Deshaun Watson was ultimately dealt with.
He’s on his way to the Cleveland Browns.
who isn’t even a competitor to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
After what feels like a lifetime, the Houston Texans have finally traded the “controversial” Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster transaction amid an offseason full of surprises. The Browns, of all teams, are the prize winners after being connected to practically every club in the NFC South.
When Tom Brady was still retired, the Buccaneers appeared to be a serious possibility.
When he returned, they inevitably withdrew from the race. Then it came down to the division’s remaining three clubs, with Watson ruling out the Carolina Panthers.
When it came down to the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, the Browns prevailed and now have their new franchise quarterback to replace Baker Mayfield.
The Browns are trading three first-round picks, and two additional picks to the Texans for QB Deshaun Watson, per sources. Wow. Wow. Wow.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 18, 2022
How does this impact the Tampa Bay Buccaneers though?
On the surface, the solution is not as simple as it appears. The NFC is still mostly a two-team competition.
With Brady back and all of these top players being moved to the AFC, the Buccaneers only need to beat the Rams, who are still looking like an absolute disaster.
That’s the whole National Football League.
When it comes to the South, the division may get a little more heated. The Saints, Panthers,
and potentially even the Falcons are suddenly said to be interested in Mayfield.
Nonetheless, the division in Tampa Bay was “juicy” during Brady’s tenure.
During the regular season, the Buccaneers had epic confrontations with the Saints, but they always came up short.
The essential phrase is “regular season.”
In 2020, when the playoffs arrived, Brady did what Brady does best, and the Bucs
defeated the Saints in the Superdome, thereby ruining their Super Bowl ambitions and Drew Brees’ career. The Saints swept the Buccaneers again in 2021, but only the Buccaneers advanced to the playoffs.
The point is, with another world-class quarterback in the division, the Bucs may lose a few more games, but with Brady, they’ll always have an advantage in the playoffs.
Of course, Mayfield is a year younger than Brees, but he is not as polished a passer.
. He would, however, be an upgrade over whatever the Saints or Panthers plan to put out there. The Falcons’ fate is dependent on what they receive in exchange for Matt Ryan.
At the end of the day, the Buccaneers’ path to the Super Bowl may get a little more difficult, but only just. Watson avoiding the divide may have opened the door for Mayfield to enter, but door number two still had Brady behind it.
Long term, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need to identify their heir apparent, whether it’s Kyle Trask or someone else, to go along with their excellent squad in order to compete with Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo, or whoever’s prospective future NFC South club.
However, as previously stated, the NFC remains a two-team boat race, and thankfully, Tom Brady is captain Buccaneer.