In case you’ve missed it, Tom Brady will be playing football in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform next season. The long-time New England Patriots quarterback officially signed a two-year, $50 million contract on Friday, confirming the once unbelievable. Dating back to before the Patriots’ early postseason exit, much was made about the financial implications of Brady’s next team and how it would impact his ultimate landing spot.
On Saturday, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times penned a behind-the-scenes column of “How the Bucs got Tom Brady to leave the New England Patriots for Tampa Bay.” In the story, Stroud details the 42-year-old’s meeting with Bucs brass, including one – the only – surprising request Brady made after signing his new deal.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Brady never talked about money. In fact, it was last on the list of priorities that his agent, Donald Yee, had to discuss when the Bucs called at noon Monday as the NFL’s free agent negotiating period began. Brady signed a fair deal: two years, $50 million guaranteed. He can earn another $9 million with performance incentives.
A physical was arranged with an independent doctor in New York, where Brady was with his 12-year-old son, Jack.
Brady never asked for control of the offense. He knew that Arians, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and special assistant Tom Moore would collaborate with him on game plans. He didn’t ask for any specific players to join him. He didn’t even ask to wear No. 12, which for the moment belongs to Godwin.
In fact, there was only one request Brady had after he had signed: He wanted the phone numbers of all his new Bucs teammates.
Brady’s gesture doesn’t come as a huge surprise given his long-standing reputation as the ultimate teammate. The latest example came in the form of personal, heartfelt comments in reply to goodbye Instagram posts from his former teammate in New England.
The veteran signal caller will now transition to an offense headed up by head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator and former NFL QB Byron Leftwich. The skill position firepower at Brady’s disposal should also offer an upgrade with Pro Bowler WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin flanked by former first-round TE O.J. Howard and seventh-year TE Cameron Brate.
For more NFL updates, follow Chris Licata on Twitter: @Chris__Licata