Remember all those New England Patriots rumors that centered around an Odell Beckham trade over the last few years?
Before Tom Brady left in free agency 12 months ago, fans were enamored with the speculation because OBJ would have given the Pats the weapon they needed to keep the best quarterback in the history of the sport in town.
Instead, nothing came to fruition, but even after Brady left there were rumblings about a potential blockbuster trade with the Browns, which has led a lot of those around the league to believe the superstar wideout could be on the trade market this offseason.
And take a guess who wants him!
Here’s what NFL insider Adam Schefter said on ESPN’s “Get Up” Monday morning:
"“While Tampa Bay and Tom Brady might want Odell Beckham Jr. there, can they fit in his contract? Can they make that work? I guess you could always try to make due with whatever you want, but I think it’s challenging to fit a wide receiver in at that number on top of everything else they’re trying to get done there.”"
Just imagine this. Patriots fans might riot. The Bucs have laid out the red carpet for Brady. They drafted him another stud offensive tackle to get him premier protection. They brought Rob Gronkowski to town for a fourth-round pick and paid him a handsome salary. They signed Antonio Brown even after head coach Bruce Arians had contrarian comments about a potential pairing.
Now, if they bring Beckham to Tampa, the Patriots will look like absolute failures in so many ways. They couldn’t make their QB happy. They couldn’t add weapons to the offense. They couldn’t diversify the playbook.
While this scenario is highly unlikely given the Buccaneers’ salary cap situation and their need to retain a number of star players (Chris Godwin, Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David, Gronk and others), the mere buzz about it is enough to make Pats fans feel uneasy.
You mean to tell die-hard Bostonians that the franchise couldn’t bend and cater to Brady’s needs after all he had done for the franchise across 20 seasons? Bill Belichick was a big reason for the team’s epic run, but Brady got all of the work done on the field, whether it was keeping his team alive late in games, managing the offense well in highly-contested defensive battles, or leading the charge in offensive shootouts. He was able to do it all.
All it took was one year, an extremely favorable situation, and a coaching staff/front office that is willing to listen more intently, and Brady already captured his record seventh Super Bowl. And say the Bucs let Godwin go, trade for OBJ, and ensure their pass rush stays intact.
Then Brady could very well be looking at No. 8.