CBS Sports made a bizarre suggestion this week for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2023.
The national sports media outlet put out a list of the top six landing spots for former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in 2023.
I checked the list out of curiosity and I was beyond surprised to see the Buccaneers included.
Here’s their explanation of why Payton could land with Tampa Bay next year:
Bruce Arians apparently resigned in order to leave Todd Bowles with a solid setup for his second try as a head coach. So it’d be odd if Tampa Bay axes its internal promotion after just one year. But Tom Brady plays a huge role here, and considering he has the power to test free agency again in 2023, his input may well dictate their moves up top. And remember, both Brady and Payton have danced around rumors they were set to join forces with the Dolphins after their separate “retirements.” It’s not hard to envision Brady returning again if it means crafting an offense with Payton, who could help TB12 conquer his Saints demons.
The only explanation from CBS Sports is that this is what Tom Brady might want. But I don’t see how the Bucs could fire Todd Bowles after just one season. The only way that should happen is if Tampa has a terrible year and misses the playoffs. And if that happens, I’m not sure firing a coach to satisfy a 45-year-old quarterback who missed the playoffs would be a wise decision.
If the Bucs make the playoffs, make a run, and then fire Bowles it would be an incredibly bad look by the Glazer family.
This scenario also ignores the fact that if Brady is a free agent he can lure Payton to another team if that what’s he wants, which means the Bucs don’t really have any leverage in this situation.
There’s another layer to this as well — Payton is under contract with the Saints through 2024. New Orleans has to trade him if he returns to coaching. Do we really think they’d trade him to another NFC South team? It’s hard to see that becoming a reality.
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