FILE - From left are file photos showing Bruce Arians, Tom Brady and Jason Licht. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL football team will have a conference call to introduce the teams new quarterback Tom Brady, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Tampa head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht are expected to be on the call. (AP Photo/File)

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians talks Brady, 2020 Season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians seemed elated when he addressed the media on Wednesday.

As he should be. Tampa Bay secured arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time at the start of the 2020 NFL free-agency period. 43-year-old Tom Brady will take over the reins for the Bucs in his 21st season in the NFL.

According to head coach Arians, the Bucs looked at Brady long before the free-agency period began. He says that the team did their due diligence and had him pinned as the top quarterback this offseason.

Earlier, Brady announced he would not be returning to the Patriots on March 17 via two tweets titled, “LOVE YOU PATS NATION” and “FOREVER A PATRIOT” respectively.

Many speculated, including Arians, that Brady would be looking for a challenge to take on in free agency. According to Arians, Brady chose to come to Tampa Bay for just that reason.

Additionally, Arians says that the team needed a leader coming into free-agency. He says that Brady fills that role, and is someone who knows how to win.

When Arians refers to weapons, he’s not talking about small-time receivers. The Buccaneers boast a dangerous receiving corp headed up by three-time Pro Bowler Mike Evans. Chris Godwin and OJ Howard round out a pass-catching group that is objectively an upgrade to that of Brady’s in New England in 2019.

The Jameis Winston problem

Before Brady, Jameis Winston filled the quarterback role for Tampa Bay. A fifth-year player from Florida State, Winston became one of the most polarizing players in football in 2019. He threw for over 5,100 yards and tallied 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions (The first player in NFL history to throw 30+ touchdowns and 30+ interceptions in a season). Tampa Bay finished 7-9 in 2019 under Winston.

The “Winston problem” was one that many Bucs fans argue over. To some, he’s a developing star who only needs to work out the kinks in his game. To others, Winston is a gunslinger who will never develop past where he is. Either way, the Bucs made their decision on the matter in March when they signed Brady.

For Winston, the road does not end in Tampa Bay. As an unrestricted free agent, he can sign anywhere he chooses. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, however, Winston’s market may be shrinking.

About Steven Walker

Steven Walker is a beat writer for ESPN Gainesville and is currently studying Journalism & Sports Media at the University of Florida.

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