Earlier this season, a rumor started floating in the NFL world. A rumor that 2019 would be Tom Brady’s last season with the New England Patriots, and that he would go to the Los Angeles Chargers next. Since then, the Patriots season has ended with a one-and-done in the playoffs. As a result, speculation of what’s next for Brady has only shot upward.
Brady is set to be a free agent this off-season. He has made it clear he will not be retiring. The possibility does exist that the Patriots could choose to move in a different direction. But I’m not going to speculate on that. Instead, let’s focus specifically on why – if he does end up looking for a new team – the Chargers are not going to be that new team.
Tom Brady and Los Angeles Chargers an Unlikely Union
The Risk for Los Angeles
The Chargers are another team that might be in the conversation for a new quarterback this off-season. Emphasis on the word “might,” because while Philip Rivers appeared to decline heavily and is a free agent as well, there hasn’t been any official word yet on what the Chargers plans are. Rivers wants to return but has suggested it’s not up to him at this point.
However, if they did let Rivers go, Brady just wouldn’t make sense for them. Rivers is 38 and apparently on the decline. Brady is even older at 42 – turning 43 next August. And he is on the decline as well, albeit not as sharply. Why would the Chargers want to switch an old quarterback on the decline for an even older one who would probably have an even shorter time span as a result? This just does not make sense. If the Chargers did want to find a new quarterback, it wouldn’t be in the form of yet another grizzled veteran on their last legs.
Not the Best Option for Tom Brady Either
Part of the logic behind why Tom Brady would supposedly want to go to the Chargers is because of the whole hometown state thing. And that kind of makes sense, since the other two California teams are set at quarterback for the immediate future with Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo – and the other remaining team is on its way to Vegas. And Brady would certainly have an upgrade in weapons. He’d have Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekeler, as opposed to Julian Edelman and… not much else right now.
But the issue would be playing with a team that typically does not have good offensive lines. 2019 was no exception. For several years, Brady’s tended to struggle more when he’s under pressure. Not to mention that he’d be taking a lot more of a beating than he was in New England. That would certainly accelerate his decline. If he were to actually end up looking for a new team, the Indianapolis Colts might be one of the best fits given that their offensive line actually is good – and that their quarterback situation isn’t entirely set in stone. At his age, how well he’ll be protected is something he should consider in order to avoid a more untimely exit. Sure, he’s been doing a lot of quick-release plays in recent years. But there’s no guarantee that a new team would run the same kind of offense the Patriots have been.
In conclusion, this move probably wouldn’t be best for either side, but especially not for the Chargers. Assuming they do move on from Rivers, they’d be better off signing/trading for another quarterback that isn’t in his late 30’s, or drafting a quarterback with their sixth overall pick. Justin Herbert seems to be a likely option in the latter scenario. It’s also possible they do something like bringing back Rivers and drafting Herbert at the same time.
This “Tom Brady to the Chargers” rumor was easy to dismiss during the season. But now that it’s actually picking up some further steam, this needed to be addressed. The Chargers shouldn’t have much interest to begin with. And for Brady, the grass may not be greener on the other side because of the lack of pass protection. Hopefully, this rumor will be put to rest soon enough even if Brady does end up looking for a new squad.
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