After about six weeks of enjoying the retired life, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady took to social media to rescind his decision to step away from the game. He’ll return for his 23rd season at the age of 45 to captain the Bucs for another run at the Lombardi Trophy.
While Brady has made a legendary career out of defying Father Time, but it’s always something fantasy footballers need to keep in mind when adding him in drafts. A selection of TB12 guarantees the need to select a backup with starter capability earlier than anyone would like, but thankfully the position is rather deep.
The Buccaneers franchise tagged wideout Chris Godwin, who is recovering from a torn ACL but figures to be ready for Week 1, barring a setback. Mike Evans returns as the top target in the offense.
After those two, there are plenty of question marks that will be answered in free agency this upcoming week. One has to assume Rob Gronkowski re-signs with Tampa, and then it comes down to the backfield. Both Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones are unrestricted free agents. The offensive line has to figure out what to do with free-agent center Ryan Jensen (update: Jensen re-signed with a three-year deal). Guard Aaron Stinnie was re-signed as Alex Cappa hits the market, and retired left guard Ali Marpet might have second thoughts now.
Tampa has the eighth-least cap space entering free agency, which means several contracts will need to be restructured. The defense is full of key free agents, too, and the team still needs to sign its draft class, which will take at least $10 million. The current projection is more than $3 million in the hole, meaning the front office will need to get creative — and it also will test which players are willing to take a pay cut to make this work out.
Once all of that dust settles, it will be easier to give a more accurate assessment of his fantasy outlook, but Brady remains a No. 1 quarterback … the question is whether it’s the No. 1 or a lower QB1 placement in the rankings.