Tom Brady expected to choose Buccaneers: Longtime Patriots quarterback to start new chapter in Tampa

The moment the entire football world has waited for appears to be close. After months of speculation surrounding the future of Tom Brady, the six-time Super Bowl winner decided one day after legal tampering began to say goodbye to the only NFL team he’s ever known in the New England Patriots. While it took him an exceedingly prolonged amount of time to announce that decision, his follow-up punch should be less of a wait, as Brady appears to be headed to Tampa to play for the Buccaneers.

“At this point there’s every reason to believe Tom Brady will be playing for Tampa Bay next year,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reports. “Sounds a little strange, but get used to it. Barring something unforeseen that’s where it’s headed.”

And with that, Brady’s first-ever go at NFL free agency should end with him taking over a Bucs team ready to move on from Jameis Winston following a unfortunately historic season wherein he heaved 30 interceptions to go along with 33 touchdowns. 

Winston did what he could to strengthen his chances of remaining in Tampa, i.e., opting to undergo LASIK surgery to improve his vision, but head coach Bruce Arians — who has been consistently flippant about Winston’s chances of being re-signed — opted to instead franchise tag Shaq Barrett and let the former first-round pick take his talents elsewhere. For Arians and Bucs general manager Jason Licht, the decision between Brady and Winston was a no-brainer, considering the resume of the former versus the waffling potential on the latter.

Brady, 42, didn’t play his best football in his final season with the Patriots though, and it led to many speculating if Father Time was finally catching up to him. The receiving corps, or lack thereof, was a key reason for his downturn in production, but he won’t have that issue in Central Florida. The four-time Super Bowl MVP will now tandem with two-time All-Pro receiver Mike Evans, an explosive target who can operate in both short and deep yardage, along with the ascendant Chris Godwin and a pair of talented tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, which should help Brady improve over his previous year.

There were several suitors in the race for Brady, including the front-running Los Angeles Chargers, but it’s the Bucs who won him over.

Brady’s long kiss goodbye to the Patriots was one wrought with rumors surrounding the team’s lack of value for their longtime QB, but owner Robert Kraft shot down such talk, making it known things could’ve been worked out to keep Brady in a Patriots uniform — had he wanted to stay put. He obviously did not, and the move sends shockwaves throughout multiple organizations. The Patriots must now find a quarterback for both now and later, and teams who were all-in on landing Brady are still without one as well. 

In his time with New England, Brady not only earned the aforementioned six championships, but also four Super Bowl MVP nods, three league MVP awards, 14 Pro Bowl appearances, five All-Pro honors, and much more — including having already been named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. 

The Buccaneers could do much worse than adding a quarterback with such an obvious first-ballot resume to their ranks, and they hope it makes them an instant contender in the process, because eventually (and likely very soon) Father Time will prove he actually is undefeated. 

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