Tom Brady is officially a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, signing a two-year contract with the franchise and changing the outlook of the NFC South with his arrival. Arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history, the 42-year old Brady will be hoping to change the fortunes of a Buccaneers franchise that hasn't been to the playoffs since 2007.
Head coach Bruce Arians was hired by the franchise to get Tampa back to the playoffs. Adding Brady increases those expectations drastically.
"Tom is the most successful quarterback in the history of our league, but what makes him so special is his ability to make those around him better," Arians said in a Buccaneers press release announcing the Brady signing. "I have had the privilege to work with some of the best passers in our game, and the characteristics they all possessed were the ability to lead and get the best out of their teammates. Tom is no different. He is a proven winner who will provide the leadership, accountability and work ethic necessary to lead us to our goal of winning another championship."
Brady isn't the first veteran quarterback Arians has worked with. Carson Palmer revitalized his career in Arizona under Arians after making two previous Pro Bowls with the Cincinnati Bengals. After throwing for 4,274 yards, 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions (83.9 rating) in 2013 under Arians, Palmer was one of the best quarterbacks in football over the next two seasons. He threw for 6,297 yards, 46 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2014 and 2015 (22 games) combined as the Cardinals went 19-3 in Palmer's starts. Palmer made his final Pro Bowl in 2015 while leading the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game, compiling a 101.9 rating.
Arians also was responsible for Ben Roethlisberger's first Pro Bowl season in 2007 (Arians' first year as Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator), as Roethlisberger threw for 3,154 yards and 32 touchdowns while completing 65.3% of his passes (career-high 104.1 passer rating).
The next project for Arians is Brady, who threw for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season, but his passer rating (88.0) was in the 80s for the first time since 2013 and his yards per game (253.6) was his lowest since 2010 (243.8). While Brady's arm strength may be in decline, he should find success in an offense that employs Chris Godwin and Mike Evans at wide receiver and O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate at tight end.
Brady is looking to revitalize his Hall of Fame career in Tampa, where Arians has the tutelage and offensive game plan that could lead to success outside of New England. One of the reasons why Brady chose the Buccaneers in the first place.