TAMPA, Fla. — In one of the most unlikely free agent signings in NFL history, quarterback Tom Brady, winner of six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, has joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been synonymous with defeats for the past decade.
But as crazy as it sounds, ten months later Brady led a franchise that finished 7-9 last year and won the Super Bowl twice in the last decade, the Bucs’ second-best performance in the big game. For the first time in NFL history, the team will host the Super Bowl in its own stadium – and take on the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of the three-game, Week 12 loss.
So much has happened professionally and personally for Brady during this time, from learning a new way to go to work each day to competing in the NFC for the first time and managing a new offense under coach Bruce Arians. It was not without its ups and downs, but there were also moments of triumph and a lot of laughter. Check out the events and moments that marked Brady’s first season with the Bucs.
17. March 2020: Brady plates with the letters
Brady signed a two-year, $50 million contract to play for a Bucks team that hasn’t played in the postseason since 2007. But it was a chance for him to start over and do something new for the first time in 20 years, and Tampa Bay’s offensive playmakers were attractive. Brady said: I’m ready to give everything I’ve had in my career to be the best I can be, to help this team be the best it can be.
2. April: Brady moves into Derek Jeter’s house.
In an unprecedented move for a former Bostonian, Brady moved to St. Petersburg, on Davis Island, home of former New York Yankee legend Derek Jeter. When Howard Stern asked what happens if the washing machine breaks down, Brady said I call and knock on his door and he fixes it. Everyone thinks they want to own a house and it’s nice to rent. You get all the benefits without the liability, so that’s fine with me.
Tom Brady has hired former Yankee star and current Marlins general manager Derek Jeter for his waterfront mansion just outside Tampa. Jenna Lane / ESPN
But it was short-lived, as Jeter put the house up for sale. Brady and his family have since moved.
7. April: Brady accidentally walked into the wrong house
In an effort to keep his game away from offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and put social distance on himself, Brady went to what he thought was Leftwich’s house, but ended up in the house next door. I’m sitting here, and I see a big shadow outside my door… and I hear my doorknob turn… and I say, “What the hell is this? For example: Who’s coming to my house? Owner David Kramer told TMZ. He just says: I have the wrong house!
21. April: Brady reunited with Rob Gronkowski after trading
The Patriots traded Gronkowski to the Bucs for a fourth-round pick. The meeting resulted in stories…. A lot of stories… All season long, with hilarious roundups on Zoom and even a few epic wannabes. Brady remembers a mid-season when Gronk was getting ready for a QG photo shoot and wasn’t feeling fit, so he asked Brady to get some exercise. They had a pitching session on the baseball field in the rain.
The bullet never hit the ground, Brady said. And then he said [low voice, trying to sound like Gronkowski]: It was great. It was perfect. It was exactly what I needed. I’m torn. And he was ready for the photo shoot because we practiced together for a day.
TomBrady’s impersonation of @RobGronkowski >>> all ever pic.twitter.com/NruCfE7V4w
– Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Pirates) December 31, 2020
The following week, Gronk responded by mocking Brady’s face as he struggled after firing the fireball in the Kentucky Derby. Just to see his face after that, kind of disgusted, kind of: Do I put this alcohol in my body? … It’s him. It’s him: How am I going to pitch next week?
24. April: Brady comes out of the park, meets the mayor (sort of)
During a press conference ordered by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, a city employee saw a man working in a downtown public park and told him to leave. That was Brady.
In an open letter to Brady four days later, Castor Tom writes, I apologize for the misunderstanding that occurred when you arrived – it’s not the best first impression. But given my experience in law enforcement, I couldn’t resist asking someone to investigate the Mouth that ran through one of our beautiful city parks. No offense, but thanks for being so nice.
Beaver has closed the letter, Tom, it’s Tampa Bay. You win the Super Bowl, and we’re talking about Tampa Brady.
If that happens, will she keep her word?
