Tom Brady to the … Detroit Lions?

Admittedly, this one isn’t my brainchild. Truth be told, I don’t think it’s happening, but it’s a noteworthy idea, especially since it’s coming from one of the largest football sites out there. On Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio floats the idea that Tom Brady could go to the Motor City.

Take a peak at some of Florio’s initial reasoning:

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.

Nov 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) greet after the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

He goes on:

I know, I know. Goff doesn’t deserve to suddenly find himself swirling in a storm of speculation. But the reality is that, when he arrived in Detroit two years ago, no one believed he’d be anything more than a short-term solution. He has played well enough to be traded to a team that needs a starter, and there could be one or two teams looking for one after the looming game of signal-caller musical chairs ends.

As the quotes suggest, the Lions do have some great young talent in town. My mind instantly goes to Amon-Ra St. Brown, a still-underrated receiver who is a nightmare to cover. One has to assume that Tom Brady would love throwing the ball to him.

The presence of D’Andre Swift, Kalif Raymond, Frank Ragnow, Penei Sewell, Taylor Decker, and Aidan Hutchinson (among others) makes the team even more appealing.

Nevertheless, the chances of this happening are incredibly small. Brady still hasn’t decided whether he’s returning in 2023. If/when he does, he’ll be looking to go somewhere that gives him a tremendous opportunity to win a Super Bowl. Detroit is coming off an impressive 9-8 season and their offensive coordinator – Ben Johnson – is fantastic, but one has to assume there are better opportunities elsewhere.

Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (left) and head coach Bill Belichick (right) walk off the field following the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The most obvious connection is in Las Vegas given that Josh McDaniels – the longtime OC in New England – is the sheriff in town. The issue, of course, is that the Raiders might be further away from the Super Bowl than the Lions.

Strong teams with a bit of QB uncertainty include (but aren’t limited to) the Ravens, Titans, and Packers (some have even speculated that the Vikings could be in the mix, but that’s not happening). Heck, he could go back to the Bucs. He might even retire.

Vikings-Lions Preview
Dec 4, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) celebrates a sack with linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (44) against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

If the unexpected happens and he does go to Detroit, then the Vikings would likely be viewed as underdogs for the NFC North. Given the first-round disaster and Detroit’s strong end to the season, the Vikings were always going to be doubted going into the 2023 season. Adding to greatest player of all-time (it isn’t close, folks; Brady takes the cake) would catapult Detroit into the unfamiliar territory of being the favorite for the division.

Last season, Tom Brady completed 66.8% of his passes as he piled up 4694 passing yards. He had 25 TDs, 9 INTs, and a 90.7 quarterback rating. He led Tampa Bay to a division title but they were quickly eliminated from the playoffs.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.