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ProFootballDoc: Brady And Buccaneers Poised To Repeat

Tom Brady is one of a kind and now the Tampa Bay team is doing unprecedented things. All 22 Super Bowl Champion starters are slated to return through contract restructuring, new contracts and the franchise tag.

This has not happened in the salary cap era. When you win, it makes it harder to repeat as players want more money. The last time a team returned all championship starters in 1979, the Steelers repeated. Are the Bucs destined to do the same?

Many say the NFL stands for Not For Long. The average length of a NFL playing career for someone who makes a roster is 3.3 years. One-third turnover on a winning team is typical. Two-thirds or more turnover on a rebuilding team is the norm. Besides contractual issues and the cap, injuries take a toll. On average a third of the roster has surgery in a given year.

The Chiefs returned 20 of 22 starters from the previous Super Bowl and made it back to lose to the Bucs. Now KC is undergoing a significant overhaul starting with its offensive line.

This doesn’t mean Tampa Bay’s roster won’t change. Antonio Brown is still unsigned. In addition to the starters, there are 31 roster spots to be won and there will undoubtedly be turnover but the fact that the Bucs return all 22 starters is still noteworthy and significant. Injuries can also derail the plan but Brady’s knee surgery should not prevent the QB’s return.

Brady will be cited as taking a team friendly contract to allow more room. Perhaps he should get more credit as a “magnet” to players wanting to win. Certainly, Bucs management deserves lots of credit in making this happen. 

Let’s see if history repeats itself. The Super Bowl Champion Steelers repeated when they returned all starters. Will the Buccaneers be able to do the same? If you believe this will happen, right now FanDuel has Tampa Bay at +800 to repeat and that is a nice return.

Written by Pro Football Doc

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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