If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' plan to pirate quarterback Tom Brady away from the New England Patriots, they may have to pay an unexpected booty.
"Tom Brady, " an honest and direct Arians said.
Arians' phone may soon ring, but it could be league officials calling, not the star quarterback.
Arians and the Bucs may be in violation of the NFL's tampering rules. According to the NFL anti-tampering policy, the "term tampering, as used within the National Football League, refers to any interference by a member club with the employer-employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissibly induce a person to seek employment with that club or with the NFL."
The financial impact of tampering could be considerable for Arians and the Buccaneers based on past actions. In 2016, the Kansas City Cheifs were hit with penalties for "improper contact" with prospective unrestricted free agent player Jeremy Maclin, then under contract to the Philadelphia Eagles. Head Coach Andy Reid was hit with a $75,000 fine, general manager John Dorsey was fined $25,000 and the team not only had to pay $250,000 but had to forfeit two draft picks.
It is probable that Arians, seen as one of the most humorous coaches in the league, will not have his comments put on the same level as what happened to Kansas City, in part because of the Patriots' current attitude. According to NBC Sports Boston, New England will let teams make their moves to gauge the current market value for the 42-year-old signal-caller.
The 20-year veteran is set to become a free agent for the first time March 18h.
The Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans, who have also been linked as potential suitors for Brady, didn't take the bait when the question was thrown their way. Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who played seven seasons with Brady, was asked directly if his team was interested in the quarterback and he smoothly joked and talked around the question.
Brady has trolled NFL fans the last few weeks on his potential next landing spot. During the Super Bowl, Hulu ran an ad titled "Tom Brady's Big Announcement." The commercial starts with Brady walking through a tunnel onto the Gillette Stadium field perceived by many for the last time. Dreary music plays in the background as he expresses how he wants his fans to hear from him first where his journey is headed next before pivoting to speak about the expanded live sports coverage Hulu is now offering.
Just a few days prior, Brady posted on his Twitter account a black shadow of himself walking out of a Gillette Stadium tunnel. No doubt where ever he lands it will be a frenzy.