Tom Brady has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, agreeing in principle to a deal worth $30 million, according to a tweet from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Further details about the deal were not made available, but many expect Brady to be in Tampa for the next two years. After that, TB12 is expected to retire.
While rumors about where Brady might end up have been plentiful, to say the least, Tampa Bay didn't seem to be a true front-runner until this past week. After Brady announced his decision to leave New England on Tuesday morning, the Bucs rumors became much more real. By Tuesday afternoon, Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd had reported that he'd heard Brady signing with Tampa Bay was a done deal. Cowherd said his source was not from the football world, but rather someone who knows the quarterback.
"It is a source of wealth and celebrity connected to sports that knows Tom," he said.
Brady is expected to make things official on Wednesday, as he will be wearing a new jersey for the first time in 20 years.For the past several years, Brady has been reliant on guys like Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski (before he retired), but now, he will be looking forward to a new receiving corps to catch his touchdown passes. Chris Godwin led the Bucs' wideouts with 1,333 yards receiving, 86 catches and nine touchdowns. Mike Evans caught 67 passes, tallying 1,167 receiving yards and hauling in eight TDs.
Godwin's stats for 2019 were the best among Tampa Bay receivers, but he has another number that will likely interest Brady; he wears No. 12 for the Buccaneers, which is the same number Brady wore for the Patriots for 20 years.
Tampa Bay receivers are used to catching passes from Jameis Winston, the Buccaneers' quarterback for the past five years. On paper, the two signal-callers had comparable seasons in 2019, with Winston completing 60.7 percent of his passes to Brady's 60.8. However, Winston actually threw for over 1,000 more yards and nine more touchdowns than Brady last year. Brady brings with him a new mindset -- one that could bring a Super Bowl to Tampa for the first time in 18 years. He also offers two decades of experience and a legacy that makes him a lock as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Winston is set to become a free agent and it's unknown where he'll end up in 2020.The Buccaneers' Bruce Arians will serve as only the second head coach under whom Brady will play. Brady has six Super Bowl championships under his belt and has been named the big game's most valuable player an unprecedented four times. Fans will be interested to see how Brady adapts after playing for Bill Belichick for so long. Arians, known for his gutsy play calling and "no risk it, no biscuit" mantra, may have some interesting ideas in store for his new quarterback.