Tom Brady entered the free agent market a year ago with six Super Bowl rings, 249 career victories, three league MVP awards, four Super Bowl MVP awards and the title of GOAT. The quarterback doesn’t believe he was much of a risk for the Bucs.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians follows a “no-risk-it, no-biscuit” philosophy, but Brady’s history made him as safe a free agent signing as there is. The only question was Brady’s age: He turned 43 at the start of the 2020 season.
“I’d like to think that I wasn’t that much of a chance after a lot of years,” Brady said. “Becoming a free agent and then having the opportunity to continue my playing career, I love the opportunity that presented itself here, which is ultimately why I chose here. I really love the coaching staff. I loved the players that they had. I looked at those players and thought, ‘Wow, these are really great players. This would be a good opportunity for me.’ Obviously, a different conference and a different division – all of that I didn’t quite know about. In the end, I just [had] a lot of different choices. I don’t want to revisit them all, but I’m pretty detailed and thorough. I went through a process of decisions and thinking about everything that really mattered to me in some way [and] one form or another. Obviously, a lot of family considerations. My son lives in New York and I didn’t want to be too far from him. It just ended up being a great fit and as it’s played out.”
It’s worked out for the Bucs and for Brady.
Brady threw for 4,633 yards with 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in the regular season. It was the fifth-most passing yards of his career and the second-most touchdowns of his career. His 102.2 passer rating tied for the sixth-best in his career.
Better still, the Bucs will play in their second Super Bowl and Brady his 10th.
“I’ve just thought, ‘Wow, this has really been a magical year,’” Brady said. “For me as a player to switch teams, that takes a lot. To move my family, to go to a different conference, to keep building the way we did and develop a rapport with the guys that we have here – so much of football is about the relationships that you get with your teammates [and your] coaches. The fact that we’re still playing feels really good for me and [I] understand that we’ve put a lot into it. Hopefully, we can go finish the job. That would be the best part about the season. It’s always been a goal to win the last game of the year. We’ve got an opportunity to do it. It’s certainly not going to be easy. It’s going to take everything we’ve got. We’re going up against a great, championship-level team, and it’s going to take our best.”