Thursday is very likely to be Tom Brady day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady, 42, and the Buccaneers continued to discuss details of his contract late Wednesday. With a new collective bargaining agreement in place and Brady several states away, the two sides were working to clarify mutual and mutually exclusive obligations.
One of the holdups: Brady’s physical.
The NFL prohibits players from entering team facilities as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. Contracts, including trades and free agent acquisitions, typically require completion of a full medical exam from a team physician before they can be signed as official.
However, several teams have modified their approach to make moves this offseason. For example, the Indianapolis Colts completed a trade for DeForest Buckner with the San Francisco 49ers when Buckner’s now-former team provided a thorough and current evaluation to the Colts and general manager Chris Ballard.
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported Brady would undergo a full physical Thursday in New York City.
Brady announced early Tuesday morning that he was continuing his football career but moving on from the New England Patriots.
Since the news of Brady’s imminent deal with Tampa began, the Buccaneers — who averaged just over 50,000 per game at Raymond James Stadium last season — have an extensive wait list for season tickets.
The Buccaneers did not commit to signing Jameis Winston, their former No. 1 overall pick, and will allow him to leave in free agency with Brady in the fold.
Reeling in Brady would present a coup for a franchise that has a history of close seconds. It finished runner-up for Brett Favre, had a deal with Bill Parcells (even a signature on a cocktail napkin) and was left at the altar by Chip Kelly.
The shift could be swift and significant. Already the team is among favorites for the Super Bowl according to oddsmakers.
ESPN reported Thursday that veterans had already begun reaching out to Brady and the Buccaneers about signing with the team.
Among high-profile names circulating in Tampa is Rams running back Todd Gurley. Getting Gurley from Los Angeles would require a trade, but the Buccaneers are otherwise on strong footing across their offense. The Rams and Gurley, who has a degenerative knee condition, have met to discuss his future with the franchise. His contract could be a hurdle for Tampa Bay.
–Field Level Media