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Like Ricky Bobby’s dad once said in the movie Talladega Nights, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got Tom Brady, the greatest NFL quarterback of all time.

The Bucs finished first in the Brady Sweepstakes.

Not New England, which won six Super Bowls with Brady at the helm over the past 20 years.

Patriots QB Tom Brady

Patriots QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images

Not Los Angeles, where the Chargers made a big-time push to land Brady and lure him and his TB12 brand to Hollywood with a contract around $30 million – similar to what the Bucs offered.

Tampa Bay won.

Little ol’ Tampa beat big L.A.

Kudos to the Glazers for being willing to open up the checkbook, and to general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians for making the sales pitch of their lives to land the NFL’s biggest free agent since Peyton Manning hit free agency years ago.

The Bucs are in “win-now” mode, in case you haven’t noticed.

The writing was on the wall that the Patriots were ready to turn the page on Brady. New England’s aging roster was exposed in a Week 17 home loss to Miami, followed by a devastating home playoff loss to Tennessee.

Head coach Bill Belichick knew he needed a rebuild the roster with a youth movement, and that wouldn’t happen with a 43-year old quarterback – even if he was the greatest QB of all-time.

The thing is, Belichick didn’t want to be the guy who fired Brady.

So he gobbled up a lot of the team’s precious cap space with deals for defensive back Devin McCourty, Pro Bowl special teams ace Matthew Slater and using the franchise tag for guard Joe Thuney.

I can imagine Belichick recently telling Brady: “Sorry, Tom. We can only offer about $20 million, and we won’t have a lot of money left over to get you weapons, so …”

That way, Brady leaves New England – rather than Belichick giving Brady the boot.

With the Patriots out of the way, the Bucs looked like front-runners to land TB12, until those pesky Chargers got all charged up and made Brady a very competitive offer.

Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin

Bucs WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

But the 4-12 Chargers with an even worse offensive line than the Bucs have, and a pair of 1,000-yard wide receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams that are good, but not in the class of Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin?

Sorry L.A., advantage Tampa Bay.

For a second, it looked like the Bucs might get the silver medal and be the runner-up again, but what’s new?

It’s happened before in Tampa Bay.

Heisman Trophy-winning running back Bo Jackson chose baseball over the Bucs after being the top pick of the 1986 NFL Draft.

Four NFL Hall of Famers were drafted in the first five picks of the 1989 NFL Draft – quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Barry Sanders, edge rusher Derrick Thomas and cornerback Deion “Prime Time” Sanders – while the Bucs drafted sixth overall that year. Tampa Bay was stuck with outside linebacker Broderick Thomas, who was nicknamed “The Sandman.”

Yawn.

Us old-timers remember legendary NFL coach Bill Parcells leaving the Bucs at the altar not once, but twice – in 1992 and 2002. Parcells even jilted two Tampa Bay owners in Hugh Culverhouse and Malcolm Glazer, and to Bucs teams with two different looks – the old orange creamsicles in the 1990s, and the red and pewter pirate flag-adorned Buccaneers in the 2000s.

Ex-Bucs DT Warren Sapp & Ex-Packers QB Brett Favre – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs were a midnight phone call away from getting the legendary Brett Favre in a trade with Green Bay before those pesky Jets got interested in 2008 and broke Jon Gruden’s heart.

Close, but no cigar.

Always the bridesmaid, but never the bride.

Would Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bündchen, choose L.A. over Tampa Bay? Brady has about two or three years left before he retires and becomes a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He and his wife are thinking about the TB12 brand and life after football. I get that little ol’ small market Tampa Bay can’t offer what L.A. can in that arena.

Yet the Bradys will make even more money playing in Florida where there is zero state income tax, as opposed to having to pay 12.3 percent in income tax in a grossly mismanaged, bankrupt state, having to navigate around a growing homeless and drug-riddled community out in California.

Sorry, as someone who has now lived in Florida for more than half my life I consider myself a Floridian and had to get that off my chest. Now I feel better.

The Bradys will get an extra $3.69 million each year that Brady would play in Florida over California due to the state income tax relief – and they get to stay on the East Coast and in the Eastern time zone. Turns out there were a lot of pluses in Tampa Bay’s favor – in addition to having Todd Bowles defense on the sidelines waiting to help out.

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images

It seems like about half of the Bucs fan base wanted Brady – or anyone other than Jameis Winston – and the other half wanted Winston or a different quarterback. Someone not about to be 43 and in the obvious twilight of his career.

