It’s been five months since Tom Brady decided to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency after leaving the New England Patriots.
Is he happy with his decision?
“Absolutely, yeah,” the 43-year-old said last week when NBC Sports’ Peter King posed the question. “That’s a good word.”
Brady, a sixth-round draft pick in 2000, spent 20 seasons with the Patriots, during which he won six Super Bowl titles and solidified himself as the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
Sometimes, you just need a new challenge, though. And while this offseason has been anything but normal thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Brady seemingly has no regrets about joining the Bucs after an amazing two-decade run in New England.
“I thought long and hard about making the decision,” Brady told King. “I thought I put a lot of really careful thought into everything that I really valued. I probably listed 20 different things that were important. I had a weighted scale about what was not so important but I think about.”
Brady wouldn’t divulge many specifics regarding what exactly he considered while making his free agency decision this offseason. But Tampa Bay evidently checked many of the boxes on his personal list.
“Those are personal things, truthfully. Those are personal things,” Brady said, when asked by King what his “weighted scale” included. “When I added it all up, Tampa seemed like it was a great opportunity. If I think back at the decision, I’m so happy (with) the decision I made.
“Again, we’ve got to go out there and play football, and that’s going to require something totally different. But I’ve really enjoyed working with the guys and it’s been a lot of fun.”
It’s somewhat jarring to see Brady in a different uniform, as it long seemed like he’d spend his entire career with the Patriots.
That said, there’s no turning back. And Brady has nothing but love for his former organization, from the top all the way down.
“I think for anyone to make a decision, you’ve just got to weigh the different opportunities that you have,” Brady said. “I spent 20 years in one place and I left on great terms and I have so much respect for everybody at that organization — (Patriots owner) Mr. (Robert) Kraft and Jonathan (Kraft) and Coach (Bill) Belichick and (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels), who I worked with, and all the players and coaches that have meant so much to me in my life, that are close friends, that will continue to be that way. But I made a decision to do something different. And it was a very thoughtful decision. It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing.
“It was some people that I really talked with and confided in and thought about making this type of decision, and it’s really worth it to me. I’m really excited about this opportunity for me as a player and to go to an organization that I feel like is committed to winning. A lot of really solid players that are motivated, and really since the moment I got here, they’ve embraced me. They’ve embraced with the opportunity to go lead the team, and that’s a big responsibility for me. I want to go out there and I want to do a great job. Again, it’s one thing to say it, it’s another to do it. And I’m always focused on the doing and less saying.”
Brady, the ultimate competitor, is embracing change as he continues to fight off Father Time in search of continued gridiron greatness.
And why not? You only live once.