By Harvey Hoffman
Quicker than you can say GOAT, Tom Brady has found a new home after he left the New England Patriots.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the expected landing spot for quarterback Tom Brady, ESPN is reporting.
The news comes after Brady said goodbye to the New England Patriots in a series of Instagram posts on Tuesday, ending his 20-year run with the only NFL team he has ever known.
“Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments,” he wrote.
Brady, 42, leaves New England with six Super Bowl rings and 41 playoff starts since 2001.
In recent years, Brady has repeatedly said that his goal is to play until he is 45, but he and the Patriots couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract extension last offseason. That created a path for Brady to explore his options as a free agent. And after a 2019 season in which he showed visible frustration at times and the offensively challenged Patriots uncharacteristically lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs, Brady told Westwood One radio that he was “open-minded about the process.”
Bucs coach Bruce Arians spoke glowingly of Brady earlier this offseason.
When asked at the NFL scouting combine who was the one quarterback for whom he’d pick up the phone, if available, Arians did not hesitate.
“Tom Brady,” he said with chuckle.
Weeks later, Arians’ “Hail Mary” attempt appears to have landed him the most decorated star quarterback in NFL history.
Brady’s signing will officially end Jameis Winston’s reign as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback.
Winston has long considered meeting Brady one of the highlights of his young career. The two squared off in a nationally televised game on a Thursday night in 2017, with Brady’s Patriots holding off the host Bucs 19-14. It was Brady’s only career game at Raymond James Stadium.
Winston said at the time, “I dream to be able to be the type of quarterback he is for his team to our team.”
The Bucs had hoped Winston could blossom into the franchise quarterback they needed him to be, selecting him first overall in the 2015 NFL draft. But turnovers plagued him throughout the past five seasons, just as they did in college. His 88 interceptions and 111 turnovers are both the most by any player in the league since 2015.