As the summer nears a close some solace can be taken in the fact that soon, very soon, there will be meaningful football on Sundays once again.
For many, it feels as though the offseason just started. For others, it felt like an eternity. Count Tom Brady as someone likely feeling the latter.
It’s not often you feel sorry for Brady. Multi-millionaire, supermodel wife, likely Canton-bound. But this offseason won’t be one he’s going to remember fondly.
224 receptions; 2,627 yards and 22 touchdowns. That’s what Brady lost in production this offseason between the departure of Wes Welker, the arrest and release of Aaron Hernandez and the likelihood that Rob Gronkowski won’t be ready to start the season following offseason back and forearm surgery.
Sure, the Patriots signed Danny Amendola (63 rec., 666 yards, 3 TDs in 2012) to try to replace Welker. But with his durability a question and the fact that he is not the same threat as Welker not in question, one has to wonder how much fantasy Brady will have this season.
Brady has fallen out of the Top 5 drafted fantasy quarterbacks, going at an average draft position of 39.4 in Yahoo! leagues. It’s hard to argue the fall. Who’s going to stretch the field for Brady? Who’s going to be his security blanket when a play breaks down or a blitz comes? Until Gronkowski returns, and that’s if he can be the same player he was prior to the injury, it’s hard to believe that Amendola can help Brady reach the same heights as he has before.
That said, Brady has made due with less than stellar targets in the past and he has tended to generally protect the ball. Brady still has the same skills and intangibles he’s always had. But, it seems more likely that Brady will be a better real-life quarterback than fantasy quarterback in 2013.