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Does Tom Brady make sense for the Giants?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

A former Patriots quarterback-turned radio host believes Tom Brady could be the next quarterback of the Giants. Or at least Scott Zolak said on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub he was told by a “very connected” source not to “fall asleep” on the possibility.

But at the very least, you can probably hit the snooze button once or twice.

Really, though, at this point who knows what Brady’s future plans entail? As he drags out what is fast becoming the most painfully overhyped, overanalyzed decision since LeBron James went on TV to announce he was taking his talents to South Beach, Brady is either riding the slippery slide toward free agency on March 18, or he’s not. He’s either heading to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, East Rutherford, or staying put in Foxboro, Mass.

He may have purchased a mansion in Greenwich, Conn., after also looking for estates in Alpine, N.J., or not. He also may or may not own a luxury apartment in Tribeca, where he may or may not be living with his wife, Gisele.

And it’s possible any of that information could be really significant.


Or possibly – maybe even probably — not.

Confused? Join the club. But one thing is clear: To turn Zolak into Zoltar (Google it, kids), the Giants would have to do a lot of backtracking, course correcting, and reversing of fortunes. Here’s why the 42-year-old Brady and the Giants aren’t exactly a perfect fit:

They’re not made of money

Brady didn’t wait all this time for his first shot at free agency to sign a bargain contract with someone outside of New England. He’s going to want his $30 million per year, probably more, and given his age the cap hit can’t really be stretched out over a lot of years in a long-term deal.

So assume that number is going to be pretty close to the cap hit for whomever signs him, and that’s pretty close to half of what the Giants have to spend. Now, they didn’t plan on being big spenders in free agency anyway, but they do have needs and holes to fill. If they give $30 million to anyone, it basically takes them out of the top three shelves when shopping in the rest of the market and relegates them to the bargain bin the rest of the way.

For a team that needs help at offensive line, defensive line, linebacker and the secondary (for starters) that doesn’t seem to be a smart way to go.

Ummm, hello? Daniel Jones?!?

Hey, remember him? Yes, the Giants have a promising, young quarterback whom they selected with the sixth overall pick in the last draft. Any thought of adding Brady involves the idea that the Giants would push Jones to the bench for a year. Of course, Brady likely isn’t looking to play somewhere just for one year, so assume it’s at least two. So, all that promise Jones showed last season, all the hope he built, all the progress he made? They’d just have to get back to that in 2022.

Oh, and by then Jones will be headed into the final year of his rookie deal (before the more expensive fifth-year option), so the Giants will have wasted those valuable years when they had a cheap quarterback running the show.

Doesn’t make sense, right? Really, there’s nothing good that can come out of Jones sitting behind Brady for two years (or more), either financially or for his development. This whole thing really only makes sense if the Giants were to trade Jones, say to New England, which would need a quarterback and liked Jones before the draft. No doubt the Giants could get a big haul for him if they decided to go that route.

Of course, then they’d be stuck with a quarterback who turns 43 in August so they’d really have to start thinking about his successor. Who knows? Maybe in two years the Patriots would be willing to trade Jones back.

Is he looking to tarnish his legacy?

There isn’t much Brady can do to completely tarnish a career that leaves him in the conversation of Greatest Quarterback ever, but nobody wants to write a terrible ending to wonderful story. He’s already made it clear that the driving force behind his upcoming decision will be getting another chance to win a championship.

And does anyone really think the Giants are close to that?

Remember, signing Brady would eat up about half their cap room, which means they won’t have much of a chance to immediately improve their awful defense and shaky offensive line. That means Brady, at an advanced age, will be putting himself in a position to get physically battered and with no support from a defense, and there’ll be no sign of help on the way.

(Hmmm … an aging quarterback with diminishing skills behind a bad offensive line and with no defensive support … feels like we’ve read that story somewhere before).

Surely the Chargers, Raiders or Titans are better positioned for a quick run at a title. The Giants are probably still a couple of years away. Why would Brady want to spend his final NFL seasons looking … well, like Eli Manning, struggling on a team with which he has no real shot to win? 

This isn’t Brady, 2007 … or even Brady, 2017

By the way, Brady may be the G.O.A.T., but at 42 he wasn’t the same as Brady at 40 or any of his younger years. Sure, he’s better than a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL, but not nearly as many as he used to be. Maybe he didn’t have the same caliber of team around him this past season in New England, but watching him, when he arguably put his worst numbers since 2006, it was hard not to see a quarterback beginning a decline.

In other words, for all the excitement of Brady being a free agent, this isn’t exactly Patrick Mahomes hitting the open market. Do the Giants really want to bet big on the notion that, at age 43 in August, those signs of decline weren’t real?

Sure, just postpone the rebuild … again

In Dave Gettleman‘s first couple of seasons he was criticized – a lot – for seemingly waffling on a rebuild, for simultaneously making moves for the future while also making moves for the present. He seemed to want to rebuild and win at the same time, which confused everyone and obviously didn’t work.

He finally admitted that, by the way. And with a roster that will have at least 10 starters next season who have been in the NFL three years or fewer, the Giants have finally embraced their path and their fate.

So how does a soon-to-be 43-year-old, possibly declining quarterback fit into a rebuild plan that probably still has another two years to go? Easy answer: He doesn’t. If you thought you were confused by Gettleman’s moves before, imagine the backbends he’d have to do to explain signing Brady now.

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