After all, the future Hall of Famer continues to have a strong relationship with team ownership and general manager Jason Licht, and the team has proven throughout Brady’s tenure that it will do whatever it takes. it takes to build a competitor around him, even if his maneuvering creates future salary cap headaches. Plus, the fact that the Bucs clinched the NFC South and qualified for the playoffs could encourage Brady to return (although division weakness obviously played a major role in the team’s playoff berth). ).
Stroud notes that Brady’s preference would be to play for Sean Payton, the former Saints head coach who currently works as a Fox analyst but looks set to return to the sidelines in 2023. Currently, only the Broncos were granted permission to interview. Payton and Denver could not add Brady due to his commitment to Russell Wilson.
Payton could choose to return to the Saints, and New Orleans has enough offensive talent to entice Brady to join him there. However, as Stroud notes in a separate article, joining the division rival Bucs would be tough on Tampa Bay ownership, and Brady may not want to “stick” to the Glazers that way.
Brady will likely have suitors who are only interested in him and not Payton. The 49ers, Raiders, and Jets could all be in play, and neither team seems willing to part ways with their current head coaches (plus, if Brady chooses to sign with Las Vegas, he’ll reunite with the longtime offensive coordinator). date Josh McDaniels, which he might like). The bottom line here is that all options, including a new deal with the Bucs, remain on the table.
Along those same lines, it appears a Brady return to Tampa would result in OC Byron Leftwich being fired, especially in light of the reported friction between the two men. If that happens, then Stroud expects current Alabama offensive coordinator and former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien — who was on the Patriots staff for five of Brady’s years at Foxborough — either in the mix as a possible replacement. Indeed, O’Brien and Licht enjoy a close relationship, and the Bucs were interested in O’Brien’s services last year when it emerged Leftwich would be leaving Tampa to become the Jaguars’ head coach.
The Patriots are also reportedly interested in reuniting with O’Brien.