Well in the end, it’s going to be Brady and not Winston.

Crazy to think that the Bucs will still be the only NFL franchise not to have signed a quarterback they drafted to a second contract. That’s a wild stat, as Winston moves on elsewhere – likely for a backup role after a 5,109-yard, 33-touchdown season.

It’s nice to see that the Bucs can have nice things for a change.

For a franchise and a fan base that hasn’t been to the postseason since Jon Gruden was the head coach in 2007 – that’s five head coaches ago – why not sign the all-time winningest quarterback in NFL regular season and playoff history?

The Brady effect won’t just be throwing far fewer interceptions than Winston did. Winston led the league with 30 INTs last year while Brady only threw eight in 2019 – and has just 29 over the last four seasons combined.

The Brady effect will be showing a young, talented football team how to win. The only thing the Bucs know how to do well is beat themselves, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Tampa Bay’s defense has a pair of Super Bowl winners in the recently re-signed bookend edge rushers Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul. Brady now gives the Bucs’ offensive huddle a true superstar with gravitas, clout and plenty of playoff experience.

It’s been a while since the Bucs really had some star power. Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp brought it in the the 1990s, while Simeon Rice, Keyshawn Johnson and Gruden brought it in the early 2000s.

Brady’s star will shine even brighter in Tampa Bay because of his national appeal. Watch the Bucs become a national team in 2020 with several nationally televised games, and play in a sold out Raymond James Stadium, while we wait to see if Brady can pull a Manning and win a Super Bowl with a second team.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images

Oh, by the way, the Super Bowl was supposed to be in Los Angeles this year before it moved to Tampa Bay.

Hmmm – just like Brady.

Hooray for Hollywood?

Nah. Hooray for Tampa Bay.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
1 year ago

Big Ben just restructured. Winston on his way to Pittsburgh most likely. Great fit and a loyal fan base that won’t give a shit about crab legs. Go Steelers.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
1 year ago

Brady is a demanding football genius. Let’s just hope he can drag the Bucs with him to some W’s.

Toucan
Toucan(@toucan)
1 year ago

I wonder if the players are excited about this move. Reportedly they loved Jameis and his work ethic. But they,too, probably hated the number of turnovers Jameis commited.Then again, Jameis may stick around if no suitors present themselves.Other teams know his liabilities.

Big Wheel 80
Big Wheel 80(@bigwheel80)
1 year ago

We finally have real hope so excited!!!!!!

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0(@alldaway)
1 year ago

Lets see what other plans the Bucs have this off season.

It is clear that the Bucs coaching staff, FO and ownership gave the green light to sign Tom Brady.

PewterHeart
PewterHeart(@allanh1)
1 year ago

TB to TB! YES!!

BucRy
BucRy(@bucry)
1 year ago

Honestly. Playoffs would be enough for this to be counted as a success..I haven’t freakin seen our team in the playoffs since I was a year removed from hs..I turn 33 this year..ouch.

BucHarbour
BucHarbour(@bucharbour)
Reply to  BucRy
1 year ago

Count yourself lucky you didn’t go through all of those double digit losing seasons in the 80’s, with truly awful football at times. The Bucs seemed to be on the cusp during Wyche’s last couple of seasons, but kept finding ways to lose. They’ve been kind of up and down since, with a lot more down the last 10 years.

This is gonna be great.

BucRy
BucRy(@bucry)
1 year ago

I’m also really looking forward to what other players a move like this will bring in.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27(@cgmaster27)
1 year ago

Wheb you bring in tom, you expect superbowl. First round playoffs arent enough with a move like this. It has to be superbowl or bust as you got 2 year window where you will most likely lose your coach and your qb so youd better be ready. Drafting a qb in the 3rd seems inevitable now as you have to have a plan b if tom gets smacked behind this line. I am excited as a gan and hooe he brings us nothing but victory after victory. Hes never had a recieving core like this. He has to be giddy.… Read more »

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
1 year ago

Im just glad bible-thumping-christian-weirdo and total loser Derek Carr, SR’s favorite QB to stand on a soap box and preach about, isn’t coming to Tampa.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
1 year ago

Lol. Shaq Barrett was just asked if his teammates were texting and calling about the news of Brady being signed. His response was classic.

“Nope. No one called me but you guys.”

