Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. has officially retired from the NFL, ending the most illustrious career in league history and possibly in all of sports.
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2022
It is a somber moment for most fans, even if they despise Brady. He is the single greatest football player to ever step on the gridiron, and the NFL world will dearly miss him; however, the Buccaneers’ loss is the Falcons’ gain — the NFC is up for grabs.
Tampa Bay still has a loaded roster with a more than competent coaching staff, but quarterback is the most important position in all of sports. If Jason Licht doesn’t get it right, they’ll struggle to compete against some teams. I also wouldn’t be shocked if Bruce Arians steps away from football in the near future, which would once again benefit the Falcons.
With Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints and their cloudy quarterback situation, New Orleans will more than likely take a gigantic step back in 2022. Even if they get the head coach hire right and bring in a stable quarterback, the roster will not be as competitive next season as it was in 2021. They’re in dire financial standing with the salary cap, and Mickey Loomis will have to make several difficult decisions on critical pieces heading into the offseason — Michael Thomas, Cameron Jordan, Taysom Hill, Demario Davis, Alvin Kamara, Andrus Peat, David Onyemata, Bradley Robey, and Will Lutz.
Moving on to the Panthers, who have struggled since Matt Rhule took over. Even though I like pieces on Carolina’s defense, they don’t have a decent quarterback, and Rhule just hired Ben McAdoo to be his offensive coordinator — LOL. He replaces Joe Brady, who was fired with five games left in the season. The same McAdoo that spent two years as the head coach of the Giants, where he was extremely underwhelming.
The Falcons have the best quarterback in the division at this point in the offseason, and they’ll look to win their first division title since 2016. Atlanta certainly has upgrades to make across the roster, but if the 2021 draft class takes a meaningful step forward and the 2022 class has a more impactful rookie season than last year’s, the Falcons could once again be NFC South champions.