into 2020. Boom! Nine teams eliminated, just like that.
Does Tom Brady fit their scheme?
This goes without saying, really, as any team committed to another quarterback won’t be looking at Tom Brady. Yes, he is the GOAT, but there are many other animals on the farm. Boom! Eight teams eliminated with the click of a field mouse. Darn it, now everything I say is in farm-speak. Is that a thing?
Does the head coach have at least a 50% win rate?
Tom Brady isn’t going to join Zac Taylor’s 13% win rate with the Bengals — he’s just not. Tom is a competitor and will seek success from any destination he is considering. This eliminates another five teams at the drop of a hat. Sure, some off-season antics could lead to new coaches, but at the moment we can only know what we know. Let’s stick to predicting one thing at a time, where Tom Brady could land, not which coaches are going to do the NFL shuffle.
This leaves us with 10 teams left, so let’s compare them.
What does Tom need?
The most relevant data points to answer this question must be inclusive conglomerates, factoring many aspects of a whole team, matching the type of team Tom is seeking. Tom does his homework and won’t cut corners on a team that is missing big pieces required to achieve playoff wins. That quickly brings these seven factors to mind (in no particular order):
- A top defense in combined ranking data of last season, essential to prevent his exhaustion if playing from behind.
- A team of seasoned players on both sides of the ball, averaging their full rosters’ “years played.”
- A difference-making kicker for close games, because Tom knows the value and necessity of game-winning field goals.
- An offensive line that can give him the time he needs to pass the ball, while still providing a satisfactory ability to keep opposing defenses honest against the run.
- A Superbowl bound team without Tom, where adding him in only acts as an upgrade and solidifies any fluid thoughts of his ability to compete elsewhere.
- A porous Division where defenses allow a substantial number of points to be scored, paving the way for a playoff run.
- A porous Conference where defenses allow a substantial number of points to be scored, paving the way for a playoff run.
After weighing all of the data points for what Tom needs and will seek as a competitor, it becomes apparent that certain teams standout over others. If we group these 10 teams into tiers based on the pieces needed for success, it builds a more realistic pool of optimal landing spots for Tom when free agency opens. The lower the tier number, the greater the probability Tom will sign with them.
Success > Salary?
Tom Brady is a minority when it comes to salary considerations, as we already know he is one to take pay cuts for his team. This means that given a lesser period of time left in his career compared to when he started, salary will be less of a factor when making arguably his last contract move before retirement. The data provided in this article has sculpted a clearer picture of how singing and success go hand in hand, with salary meaning less outside of having at least the minimum to acquire him. Tom will remain true to form, as he has always, and sign with the team that gives him the best chance to go out with a bang. For Tom, success does outweigh salary.
Spencer Weston is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Spencer, check out his archive and follow him @westonpicks.