By Emily Cortes
One of the National Football League’s (NFL) greatest quarterbacks decided to make a major play. During a time when all professional sports are canceled throughout the nation, Tom Brady officially announced that he will no longer continue playing for the New England Patriots. Tampa Bay will welcome him as their newest Buccaneer, with a two-year, $50 million contract to seal the deal.
Brady began his football career at the University of Michigan and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. The Patriots were the only team Brady had played for, until now. Brady spent all twenty seasons as a Patriot, bringing them to nine Super Bowls and winning six of them–no other NFL player currently holds that honor. He also broke a record by winning four Super Bowl MVP awards. His track record, his knowledge of the game, and his experience under Patriots general manager Bill Belichick rightfully label him as the greatest quarterback of all time.
For 20 football seasons, the country was divided from New England by their hatred for the Patriots, and this will not end because of Brady’s move. This type of alienation is a key part of experiencing national sports as a Boston sports fan. The nation was collectively shocked by Brady’s announcement, especially New Englanders, however, we didn’t feel “betrayed” by Brady and we understood his decision.
A lot of Pats Nation did not like or agree with Brady’s choice to go to the Bucs, but non-Pats fans viewed it as, “leveling the playing field.” Most can also agree that the Patriots and the NFL will never be the same. One theory of Brady’s motivation to sign with the Buccaneers could be his payout. Although extremely successful with his personal brand, he never received as large of a payout from the Patriots as one would expect for the greatest quarterback of all time.
The other is his knowledge and skill in football being handed down to an underdog team. Brady was an essential member of the Patriots team on the field, as well as their coaching staff on the sidelines. He has proved himself, not just as a player, but an expert in his craft. Brady needed a team that would allow him room to help his teammates grow so he could be an efficient leader.
Brady has created one of the largest sports empires on the market with his brand, TB12, 12 being Brady’s staple number. Many are curious as to what number he will represent for the Buccaneers. The team’s official website has begun selling a blank template Brady jersey with the number twelve on the back, even though the team’s official roster for the new season has yet to be released.
The Buccaneer’s current number 12, Chris Godwin, stated that he has spoken with Brady, but the “number conversation” was not discussed. Godwin did offer his number to Brady, upon request, but many speculate he will leave his number behind with the Patriots organization.
Emily Cortes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org