Report: Tom Brady has agreement to join Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Years from now, people will wear Tom Brady pewter jerseys as an ironic fashion statement.

Brady, for better or worse, will continue his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers barring a late change. On Tuesday evening ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Tampa Bay is the “expected landing spot for Tom Brady barring anything unforeseen” and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Buccaneers had agreed in principle with Brady. The deal will be worth about $30 million per season according to Rapoport, who also reported that the Bucs were the only known team to make a formal offer.

The Buccaneers were never shy about their interest in Brady, going back to coach Bruce Arians mentioning Brady by name at the NFL scouting combine. Brady’s arrival means Tampa Bay is officially moving on from Jameis Winston.

Now we get to see if Brady’s second act is a regrettable one like Joe Namath with the Rams, or something much better like Peyton Manning with the Broncos. Regardless, we’ll remember Brady with the Buccaneers for a long, long time.

Tom Brady moves on

It will be bizarre to see Brady in a Buccaneers uniform. (Thankfully, the team is getting a uniform redesign and going back to the pewter look of its lone Super Bowl championship team.)

Brady announced Tuesday morning he was leaving the Patriots after 20 years. Very few players are more connected with a sports franchise than Brady is with the Patriots. He won six Super Bowls with New England, which is a record. No matter what happens in Tampa Bay, Brady will be remembered first and foremost as a Patriot, of course.

But we also remember legends when they hit their second act, like Michael Jordan with the Washington Wizards or Willie Mays with the New York Mets. Add Brady and the Buccaneers to the long list of all-time greats who have found an unusual new home near the end of their careers.

When Brady comes out on opening day in a new uniform, the first time that has happened since he played for Michigan in the 2000 Orange Bowl, it is going to be surreal.

How do the Buccaneers and Brady fit together?

The Buccaneers are a curious landing spot for Brady. There wasn’t a huge market for him when he finally announced he wouldn’t return to the Patriots. The Buccaneers and Chargers were the only teams that were reportedly interested, and the Chargers seemed to be out of the running quickly.

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Tom Brady at training camp, preseason in 2019
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Tom Brady at training camp, preseason in 2019
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady laughs with receiver Matthew Slater (18) after drills at the Detroit Lions NFL football training facility, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, in Allen Park, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and teammates congratulate wide receiver Maurice Harris (82) after his touchdown during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady winds up to pass during an NFL football training camp practice, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) watches quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) throw a pass during an NFL football training camp practice in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, July 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots defensive lineman Michael Bennett, left, speaks with quarterback Tom Brady, right, during NFL football training camp, Sunday, July 28, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady steps on the field at the start of an NFL football training camp practice, Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass during an NFL football training camp practice in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, July 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is seen during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Thusday, August 8, 2019 (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
New England Patriots WR Demaryius Thomas (88) talks with QB Tom Brady (12) as they walk off the field after an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Thusday, August 8, 2019. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - AUGUST 08: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts after losing the coin toss prior to playing the Detroit Lions in a preseason game at Ford Field on August 08, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - AUGUST 08: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts to his teams second quarter touchdown while playing the Detroit Lions during a preseason game at Ford Field on August 08, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Tampa Bay went 7-9 last season and other than a few years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, has mostly been one of the worst franchises in the NFL. But the Buccaneers could argue that they have talent, and a 30-interception season by Winston cost them a handful of wins. The Buccaneers obviously figure that with better quarterback play from Brady, they can be a playoff team.

The Buccaneers do have offensive talent. Chris Godwin and Mike Evans might be the best 1-2 receiver combination in the NFL. Brady’s skill set doesn’t really fit Arians’ style of offense, which is heavy on deep drops for the quarterback and a downfield passing game, but presumably Arians is planning to tweak his scheme to fit what Brady does well at this stage of his career.

We’ll see how Brady works out in Tampa Bay. Hopefully he lasts at least a couple seasons. Tampa Bay is scheduled to play at New England in 2021. That would be a must-see event.

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