Tom Brady has found a sunny new home in Florida.
The 42-year-old has chosen to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the upcoming NFL season, after announcing his shocking departure from the New England Patriots on Tuesday morning.
“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 that…you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day,” Brady wrote on Instagram. “I’m starting a new football journey and thankful for the @buccaneers for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do.”
He added, “I look forward to meeting all my new teammates and coaches and proving to them that they can believe and trust in me…I have always believed that well done is better than well said, so I’m gonna not gonna say much more – I’m just gonna get to work! #Year1.”
“In mid-February, the Bucs recognized that Tom Brady was serious about free agency,” ESPN’s Jeff Darlington previously reported. “And they immediately became serious about him, lurking in the background with the belief they had all the elements Brady was looking for. And this week, they got their chance to prove it.”
Along with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Buccaneers had long been listed as one of the favorites to land Brady in the offseason. The addition of Brady instantly makes Tampa Bay a contender to win its first Super Bowl championship since 2003.
“Tom Brady has 5 times as many playoff wins, 6 times as many Super Bowl wins and 7 times as many 30-TD seasons as all the Buccaneers’ QBs in the team’s history,” added Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Buccaneers fans will now get to see if Brady can replicate the unparalleled success he experienced with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, which saw them win nine conference titles and six Super Bowl victories over the 20 years he spent with the franchise.
Despite what he accomplished in New England, rumors began swirling in recent years that Brady was looking to exit the team.
The rumors began to pick up this offseason and reached a crescendo when the Brady family reportedly moved out of their Massachusetts home and relocated to Greenwich, Connecticut, in January.
The Boston Herald then reported that a March phone call between Belichick and Brady about the quarterback’s future “didn’t go well,” and with free agency just a few weeks away at the time, the writing was on the wall.
Brady joined the Patriots when the team selected him with the 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. While he initially played back-up to starting quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, Brady took over the job when Bledsoe went down with an injury in the second game of the 2002 season.
He then led the Patriots to a Super Bowl berth against the then-St. Louis Rams, resulting in the first of his championship victories with the franchise.
When announcing he would not return to the Patriots, Brady thanked the fans who have supported him over the years.
“I love your commitment and loyalty to your teams and winning for out city means more than you will ever know,” Brady wrote on social media. “… I have been so blessed to share them with you all.”
“I tried to represent us always in the best and most honorable way, and I fought hard with my teammates to help bring victory and triumph even in the most dire situations,” he continued. “You opened your heart to me, and I opened my heart to you.”
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