DrT1066
DrT1066(@drt1066)
1 year ago

Hmmm haven’t been able to even give away my season tickets 7 rows up on the 40 yard line for years. Won’t have that prognosis -I’m going.🤪

Knightrider79
Knightrider79(@knightrider79)
1 year ago

I’m watching Shaq Barrett being interviewed in ESPN. He seems legitimately excited to have Brady in Tampa Bay. He said he hasn’t talked to his teammates but believes they’re now immediate contenders to win it all.

MizzouBucs24
MizzouBucs24(@mizzbucsfan24)
1 year ago

I’m a Winston supporter and have been from the day we drafted him. I believe he has all the talent and tools to be successful in this league. I wish that was with the Bucs but it’s not going to be. I’m ok with that because we got Brady. The GOAT!!! I said from the start of this it is either Brady or Jameis for me. If Brady had went to LA then it would have been Winston but it’s not. I hope Jameis all the best and will root for him but as a Bucs fan I’m too excited… Read more »

NaplesFan2.0
NaplesFan2.0(@firelichtmovement)
1 year ago

It’s actually crazy to think, that if Cam Newton had come back, there would be a former MVP quarterbacking every team in the NFC South. Brady is an upgrade, but we need to draft for the future.

chefboho
chefboho(@chefboho)
1 year ago

I love this! I’ve already seen more about the Bucs this past hour then the last ten years. He brings uncanny smarts, leadership and a winning attitude. I’m giddy with this. BA is in win now mode and we can all mostly agree that this team was close last year. Now that the defense is getting put back together and Brady has this offense to run, how can you not be optimistic? Can’t wait for the draft! I guess my brother and I won’t be watching the games alone this year. I’m sure Bucs fans will appear out of no… Read more »

MudManVA
MudManVA(@knight)
1 year ago

Born in st Pete, games with dad opening day in 1976 at ole sombrero, cried at super bowl win like a baby, and now as an old man I’m jumping up and down and laying heavy wagers on the BUCS on next year!! BAM. Finally the BUCS get a break!!

Welcome to TB TB12!!!

Scott don’t run him off

MudManVA
MudManVA(@knight)
1 year ago

PS- F U NFC South we coming

macnupe
macnupe(@macnupe)
1 year ago

I am so disappointed with this signing. Hooray…a 43 yr old quarterback. Scott, my question now is, who gets fired if we don’t win a Super Bowl with the G.O.A.T? This signing says Super Bowl or Bust. I only remember Peyton Manning going to the ‘next’ team and having a SB swan song. Everyone else seems to tread water in mediocrity.

MudManVA
MudManVA(@knight)
1 year ago

Get some Brees

MudManVA
MudManVA(@knight)
1 year ago

Man that’s like a fart at a party. Walk out of the room man!

BucWonder
BucWonder(@bucwonder)
1 year ago

CELEBRATE THE VICTORIES!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M

ScottC543
ScottC543(@scottc543)
1 year ago

The Bucs just kicked in the window of opportunity for winning our second SB. If we get some help for our O line and a good #3 receiver out of this draft, we’re going to be in the hunt from the get-go.

I can’t wait!

MudManVA
MudManVA(@knight)
1 year ago

COVID 19 = BAD
TB12 to TB= fantastic

spartan
spartan(@spartan)
1 year ago

All the headline I am seeing is Brady is “expected” to go to Tampa. Are you jumping to conclusions or do you know something we don’t?

MudManVA
MudManVA(@knight)
1 year ago

If Adam Schefter is confirming it, I’m comfortable

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
1 year ago

Packers, Chiefs, Vikings, Saints, Chargers, Rams, Falcons, and Panthers at home.

Bears, Broncos, Raiders, Lions, Giants, Saints, Falcons, and Panthers on the road.

There are 11 easy wins with Panthers home, Panthers away, Bears, Giants, Raiders, Lions, Broncos, Falcons home, Rams, Vikings, and Chargers.

There are 5 tougher games the Bucs could split: Chiefs, Packers, Saints home and away, Falcons away.

Anything less than 13 wins will be a huge disappointment with the Bucs having the easy schedule.

Go Bucs!

avez8811
avez8811(@avez8811)
1 year ago

this is honestly super exciting, its like a holiday! im looking forward to the history that will be made here in tampa and our deep playoff runs/ super bowls. i truely believe this will be the year this long rut is broken. go buccs !

