Bruce Arians’ abrupt decision to step down as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past week sent massive reverberations throughout the NFL.
Although Arians and the people around him tried to sell the move as him nobly stepping down so that one of his assistants could inherit a strong team, many had their doubts. The timing was just too bizarre.
The issues that Brady and Arians had are a matter of public record. It’s undeniable that they existed. The only question is whether they played a role in what transpired.
Were they the real reason Arians had to step aside?
This week, during an episode of Fox Sports’ Undisputed, broadcaster Shannon Sharpe posited that Brady gave the Buccaneers two options regarding Arians.
“Tom Brady had 99% to do with Bruce Arians stepping down. Brady told BA: you’re stepping down today, we’re going to have a press conference tomorrow and you’ll say all the right things. I believe Tom Brady told management: ‘It’s BA or me.'”
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) March 31, 2022
“Tom Brady had 99 percent to do with Bruce Arians stepping down,” Sharpe said.
“Brady told BA: you’re stepping down today, we’re going to have a press conference tomorrow and you’ll say all the right things. I believe Tom Brady told management: ‘It’s BA or me.'”
Sharpe isn’t the only one under that impression.
Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard’s also believes that something is amiss here.
“If you’re still under the delusion that Tom Brady’s unretirement and Bruce Arians’ retirement two weeks later were unrelated, then I have some prime swampland to sell you,” Bedard wrote.
“Brady loathed playing for Arians and his respect for Belichick professionally grew as a result. Brady still has major issues with Belichick that will likely never go away, but not on the football field.”
Regardless of what anyone says, Brady would not have legitimately considered other options if he were truly happy under Arians. Clearly there was something wrong.
Honest stuff from Paige. https://t.co/60qpv01E5r
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 2, 2022
And where there’s this much smoke, there is definitely fire.
Will Brady and the Bucs rue the day they forced Arians out? Or will it not matter at all who’s coaching the team? An answer to that question will emerge this coming season.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.