24. May: Brady rips his pants after an epic golf swing
At the game: As the winner of the charity golf tournament, one of the few live televised sporting events at the height of the KOVID-19 blockade, Brady was paired with Phil Mickelson to face Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods. Brady struggled all day and was teased by anchorman Charles Barkley. But Brady did make a birdie at the 7th. Find the photo of his life and tell Barkley: Chuck, shut up. Brady then had an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction and subsequently tweeted: Thoughts sought in social distance, I believe.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for the Game
13. September: Brady suffers his first loss as Buc
In his debut for the Buccaneers in New Orleans, Brady made two interceptions, including a pick-six for Janoris Jenkins, while Donovan Smith’s left tackle allowed two sacks in the 34-23 loss. But what drew even more attention was that Arians later publicly pointed out Brady’s mistakes.
Arians said he looked like Tom Brady all the time in practice, so it’s pretty unusual to see that in baseball, because they didn’t do things we weren’t prepared for. Everything they did, we thought we were ready for. It didn’t please Brett Favre, a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, who said of the Arians, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. Brady later said he appreciated Aryan’s rigorous coaching.
4. October: Brady comes back from a 17-point deficit
Brady overcame a pick-six in the first half to win 38-31 over the Los Angeles Chargers. This is the second biggest comeback in franchise history and Brady’s biggest comeback since he scored 28-3 in Super Bowl LI. How can you not believe in him? A great catcher, Scotty Miller said. He’s the best who ever did that.
Tom Brady made five touchdowns to lead Tampa Bay to a victory over the Chargers. James Gilbert/Getty Images
At 43, Brady became the oldest player in NFL history to score five touchdowns in one game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. It also marked the beginning of a cultural change in Tampa Bay. I can say in all honesty that if it was last year, we would have been beaten by 20 points. Tom, um… He is never far away in his mind, so we can always play to win games.
9. October: Brady forgets he’s on the fourth step of thestage.
Trailing 20-19 for the Bucs with 38 seconds left in the first half, Brady was unable to surround Cam Brate on fourth-and-6. After the pass was deemed incomplete, the television cameras zoomed in on Brady, who blinked four fingers and looked confused. Brady said after the game that he was more focused on the yardage than the plush. Brady, however, managed to make fun of it a few days later. To congratulate LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers on his fourth NBA title, Brady tweeted a superimposed image of James’ head on Brady’s body holding four fingers.
Congratulations to my brother @KingJames for winning his fourth championship. Not bad for a decrepit old man! pic.twitter.com/mm0fylMbS7
– Tom Brady (@TomBrady) October 12, 2020
18. October: Brady gets his first win with the Bucs.
With the Packers ahead 10-0 in the first quarter, Brady threw two touchdown assists, including one to Buccaneer Gronkowski, and Ronald Jones scored two more goals in what may be the Bucs’ biggest win of the regular season. This is only the second time in franchise history that the Bucs have had no penalties in a game, after Brady stuck his tongue out in the loss against the Bears. Before Brady’s arrival, the Bucs were the team with the most shutouts in the championship with 133 in 2019. They finished the year 2020 with 84 penalty points, 11th place in the championship.
27. October: Brady pulls the Bucks over to get Antonio Brown.
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duo Winfield Jr. His father
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Ronald Jones believes in him again.
Despite Brown’s well-documented off-field problems and Arians’ initial explanation that Brown had no place in the Bucs’ locker room, Brady, who had lobbied for months for the Bucs to contract Brown, finally got what he wanted. Brady said he didn’t think he was putting his own reputation on the line by taking Brown under his wing and letting him stay home.
A lot of people are not born with the same advantages that I have, they are not born with the same background and support system that I have, Brady said. I think a lot of the joy in my experience comes from seeing other people do better and succeed in raising a family. I think for me it’s a very important aspect of football.
8. November: Brady suffers worst loss against Bucs. Saints sweep
Without leftback Ali Marpet, who missed the game because of a concussion, Brady was under pressure on 46 percent of his shots, a record in his career. He scored no touchdowns and made three interceptions in a 38-3 loss, the worst of his career. Tom Brady suffered an overall loss of 3.8 in Week 9 in Tampa against the Saints, his worst one-game loss since the QBR was first recorded in 2006. AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio
According to the Aryans, they kicked us every step of the way.
