NFL: End of an era as Tom Brady set to leave New England Patriots, next stop Tampa Bay?

New England Patriots star quarterback and six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is set to move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks from the podium after speaking at a press conference on Jan 31, 2019.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks from the podium after speaking at a press conference on Jan 31, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady will sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, multiple media outlets reported on Tuesday (March 17).

Brady, 42, has been the face of the New England Patriots for two decades, but he said on Tuesday he was leaving the franchise. The announcement of his departure came a day before he became a free agent.

NFL Network reported Brady's deal with the Bucs would be worth about US$30 million (S$43 million) a year.

By joining a team with an elite receiving corps and a top defense, Brady has a chance to join Peyton Manning as the only quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams.

Brady's many records while in New England included most Super Bowl victories (six) and appearances (nine) and most playoff wins (30).

Brady, a surefire first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible, was a lightly regarded prospect coming out of college, the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.

At the start of the 2001 campaign Brady, at the time an obscure backup, took over the starting role in the second game of the season after starter Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury.

With Brady, the Patriots were a perennial contender who in the 2019 season extended their NFL record by winning an 11th consecutive division title.

But for all his achievements in New England, Brady's reign ended with a whimper when the Patriots were knocked out of the playoffs in a surprise loss to the Tennessee Titans in January.

It seems he now has a new home and a chance to write a final chapter in a remarkable career, including possibly another Super Bowl appearance.

And the venue for next year's game?

Tampa.