TAMPA — Tom Brady is officially a Buccaneer. Tampa Tom. A Florida Man. Brady announced on Instagram that he is headed to Tampa Bay.
Put the G.O.A.T in the boat at Raymond James Stadium.
Brady, 42, will begin the next chapter in his historic career with the Bucs and seemed eager to get started.
“I’m starting a new football journey and thankful for the Buccaneers for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do,” Brady wrote on Instagram Friday. “I have always believed that well done is better than well said. So I’m not gonna say much more...I’m gonna get to work. #Year1.”
Brady is pictured smiling broadly as he signs what appears to be his new contract with the Bucs.
It’s a two-year worth $50-million, all guaranteed. But it includes another $9-million per year in incentives, $4.5-million per season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Interestingly, Brady insisted on a clause that prevents the Bucs from trading him or designating him as the franchise player, indicating he may want to extend his career.
After 20 seasons with the Patriots, Brady agreed to join the Bucs on Tuesday, rejecting the same offer from the Los Angeles Chargers.
Brady passed a two-day physical he received from an independent physician in New York Thursday and Friday. Due to NFL rules during the coronavirus pandemic, players cannot travel, forcing them to be examined by independent doctors. No contract can be executed without a player passing a physical.
“Tom is a proven champion who has achieved greatness on the field because he demands the best out of himself and his teammates,” said general manager Jason Licht, who worked in the Patriots’ scouting department when Brady was drafted. “I’ve known Tom since we drafted him in New England 20 years ago and through this process, it became very clear that his desire to be a champion burns as strong today as it ever has. He possesses the type of rare natural leadership that will immediately impact our entire organization.”
For coach Bruce Arians, Brady is the best of an elite group of quarterbacks he has worked with, a group that includes Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer.
“Tom is the most successful quarterback in the history of the league,” Arians said. “But what makes him special is his ability to make those around him better. I have had the privilege to work with some of the best passers in our game, and the characteristics they all possessed were the ability to lead and get the best out of their teammates. Tom is no different. He’s a proven winner who will provide leadership, accountability and work ethic necessary to lead us to our goal of winning another championship.”
Unfortunately, there will be no national news conference as the AventHealth Training Center is closed. In fact, it’s possible the Bucs don’t see any of their players before training camp in July.
Bucs players immediately began welcoming Brady to Tampa Bay on social media.
Center Ryan Jensen tweeted, “Let’s go! Let’s work! #firethecannons.”
But with the contract behind him, Brady can focus on relocating to Tampa Bay and begin learning the Bucs’ playbook, if he hasn’t already.
The Bucs didn’t waste any time adding to their offensive line to protect Brady. They reached an agreement with Colts G/T Joe Haeg, who can play all five offensive line positions.
But you can’t blame Bucs fans for being a little anxious, considering their history with runaway brides — like Bo Jackson, Bill Parcells (twice), Steve Spurrier, Jimmy Johnson, Brett Favre, Jake Plummer and Chip Kelly) — but this is a done deal.