Tom Brady is no longer a New England Patriot. Just about eight hours after announcing his career wouldn’t continue in New England, it was reported Brady will end up in Tampa. Yes, you read that correctly, and no this isn’t a joke — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be quarterbacked by Brady. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the two sides have agreed to a deal in principle around $30 million a year.
As surprising as the move may sound, it makes sense why Brady picked the Bucs. For one thing, they were probably willing to offer him more money than the Pats were. He’ll also have a lot more weapons than he had in New England last season. Tampa’s offense currently has playmakers like receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. The Bucs might not even be done adding talent just yet.
Those are just a few legitimate reasons, but we have more less obvious ideas about why he made this decision. Here are 10 of them.
1. TB 12 gets a chance to play as No. 12 in TB
There’s no team that can promote his TB12 brand better than the one that shares his initials:
Please tell me Tom Brady picked Tampa Bay because of the initials— Jeañña (@jeannathomas) March 18, 2020
2. Super Bowl 55 is in, where else, but Tampa
Brady is nothing but purpose-driven in his goal of winning as many championships as possible. He’s won six already — the most of any player in NFL history — but has never had a chance to win a Super Bowl in his home stadium. That could change this season when Raymond James Stadium plays hosts to Super Bowl 55 on Feb. 7, 2021.
3. Everyone goes to Florida to retire
Brady has insisted he wants to play until he’s at least 45, which is 2.5 years away. He’s just inching his way there by doing what most older New Englanders do once they call it a career: move to Florida and play a lot of golf.
Now he can truly become a Florida Man!
4. He misses Gronk
Rob Gronkowski was Brady’s most reliable weapon through most of the 2010s. After the Patriots’ win in Super Bowl 53, the tight end decided to retire. Brady obviously missed him on the field — four different Patriots tight ends combined for just 37 catches in 2019 — but maybe he also just misses him as a friend,
Perhaps Brady heard that Gronk, who recently signed with the WWE, was slated to appear in Wrestlemania 36 in Tampa next month and thought it was the best way to reconnect with his former No. 1 target. Although Wrestlemania has since been moved to the WWE’s Performance Center, Orlando is only a 90-minute drive from Tampa.
5. Brady has secretly wanted to play for a “Bucs” team this whole time
Brady went to Michigan in the late-90s, back when the Wolverines used to beat Ohio State on the regular rather than once a decade. Since being in the NFL, Brady has lost numerous bets to former Buckeyes, including one-time teammates Mike Vrabel, Nate Ebner, and John Simon:
Maybe Brady was converted, and knowing that he could never publicly betray his alma mater, signed with the Tampa Bay Bucs as an excuse to finally say “Go Bucs” with a clear conscience.
6. Brady wants to start his career how he finished
As we’ve all heard at least eight million times by now, Brady was a sixth-round draft pick. He’s spent his whole career trying (successfully) to prove people wrong.
It started by supplanting one No. 1 pick, and it looks like it’ll end that way too:
For the 2nd time in his career, Tom Brady will replace a QB drafted 1st overall.— Evan Kaplan (@EpKap) March 18, 2020
Drew Bledsoe with the Patriots
Jameis Winston with the Buccaneers
7. Bruce Arians will probably give him a hug and mean it
Bill Belichick is famously ... taciturn, if you want to get SAT-y; grouchy, if you don’t. He is not a man who is going to pour his heart out. Instead, he’s the kind of coach who will be extra hard on the star quarterback so as to not give him preferential treatment.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians, however, is gregarious and open. He’s a players’ coach who can give Brady the affection he’s been missing in his entire NFL career.
8. Kangol gang!
Belichick isn’t exactly up to date with the latest fashion trends. That’s not to say Arians is particularly fashion forward either, but at least he and Tom can have Kangol parties together.
In retrospect, the clues were there all along pic.twitter.com/8kVAg2kv0M— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) March 17, 2020
Just two wild and crazy guys.
9. He’s way closer to the beach than he ever was in New England
Downtown Tampa is just 25 miles east of Clearwater Beach, which was named the best beach in America for the second year in a row in 2019. But he doesn’t have to drive that far to get near the water — the whole city of Tampa is pretty much surrounded by water. No, Brady will not soon be spotted strolling amongst the locals in St. Pete or Clearwater’s beaches, but this is an obvious perk New England doesn’t have. The nearest beach from Gillette Stadium? Carson Beach, which is currently 43 degrees.
10. He can live in Derek Jeter’s multi-million dollar mansion
Yes, Jeter has a place in Tampa, and it’s an absolute palace. His 30,000-plus square-foot “house” includes seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two three-car garages, and boat docks for five boats. Yeah, this place would do for Brady and his family while they get settled in Florida:
Jeter, who spends most of his time in Miami as the Marlins’ CEO, may have played a hand in convincing Brady to join the Bucs:
Source tells me Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, Bill Gates & @TBLightning owner Jeff Vinik had dinner Sunday night @bernssteakhouse in Tampa.— Scott Hanson (@ScottHanson) March 18, 2020
Brady & Jeter (who lives in Tampa) - friends for years.
Gates / Vinik developing real estate & infrastructure in downtown Tampa.
Huh, maybe Jeter was just looking for the one person who could afford to sublease his mansion.