"I think Jameis would have made a big jump, but I think with Brady, it just makes us an automatic contender for a Super Bowl," Barrett told ESPN's "Get Up!" on Tuesday. "With Jameis, I think we would have been a playoff contender. It would have been still a battle, for sure, and it's still going to be a battle now, but having Tom, I think we're going to be over the edge, and everything on paper looks perfect. We just gotta put the work in."
During Winston's five-year stint with the team, he posted a 28-42 record and the Buccaneers didn't make the playoffs. Tampa Bay, which has now missed the postseason for 12 straight campaigns, let the former first overall pick leave in free agency this offseason.
The Bucs' last playoff victory dates back to the 2002 season when the franchise won its first Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, excluding his injury-shortened 2008 season, Brady missed the postseason just once (2002) during his legendary tenure with the New England Patriots. The future Hall of Famer led the Patriots to consecutive Super Bowls from 2016-18. He's appeared in and won more championship games than any other quarterback in NFL history.
After signing Brady, the Buccaneers also acquired tight end Rob Gronkowski from New England.
Barrett, who won Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos, made his first career Pro Bowl in 2019 after leading the league with 19.5 sacks.