By Steve Keating
The face of the New England Patriots for two decades, Brady will have a new home after agreeing a one-year deal worth $30 million according to a report on NFL.com.
"Excited humble and hungry," Brady said on an Instagram post with a picture of him signing what appeared to be a contract. "If there is one thing I have learned about football, it's nobody cares what you did last year or the year before you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day.
"I'm starting a new football journey and thankful for the @buccaneers for giving me an opportunity do what I love to do."
Florida may be the retirement capital of the United States but Brady, who has said he wants play until he is 45, still has work to do.
"Tom is a proven champion who has achieved greatness on the field because he demands the best out of himself and his teammates," said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, who was a scout for the Patriots in 2000 when they drafted Brady.
"I’ve known Tom since we drafted him in New England 20 years ago and through this process it became very clear that his desire to be a champion burns as strong today as it ever has."
The Buccaneers have not made the NFL postseason since 2007. In two decades with the Patriots, Brady led the team to six Super Bowl championships in nine appearances, along with a record 30 playoff wins.
No other NFL player has switched teams after 20 years with one employer and now Brady will try to become only the second quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams.
Brady, who turns 43 in August, will lead a Tampa Bay offense that ranked third in scoring last year under quarterback Jameis Winston. The number one overall pick in the 2015 draft, Winston had a strong arm but threw a league high 30 interceptions.
It has been years since Brady has had as many explosive athletes at his disposal as he will have in Tampa. His weapons will include 1,000-yard receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and pass-catching tight ends in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.
Tampa hosts the Super Bowl next February and it is clear Brady believes the Buccaneers provide him the best opportunity to add to his trophy case, which also includes four Super Bowl most valuable player awards.
On Feb. 3 the day after this year's Super Bowl, the Buccaneers were given 66-1 odds to hoist the Lombardi trophy next season. Those odds dropped as low as 12-1 as news spread of Brady's impending signing with Tampa, according to sportsbetting.ag.
A certain first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible, Brady was a lightly regarded prospect coming out of college, the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
In the second game of the 2001 season, Brady took over as Patriots quarterback after veteran Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury. Brady led that team to the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl victory and went on to put together one of the greatest careers in NFL history.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Kevin Liffey and David Gregorio)