by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
Tampa, FL — After years of being under valued financially, long time New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady decided to become a free agent on Monday, and made a decision to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday according to reports. Brady signed a two-year deal with $50 million guaranteed, including $9 million in incentives, that includes a no trade clause.
Brady was the 199th pick in the sixth round out of Michigan, yet no one knew of his greatness until he stepped on that big stage in the 2000 Super Bowl in place of injured starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe. From that point Brady hasn’t looked back and since that debut, he’s appeared in nine Super Bowls. He’s won six titles (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI, LIII), a four time Super Bowl MVP, three time league NFL MVP, a 14-time Pro Bowler, and was recently named to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
All of the accolades mentioned were for one time, the Patriots. Many thought Brady would be the one players to finish out his career with one team. But the last couple of years have been rocky for the organization, head coach Bill Belichick, and Brady. The controversy between keeping Brady or moving forward with then Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, where Belichick was forced to trade Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers and hold on to Brady. That caused a huge rip between coach and player, along with the lack of giving Brady resources to flourish successfully, didn’t help matters any. The last memory we’ll all have of Brady in a Pats uniform is an interception that was returned for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in a opening round playoff game in Foxborough at Gillette Stadium.
After returning from a Costa Rican vacation with wife Gisele Bundchen, Brady knew his career was far from over and wanted to leave the game on his terms. But how did the Bucs even come into the picture? The team that made the most sense for Brady would’ve been the Los Angeles Chargers. However their inability to close the deal, made it better for the Bucs to lock Brady in for the next two seasons.
According to NFL Network’s Scott Hanson, Brady, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, Bill Gates, and Miami Marlins minority owner and Yankees great Derek Jeter had a dinner meeting on Sunday night. At the Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, Brady and Jeter who have been friends for years, along with Gates and Vinik who develops real estate in downtown Tampa, encouraged Brady to make a decision to join the Bucs.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians who has a history with quarterbacks, thought the Brady effect would be a good fit for the team on and off the field. Brady’s $30 million per season contract comes with significant weapons in Mike Evans, Chris Goodwin, OJ Howard and Cameron Brate. Both Goodwin and Evans finished with more yards receiving than New England’s top five wide receivers combined last season. As the Bucs continue to improve the offensive line, the team is not done adding weapons. In free agency, the Bucs could address their running game with trying to add Melvin Gordon or possibly adding Todd Gurley via trade if the Rams decide to part ways.
Brady will have an immediate impact on the economy in Tampa much like how he would have a similar impact in Los Angeles for the Chargers. How much does Brady aka the GOAT have left in the tank at 42-years old? Brady keeps himself in immaculate shape physically and nutrition wise.