Wide receiver: Harold Carmichael ($1)
Not only is Carmichael the only Hall of Fame option at wide receiver, it’s also his birthday. At 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, Philadelphia’s all-time leading receiver was a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and well worth his $1 price tag.
Pass-rusher: Reggie White ($5)
With bargains at quarterback and receiver, there’s plenty of room in the budget for White’s 198 career sacks, second-most in NFL history. The “Minister of Defense” made 13 Pro Bowls and received eight first-team All-Pro nominations.
Defensive back: Brian Dawkins ($5)
Even at top-dollar, “Weapon X” feels like a bargain as arguably the most excitable player in franchise history. In 13 years with the Eagles, Dawkins had 34 interceptions, 32 forced fumbles, 21 sacks, 16 fumble recoveries and four touchdowns. He’s one of five players in NFL history with 30 interceptions and 20 sacks and would make a great captain for this hypothetical team.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Quarterback: Tom Brady ($5)
For years, Brady took less money to keep the Patriots in contention, but gets no discount for this exercise. His seven Super Bowl rings and GOAT status make it impossible to choose anyone else.
Wide receiver: Keyshawn Johnson ($2)
With unlimited funds, Mike Evans would be the obvious choice. He has nine straight 1,000-yard seasons and more yards than any receiver in Buccaneers history. Johnson had six catches for 69 yards against the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. His career yardage is half of what Evans has, but if Brady was his quarterback, Johnson might have twice as many championships.
Pass-rusher: Warren Sapp ($2)
Have you ever had a cashier give you too much change at the grocery store? That’s how it feels to see Tampa Bay’s all-time sack leader with a $2 price tag. He recently announced he’ll be joining Deion Sanders’ Colorado staff in 2024, but for now he can play with this team.
Defensive back: John Lynch ($3)
Ronde Barber’s 92-yard pick-six in the 2002 NFC Championship Game could be the most iconic moment in Tampa Bay history. But with $3 left in the budget, the former Bucs safety and current general manager of the San Francisco 49ers gets the nod.
Lynch had 1,051 tackles and 26 interceptions in his Hall of Fame career, and just signed a multiyear extension to remain with the 49ers. He seems to do better with late-round quarterbacks, so he’ll fit well with Brady.
The Eagles and Buccaneers meet for real in the first of two matchups scheduled for this Monday night.