Buccaneers formally announce Tom Brady signing

"He possesses the type of rare natural leadership qualities that will immediately impact our entire organization."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Bruce Arians. –AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio

Tom Brady, the only NFL quarterback to win six Super Bowls, is headed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The deal, which had been expected to be completed since reports leaked Tuesday, is a multi-year contract with the 42-year-old quarterback, according to a statement released by the Buccaneers.

“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,” said Jason Licht, Tampa Bay’s general manager. “He possesses the type of rare natural leadership qualities that will immediately impact our entire organization.”

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Licht was a scout for the Patriots when the team drafted Brady in 2000.

“Tom is the most successful quarterback in the history of our league, but what makes him so special is his ability to make those around him better,” added Bucs coach Bruce Arians. “I have had the privilege to work with some of the best passers in our game, and the characteristics they all possessed were the ability to lead and get the best out of their teammates. Tom is no different.

“He is a proven winner who will provide the leadership, accountability and work ethic necessary to lead us to our goal of winning another championship.”

Brady’s deal is by far the most momentous of an already busy offseason in which several teams, including the Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, and Carolina Panthers, have sought new quarterbacks. But with six rings and no desire to slow down, Brady is easily the biggest acquisition in the Tampa Bay franchise’s 44-year history.

Brady, who turns 43 in August, will be out to show that he can lead a team not overseen by Bill Belichick, his only head coach in the pros. In a league with a salary cap that limits how much each teams can spend on its entire roster, Brady has several times avoided the free agency market and took less money to remain in New England before entering free agency this season.

The Buccaneers joined the hunt for Brady after appearing to have lost patience with quarterback Jameis Winston, who is an unrestricted free agent. Arians is considered an offensive mastermind. Last season, Arians’ first with Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers had the third-best offense in the NFL, averaging nearly 400 yards a game.

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