Charlie
Charlie(@crossbonesbombs)
1 year ago

MudmanVA I’m sharing that on facebook! Lmao

cozart
cozart(@cozart)
1 year ago

Hopefully TB12 can bring Dante Scarnecchia with him!

twspin
twspin(@twspin)
1 year ago

I am against this move. But..having been a Buc fan since our 70’s inaugural season, I hope it works out. I just don’t see a 43 yr old immobile guy doing much for us when..a defense smothers us. 30 mil is quite a lot. He can’t run now can he? And what happens when he gets that hard hit you know thats comin? We also need a better backup at QB. Having said this..Maybe..Arians will solidify our O line. He has to if we are to be successful. Give Brady another horse at running back also. the best side note… Read more »

MudManVA
MudManVA(@knight)
1 year ago

Bro my PXG 3 GEN clubs came today + TB12…magical!

fanofdabucs
fanofdabucs(@fanofdabucs)
1 year ago

Go Steelers??

Go away.

What a joke of a fan.

Spitfire
Spitfire(@spitfire)
1 year ago

Anyone who is against this has to get over it. We aren’t paying him any more than we would have to pay another star QB, we didn’t mortgage our future trading for him. This team could have won any game we played in last year but handed away 6-7 of those 9 loses, if Brady can stay on his feet why wouldn’t we do well this year? Worst case (outside of injury) is we still don’t quite get over the damn hump and we are looking for a new QB in a couple years. Best case is all of a… Read more »

Thunderman
Thunderman(@thunderman)
1 year ago

Hell yea! Brady to the Bucs!

BucRy
BucRy(@bucry)
1 year ago

We keep saying TB12, but will Godwin give up his number?

SenileSenior
SenileSenior(@xpfcwintergreen)
1 year ago

Warning to all who can afford season tickets, plan on getting yours soon.  If you are a long suffering but, loyal fan, now is the time.  The bandwagon fans who have money to burn will be coming out of the woodworks again. I can remember during our last Super Bowl era how hard it became to buy ANY ticket for any game. I recall watching John Lynch intercept a throw in a game against the Detroit Lions from behind.  Yes, I was sitting in an end zone seat under the Pirate Ship when it occurred.  I was fortunate enough to be… Read more »

Boca James (Boca Raton Florida)
1 year ago

Holy shit pinch me!!!! For the first time in a long time there will be pre season hype! Go Bucs!

flashgordon
flashgordon(@flashgordon)
1 year ago

Brady to Tampa Bay has gone viral on twitter . . . i clicked and found this Jon Gruden tweet!

“Jon Gruden
@Faux_Gruden
·
1h
Wow. Tom Brady to Tampa Bay. Seeing him in a Bucs jersey will be like seeing Jordan on the Wizards, Montana on the Chiefs, and that Verizon guy when he switched to Sprint. Can you hear me now, man? What a time to be alive”

https://twitter.com/Faux_Gruden/status/1240070548127916033

Jdgamble31
Jdgamble31(@jdgamble31)
1 year ago

This wasn’t how I hoped/thought this was all gonna turn out , however, with our offensive weapons (Evans , Godwin , Brate/OJ), drafting to improve OL/RB/S positions , improving D behind Bowles, Barrett and JPP, and the up and coming youngster DBs. This is gonna be an exciting 2 years… WE GOT THE GOAT 🐐!!!

Let’s Go BUCS !!!

BKNYfootballhead
BKNYfootballhead(@bknyfootballhead)
1 year ago

“as opposed to having to pay 12.3 percent in income tax in a grossly mismanaged, bankrupt state, having to navigate around a growing homeless and drug-riddled community out in California.”

This is such a bs misguided statement. California has a billions in surplus! Unemployment is below is the national average. Homelessness is isolated to a few cities and drug-abuse is on the national average, not even near the top. Wtf do you know, Scott? Stop parading nonsense, and stick to football.

BucHarbour
BucHarbour(@bucharbour)
Reply to  BKNYfootballhead
1 year ago

Surplus? Umm…no, they don’t: https://usdebtclock.org/state-debt-clocks/state-of-california-debt-clock.html

They have homeless all over the place. Water supply issues. Electrical and fire issues. And SF has a crew going around cleaning up human feces from the ground. Those are facts that don’t apply here in Florida. Why? I let you think about that.

pinkstob
pinkstob(@pinkstob)
Reply to  BKNYfootballhead
1 year ago

What do you expect from a guy that compared Winston to Michael Jordan? That tells you all you need to know about how much he knows about football and basketball. “Winston moves on elsewhere – likely for a backup role (I omitted the yards and TDs because he omitted the turnovers).” Not only is Winston nothing more than a backup QB, he is backup whose free market appeal falls sharply behind Marcus Mariota, Case Keenum, Chase Daniel, A.J. McCarron, Nate Sudfield, Chad Henne and Jeff Driskel. This is what every other NFL team thinks of a guy he has been… Read more »

flashgordon
flashgordon(@flashgordon)
1 year ago

I wonder what Brees thinks of all this?

