NFL Insider Insinuates ‘Potential’ Tampering by Buccaneers With Tom Brady in 2020

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady may have been tampered with in 2020, Mike Florio says.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David may have said too much about Tom Brady‘s time in Tampa, and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Forio jumped on it.

Florio suggests that David accidently indicated that the Buccaneers talked with Brady before he joined the team in 2020, which would qualify as illegal tampering per NFL rules. The conversation came about in an exit interview with former Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, David shared during the “Rich Eisen Show” on May 4.

“I just remember in the exit meeting, talking to Coach BA,” David said as transcribed by “You know, you have a one-on-one with the head coach. I just remember him saying, ‘If we don’t get Jameis [Winston] back, we are going to get someone in here for you to get us over the hump . . . get us to the Super Bowl. “And he literally said this, ‘And it might be The GOAT.’”

“I’m like, ‘What do you mean, it might be The GOAT?’ And he’s like, ‘It might be 12,’” David added.

The Buccaneers’ season ended in January 2020 that year before the playoffs, and Arians talked about Brady at the NFL Combine in February 2020 as Florio noted. While the David conversation is “not necessarily evidence of tampering,” Florio wrote, it begs the question if the Buccaneers contact Brady “prematurely” as Florio noted.

“Then, after they signed him, they mobilized to sell the narrative that they didn’t talk to him at all before the official start of the league year,” Florio wrote. “Sure.”

Tom Brady Involved in Tampering Late in His Career

Florio added that there was a history of Brady being tampered with such as the Miami Dolphins‘ attempts in 2019 and 2022. The Dolphins lost a first-round draft pick because of it.

“Ultimately, Brady was going to do whatever he wanted to do. And he wasn’t going to let something annoying like the rules to interfere with that,” Florio wrote.

Either way, the Buccaneers benefitted in the end as the team won a Super Bowl, two NFC South titles, and made three-straight playoff appearances during Brady’s stint. He retired in February 2023 after 23 years in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Buccaneers.

Lavonte David Describes Baker Mayfield’s Arrival

As David told Eisen, the Buccaneers found another leader in quarterback Baker Mayfield after Brady’s retirement. It took some time though.

“From the outside, you never [knew] what you were going to get from Baker if you didn’t know him personally,” David said as transcribed by “This was just from what the media said about him and all of that stuff. But when you finally get to meet somebody — you never want to judge a book by its cover. You actually get to meet him and get a chance to talk to him, you understand why he is the person he is.”

Mayfield signed with the Buccaneers in 2023 after a tumultuous 2022 where the former No. 1 pick spent time with three different squads. He turned things around and led the Buccaneers to another NFC South title and the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

“All we asked for him is just to be himself,” David said. “We know he can be a great football player — he was a Pro Bowler this past year.

“We know he can be a great football player. We know he can get us to where we want to be as a football team. All we told him was to be himself and no matter what, we’ve got your back.”