It’s throw something against a wall and see if it sticks season in some respects, but let’s address the wild Tom Brady to the Detroit Lions theory that’s out there.
I’ll start with where I’m at on Jared Goff. If the Detroit Lions are going to reach their highest ceiling, let’s say winning multiple playoff games or even a Super Bowl, a quarterback upgrade will be in order. But Goff is locked in as the starting quarterback next season, and after that it is a legit question if he will be.
It’s now time for the annual questions around Tom Brady. Will he keep playing, at age-46 by the time next season starts? Will he play for a team besides the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, since he is a free agent? A handful of teams make some sense if he’s going to play and not go back to Tampa Bay.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk stumped for the Lions to be in on Baker Mayfield last offseason. The idea of replacing Goff wasn’t and isn’t ridiculous, when the time is right. And the right replacement option is out there. It wasn’t Mayfield then, and it’s not Brady now.
Tom Brady to the Detroit Lions can’t be made to make sense
Based on the time stamp of the article, 12:44 a.m. ET early Wednesday morning/late Tuesday night depending on the time zone you’re in, Florio just had to get these thoughts out and it couldn’t wait. Writers certainly understand the idea of striking while the iron is hot, and before an idea fades.
But, after “Pro Football Talk Live” co-host Chris Simms threw it out there on Tuesday (How seriously? Hard to say), Florio had to flesh out the idea of Brady to the Lions.
So while coming up with places where Brady may think he would have a chance to win an eighth championship, Simms mentioned one I hadn’t previously considered.
The Detroit Lions.
Wouldn’t that be something? Tom Brady, back in Michigan. Tom Brady, with a Lions team that finished 2022 strong. A Lions team with an impressive nucleus of talented players. A Lions team that quarterback Jared Goff may be able to lead on a deep run in the postseason, but may not be able to take over the top.
Beyond football, there’s a very real business element to wanting Brady. He’d sell every ticket to every game at Ford Field. The Lions also would end up with multiple prime-time games, along with multiple 4:25 p.m. ET contests. In recent years, those games draw even more viewers than games played at night
Florio acknowledged Brady to the Lions as a “dart thrown loosely in the direction of the board.” But Adham Beydoun of Woodward Sports struck it down directly and profanely (NSFW).
There’s no denying the impact Brady would have on the business side for any team he would realistically sign with. But the Lions don’t need any help there, with the league’s biggest spike in attendance from 2021 to 2022 as the final chunk of home games this year were sellouts. There may be something to having more games scheduled in prime national viewing spots because Brady is the quarterback, but the Lions are already in line for more of those next season.
On the field, Brady is not necessarily an upgrade over Goff right now. That alone is enough for it not to make sense for the Lions, leaving aside the cap finances or anything else. If Brady or his camp makes contact, which there’s about a 0.001 percent chance of and despite Florio’s suggestion to the contrary, it will be an easy “no” for the Lions.