SenileSenior
SenileSenior(@xpfcwintergreen)
1 year ago

I saw where Brett Favre referred to Tom Brady as a class act. That is important to me.

Though I liked Jameis Winston and wanted him to succeed as an individual as well as wanting the Bucs to win, I am happy to move on as a fan.

I love what the current regime of BA and JL has accomplished so far. This could be a fun winning season for us finally. My excitement goes way beyond any of the hype we are going to have to put up with from now on
__________________
Go Bucs!!! Win Now!

BUC-ASS-BOB
BUC-ASS-BOB(@buc-ass-bob)
1 year ago

After 5 years of the dark cloud over Bucs, we now have real hope. I am numb I have been the single loudest voice against Jameis Winston, on this site going on three years.
I knew the Jameis nightmare would end I just never dreamed Tom Brady would be the replacement.
Only 3 words I have for Jameis Winston “Karma”
“Karma” “Karma”

pinkstob
pinkstob(@pinkstob)
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
1 year ago

Feels good doesn’t it to have that dark cloud lifted? Way to fight the good fight B-A-B.

bucscriv
bucscriv(@bucscriv)
1 year ago

Whether you liked Winston or not he did everything he could to help the franchise. 30 interceptions was the breaking point. Doesn’t mean he didn’t have the competitiveness or desire to win. Now the Bucs should be focused on O-line starter, challengers, and depth. A running back that pushes Ronald Jones or takes his place. The position that benefits the most will be the tight ends. Yes, the team is in a win right now mode, but anyone who didn’t see that when BA was hired is blind. Quite frankly, every team should be in win now mode anyway. What… Read more »

flashgordon
flashgordon(@flashgordon)
1 year ago

I know where Jamies Winston is going . . . New England Patriots! or, the Chargers!

Charlie
Charlie(@crossbonesbombs)
1 year ago

Yo, to hell with Jameis, he didn’t need to get Lasik this whole time but your dumbass should have been wearing contacts. But hey, at least you can see your way out the door now.

Brandonges
Brandonges(@brandonges)
1 year ago

“as opposed to having to pay 12.3 percent in income tax in a grossly mismanaged, bankrupt state, having to navigate around a growing homeless and drug-riddled community out in California.” What the fuck is this, Scott? Keep your shitty politics out of this or I’ll take my decade of patronage elsewhere. Every time you wade into politics it’s an embarrassment. Enjoy the bandwagon traffic while it lasts. They’ll be gone in two years.

pinkstob
pinkstob(@pinkstob)
Reply to  Brandonges
1 year ago

What makes it so despicable is these are fellow Americans we’re talking about that live in an area that is one of the hardest hit areas by the coronavirus. We should all coming together as a nation at a time like this, not throwing stones from glass houses. Florida has plenty of it’s own problems to worry about, from the homeless, to drugs, to red tide, to hurricanes, to lack of preparedness for rising sea levels, to racisim, to crime, to…well, the coronavirus. Stay classy Scott.

BUC-ASS-BOB
BUC-ASS-BOB(@buc-ass-bob)
1 year ago

Tomorrow we will here about the free agents calling Tampa saying please please pick me .
Tampa now number one team to go Super Bowl.
Remember last year Bruce said some stars aligned in the cosmos.
Now Tom is here The football stars will really line up down the hall to talk to Bruce Arians to be apart of this team .

Dude
Dude(@dude)
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
1 year ago

Rumor in the clubhouse is that Antonio Brown wants to come here and be WR3 for a trip to the Super Bowl with the Brady and the Bucs. Could you imagine that WR line up? Evans, Godwin, AB, and O.J. catching ball from Brady?

BUC-ASS-BOB
BUC-ASS-BOB(@buc-ass-bob)
1 year ago

From Chef CG and Fredster
to Jameis Winston

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtjro7_R3-4

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg