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Tom Brady Makes It Official, Signs With Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady talks with the media after the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 4 in Foxborough, Mass. Brady announced that he's going to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Maddie Meyer Getty Images
Tom Brady talks with the media after the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 4 in Foxborough, Mass. Brady announced that he's going to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As odd as it may seem, it became reality Friday: Tom Brady as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The man who quarterbacked the New England Patriots for the past 20 seasons and brought the franchise six Super Bowl championships posted to his Instagram on Friday: "I'm starting a new football journey."

"Excited, humble and hungry ...if there is one thing I have learned about football, it's that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day," Brady wrote.


He's pictured with a pen in his hand, appearing to be looking over his new contract.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Brady signed a two-year deal for a guaranteed $50 million with another $9 million in player incentives.

The Buccaneers said Friday that the team shored up its quarterback position "in the boldest way possible, signing the player commonly referred to as the 'greatest of all time.' "

The announcement caps a remarkably frenetic week in the league, which just kicked off the start of its 2020 league year on Wednesday.

A day before, the 42-year-old Brady bid farewell to the only franchise he's played for — the one that famously drafted him with pick number 199 in the 2000 NFL draft.


"I wanted to say thank you all of the incredible fans and Patriots supporters. [Massachusetts] has been my home for twenty years," Brady said in a statement posted to Twitter. "Pats Nation will always be a part of me."

In a separate Twitter post he said: "FOREVER A PATRIOT"

The Buccaneers will now be considered among the favorites to win the Super Bowl when the season is slated to start later this year. There will be added pressure on the franchise, not just because of the legacy Brady brings with him, but also that Tampa is scheduled to host Super Bowl LV in February 2021.

Brady playing in the NFC East also means he'll be in the same division as another all-time great and fellow quadragenarian, Drew Brees.

The 41-year-old Brees, the NFL's all-time passing leader (Brady is second), re-signed with the New Orleans Saints this week in a similar $50 million, two-year deal, according to an report.

That means when the season gets underway there will be at least two scheduled match-ups between Brees and Brady's teams in the regular season.

But when the season will begin is uncertain.

Because of fears associated with the spread of the coronavirus, the NFL has followed other sports leagues and collegiate athletics in suspending their seasons or offseason training programs.

The NFL announced this week it was going to "indefinitely delay the start of team's offseason programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

It made no mention about if the regular season, which begins in September, will be postponed. The NFL did say the upcoming draft "will proceed as scheduled April 23-25."

Sean Payton, the head coach of the New Orleans Saints, indicated this week that he was suffering from the disease caused by the coronavirus. He's the first known case in the NFL.

"Appreciate the well wishes. I'm feeling better and fortunate to not have any of the respiratory symptoms. 4 more days at home.#BEATCovid," Payton wrote on Twitter Thursday.

The NFL said the primary concern was about Payton's health, but added: "This news underscores the importance of everyone following the advice from medical and public health experts to protect themselves and others."

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