Tom Brady is leaving the New England Patriots, the only team he’s ever known, after 20 years of glowing seasons.
17 of those seasons, Brady helped carry the Patriots to the playoffs. 14 times during those seasons, Brady was named to the Pro Bowl. He helped win 6 Super Bowl titles. And even on his own, he was named MVP 3 times. That’s a lot of notches in his belt.
According to many sources, he’ll be carrying that belt to the field of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next. NFL Network reported that Brady had reached “an agreement in principle” with the Buccaneers by Tuesday night – less than 24 hours before he was left available as a free agent by the long-anticipated end of his 10-year contract with the Patriots. The new deal is rumored to have $30 million written into the contract.
And it’s not hard to see why: all those belt notches certainly explain why Bucs coach Bruce Arians seemed to have his eye on Brady since even much earlier in the season. At the NFL scouting combine, his quick answer when asked which quarterback he was ready to call was, “Tom Brady” – accompanied by a hopeful smile.
Brady took to Instagram to share his feelings on the end of an era yesterday.
“To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK, and the Kraft family and the entire organization,” he said. “I want to say thank you for the past twenty years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning culture built on great values. I am grateful for all that you have taught me — I have learned from everyone. You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can hope for. Everything we have accomplished brings me great joy and the lessons I have learned will carry on with me forever. I couldn’t be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you. I have benefited from all you have given me.
I cherished every opportunity I had to be a part of our team, and I love you all for that. Our team has always set a great standard in pro sports and I know it will continue to do just that. Although my football journey will take play elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM accomplishments. I have been privileged to have the opportunity to know each and [every one] of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.”
As of yet, there is no official announcement or signing date, although it is highly anticipated.