11. November: Brady loses berth, jet ski during tropical storm Eta
During his first tropical storm as a Florida resident, Brady tried to secure his jet skis by tying them to his dock. Except the scaffolding’s broken. They were about 300 yards from someone’s house and I got a lot of messages from people talking: Hey, man, are those your jet skis? – Brady said. They’ve been repaired. We dragged her back.
Brady and the Bucs couldn’t overcome two steals and a 17-0 deficit, but managed to bring in the three points in a 27-24 defeat – the fifth game between Brady and Mahomes to be decided by one point or less.
The defense struggled all game to put pressure on Mahomes and cornerback Carlton Davis was overtaken by the speed of Tyreek Hill. We were 7-5… I didn’t feel so good, Brady recalls. We felt we needed to find our rhythm.
CBS color commentator Tony Romo made this prediction for the LV Super Bowl: I think there’s more than a fair chance that… I don’t even know what percentage will be here in Tampa.
13. Dec 2020 3. Jan 2021: Brady continues to tear up until end of regular season
After losing to the Rams and Chiefs by three points in nine days, Brady and the Bucks had a week off. They won four in a row, with Brady throwing 12 touchdowns and an interception in the final four games of his career. Among those actions, the Falcons marked a turning point in the offense with a 17-point return. The second part of the [Falcons] game – it’s been on fire ever since, Arians said.
Tom Brady got his first playoff win with Washington in the 2002 season. Jeff Burke/USA TODAY Sports
9. January: Brady won his first playoff victory since the 02season.
All week in Washington at the second game, Chase Young said: Tom Brady, I’m leaving. But instead of firing Brady, he approached him to congratulate him after the Bucks’ 31-23 win over Washington, and Brady promised to send him a jersey.
Brady threw for two touchdowns, while Donovan Smith’s left tackle was perhaps one of the best plays of his career, said Leonard Fournette, a junior running back. We believe in him. We’ll cover ourselves to make sure he gets that chance.
17. January: Brady beats Brees in divisional round thanks todefense
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In the first game of the postseason with two quarterbacks over 40, Brady tweeted about himself and Brees using age-enhancement software and the History Channel logo. But while the game was heralded as a battle between two legendary quarterbacks, the Bucs’ defense ultimately led them to the NFC Champions Game.
The defense recorded four strikes, three of which led to Bucs touchdowns.
After the game, which could have been Brees’ last, the two quarterbacks hugged each other on the field, with Brady throwing a touchdown pass to Brees’ son, Bailen.
24. January: Brady, Bucs defense ahead of Aaron Rodgers, at Super Bowl LV
For the Bucs’ second win in 25 years, Brady threw three touchdown passes, including an impressive 39-yard pass to Scottie Miller just before halftime after running for a fourth try. Arians said we didn’t come here to risk not winning the game.
Despite three interceptions by Brady in the second half and the Bucs having to forfeit their two starting safeties, the defense managed to stop Rodgers five times and hit two shots.
At the presentation of the trophy after the game, Arians said Fox had given everyone in the organization assurances that it was possible. It only took one person.
Tom is the scapegoat, Miller said. He’s probably the main reason we are where we are.
After the game, Brady found his oldest son, Jack, in the stands to talk to him about it: I love you, baby! What do you mean? ! We’re going to the Super Bowl!
This moment between Tom Brady and his son ❤️.
(via @NFLFilms) pic.twitter.com/rFfsdvRYRm
– ESPN (@espn) 25. January 2021
frequently asked questions
How old is Tom Brady’s contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Current contract Tom Brady has signed a 2-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that guarantees $50,000,000 and includes an average annual salary of $25,000,000.
When did Brady go to Tampa Bay?
Brady signed a two-year, $50 million contract to play for a Bucks team that hasn’t played in the postseason since 2007. But it was a chance for him to start over and do something new for the first time in 20 years, and Tampa Bay’s offensive playmakers were attractive.
How many seasons did Brady spend in Tampa Bay?
The Buccaneers won two playoff games and reached the NFC championship for the first time in 18 years thanks to Brady, who turned around a Tampa Bay franchise that began the year with a 13-year postseason drought.
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