Bucs Trade for Tom Brady’s Ex-Teammate, 2-Time Super Bowl Champ: Report

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady is back for another run with the Buccaneers.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already begun making moves to build around Tom Brady. The Buccaneers agreed to a deal with the Patriots to acquire Brady’s former starting right guard Shaq Mason in exchange for a fifth-round pick.

“Terms of the trade …Buccaneers get: G Shaq Mason. Patriots get: 2022 fifth-round pick,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer tweeted. “Mason is due $7.5 million this year, $8.5 million next—affordable numbers for a starting guard (less than Alex Cappa got). The Patriots save $7.125 million on the cap.”

Mason has been a starting offensive lineman for the Patriots for the last seven seasons, including 15 appearances in 2021. The guard earned a stellar 85.2 grade from Pro Football Focus last season. Mason was part of two Super Bowl winning teams with Brady in New England.

Hours before the trade was announced, Tampa Bay also solidified their third receiver spot by agreeing to terms with former Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage.

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Mason Has 2 Seasons Remaining on His 5-Year, $45 Million Contract

Mason has two seasons remaining on his five-year, $45 million contract and is set to have a $6.5 million salary in 2022, per Spotrac. Despite opting to trade Mason, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been a big fan of the guard’s play throughout his career.

“Shaq’s done a good job for us from the time he got here,” Belichick said in August 2018, per Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub. “He came from an offense that was quite different from ours [at Georgia Tech] and he adapted quickly and did a real good job of learning new techniques. He’s an athletic player that has good strength, good balance, an excellent run blocker, can pull, run and hit.

“He’s gotten better each year and he’s done a good job for us. He and Joe [Thuney] and David [Andrews] – those three guys have played a lot of football together and they’re young. Hopefully they can continue to play a lot for us in there.”

Brady Called Mason One of His ‘Great Friends’ in 2019

Brady has also been complimentary of Mason throughout his career. During a 2019 interview, Brady referred to Mason as one of his “great friends.”

“What they’ve done this year, from Trent [Brown] coming in in a trade from San Francisco; Joe Thuney in his third year and starting three Super Bowls; David Andrews, another Georgia Bulldog,” Brady noted in January 2019, per NFL.com. “…But then one of my great friends, Shaq [Mason], at Georgia Tech, where we’re practicing. …They’re just a great group. They work so well together. They got the best O-line coach [Dante Scarnecchia] in history coaching them who holds those guys to such a high standard every day. They’re the heart and soul of our offense.”

Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith believes the trade has Brady’s finger prints on the deal. The Buccaneers were already able to re-sign Ryan Jensen and Aaron Stinnie to solidify their offensive line but lost Alex Cappa to the Bengals.

“This is undoubtedly the kind of move Tom Brady wanted the Bucs to make when he decided to come back,” Smith tweeted on March 15. “He doesn’t want some fifth-round rookie with potential. He wants someone who can help him win now. He likes Mason from their time together in New England.”