Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady announced on Tuesday that his career with the New England Patriots is over. Brady made a series of posts on Instagram on Tuesday morning, ending a 20-year run that was one of the most successful in NFL history.
The NFL free-agent market is officially open for business on Wednesday, but Brady could reach an agreement with another team as early as Tuesday.
Brady has never played for another NFL franchise during his 20-year career, but that will change in 2020. The 42-year-old quarterback made 41 playoff starts during his run in New England, leading the team to six Super Bowl championships. Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are the winningest head coach and quarterback duo of all-time in NFL history.
Patriots fans have been worried about the possibility of Brady leaving the team for almost a year. The team was unable to reach a contract extension with their star before the 2019 season, which meant that Brady would be an unrestricted free agent at the end of that season.
The Patriots were hoping to convince Brady to return for another season in 2020, but he has opted to move on.
Not only did Brady lead the New England Patriots to plenty of success during his 20-year run, but he also racked up the personal records and accolades. Brady won three regular-season MVP Awards, which puts him in a tie for the second-most all-time. He was also named the MVP of the Super Bowl four times during his nine appearances.
Brady led the Patriots to a record 13 AFC Championship Game appearances, and also set the record with nine conference championships. The Patriots won at least 12 regular-season games a record 13 times during his career, and they won the AFC East a record 17 times.
Could Brady Head to Tampa Bay?
There has been plenty of speculation as to where Brady would be playing next season if he didn’t end up staying with the New England Patriots. Sportsbooks have been setting odds as to where Brady would play next season, and they have moved significantly since his Instagram posts on Tuesday morning.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now the overwhelming favorites to land Brady and are listed at -290 to sign the quarterback. The Los Angeles Chargers at +170 and the Miami Dolphins +750 are the next two most likely destinations for Brady to end up.
There is also the possibility that Brady retires, although the quarterback has continued to say that he plans on playing until he is 45.
Moving to Tampa Bay would be a huge culture shock to Brady, both on and off the field. The weather in Florida is significantly warmer than it is in New England, and Brady would also be shifting to the NFC and leaving the AFC for the first time.
Success and expectations will also be very different as the Tampa Bay Bucs have not gone to the playoffs since 2007, and have had just three winning seasons in the last dozen years.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to offer Brady a three-year contract that is worth over $100 million. ESPN is reporting that the Bucs would also offer Brady $68 million in guaranteed money.
Florida also doesn’t have a personal income tax, which would keep more money in Brady’s pocket. A decision is expected to be made by the end of the week, and it could be announced on Wednesday.