Tom Brady, starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This is not a sentence I’d ever expected to write, even with the expectation that he wouldn’t re-sign with the New England Patriots. But this is no joke, this is real life, and the six-time Super Bowl champion’s next season will be played down in Florida.
We’ve known about this news pretty much since Tuesday but the Buccaneers announced the signing for real on Friday.
Updated: Tom Brady's contract details with Tampa, sources tell ESPN: 2 years, $50 million deal, all guaranteed, that also includes another $9 million in incentives - $4.5 million in incentives per year. The contract also prohibits tags and trades.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2020
Now the Buccaneers do not play the Seattle Seahawks this regular season, but they do play the Los Angeles Rams, at which point we may or may not all be massive Tom Brady fans depending on when this game is played and where these teams are respectively in the season standings.
Tampa Bay has a great wide receiver tandem in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, so if Brady struggles, it’s not going to be because those two suddenly aren’t any good. One would assume that the allure of playing even with an ancient Brady could attract more free agents to join Bruce Arians and company.
While there’s no need to rehash Brady’s accomplishments, expectations will surely be high for Buccaneers fans. Why? Because they haven’t made the playoffs since 2007 and Super Bowl 37 doubled as their most recent playoff victory. Coincidentally, the Super Bowl win came in the only season in which Tom Brady was a healthy starter but missed the playoffs.
Brady’s official departure from the New England Patriots is Seahawks relevant in the sense that New England is at Seattle this season. For a little fun fact, this year will be the Patriots’ third trip to CenturyLink Field, but Brady will have only taken part in one of these games. In 2008, Brady missed virtually the whole season with an ACL tear and was replaced by Matt Cassel, who led the Pats to a 24-21 win over the Seneca Wallace-led Seahawks, and 2020 will be... Jarrett Stidham? Andy Dalton? Cam Newton? Who knows, but it won’t be Tom. It’s very possible that the “U mad bro?” game in 2012 will be Brady’s only ever appearance at the CLink.