The biggest NFL story of the year was reported on Saturday as ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington reported that the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, would be hanging it up after 22 seasons. While there is some pushback from Brady's camp, it appears that Brady won't play again and he is simply waiting to announce it himself. Regardless of when that announcement comes, one thing is for certain, the LA Chargers should be happy.
The Chargers shouldn't be happy because Brady is out of the league (even if he has a 7-2 career regular-season record against the Bolts). Instead, Brady retiring could have a domino effect that puts the Chargers in a better position in 2022.
Yes, Brady is playing in the NFC South and could not be any further from the AFC West. However, Brady retiring could keep another elite, all-time quarterback from playing the Chargers twice a season.
Tom Brady retiring could prevent the Chargers nightmare of Aaron Rodgers joining the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos appear to be the current favorite to land Aaron Rodgers with a rumor that Rodgers might even try to team up with Davante Adams in Denver. It does not take a rocket scientist to explain why that would be bad for the Bolts, especially when they already have to play Patrick Mahomes twice a year.
The one potential thing that could keep Rodgers out of Denver is the fact that the AFC West (and the AFC as a whole) is quite loaded. Not only would he have to play Mahomes and Justin Herbert four times a year, but he would also have to go through the likes of Josh Allen and Joe Burrow in the playoffs.
The easiest path to winning the Super Bowl is in the NFC, ESPECIALLY if Tom Brady is no longer playing. Brady retiring not only makes the NFC wide open for Rodgers, but it gives the future Hall of Famer a potential new place to play.
The Bucs would have to do some salary-cap maneuvering but they are obviously built to contend for a Super Bowl. Brady leaving puts the Bucs in a weird spot where the team has a lot of talent but no captain to lead them. A rookie is not going to make a Super Bowl run and the other options (the Kirk Cousins of the world) are not great either.
Rodgers is obviously the best-case scenario replacement for Tom Brady and the Bucs without Brady suddenly becomes the best-case scenario for Rodgers. Sure, they would not be able to bring Davante Adams with him, but this is a team with a great offensive line, solid offensive weapons and a great defense. Most importantly, Rodgers would get to play in the horrendous NFC South.
If Tom Brady keeps Aaron Rodgers from coming to Denver then all the Chargers can say is thank you to the GOAT.