Tom Brady isn't the first quarterback to join a new franchise after a decade-plus with the team that drafted him, but no other quarterback who has done it before him has the same kind of resume. Brady has won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots -- the most in NFL history -- while throwing for 2,838 yards and 18 touchdowns in nine starts (also the most in Super Bowl history). Brady's legacy with the Patriots may never be matched by any quarterback with any franchise, as the GOAT took his legendary status to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and led them to the Super Bowl in just his first season with the team. While Brady is enjoying his new chapter with the Buccaneers, he still has a special place in his heart for New England.
"I had an incredible 20 years. I wouldn't change anything over the course of 20 years that were magical and all the relationships that I developed," Brady told reporters earlier in the week. "Those shaped me into who I am as a person [and] as a player. My kids were born in Boston [and] I have great affection for the city and everything that Boston has meant to me and my family. All of New England – not just Boston.
Growing up in California and playing football at the University of Michigan, Brady never experienced the East Coast until getting drafted by the Patriots in 2000. The uniqueness of the Northeast and the New England region tricked Brady.
"I didn't even know where New England was when I got picked by New England – that was always a funny story," Brady said. "They called me and said, 'You've been picked by New England.' I was like, 'That's amazing! Where is New England?' I landed in Providence [Rhode Island], which really screwed me up because that's not even in Massachusetts. It was a great 20 years."
Brady has made his mark with the Buccaneers in just his first season with the team. He set the single-season mark for passing touchdowns in a season (40) and snapped Tampa Bay's 13-year playoff drought by taking the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl. Brady has the most postseason touchdown passes in Buccaneers history and is tied with Brad Johnson for the most wins by a starting quarterback in Buccaneers playoff history.
No matter how Super Bowl LV turns out, Brady made the right decision.
"I evaluated different opportunities and just tried to make the best possible decision for myself and my family," Brady said. "I chose Tampa and it's just been an amazing experience. The only thing that's been difficult is just haven't been able to meet [a lot of people]. There's a lot of people in here that I never really had a chance to get to know. Certain players on defense that I just don't know very well [because] we're not able to be together in certain rooms, we're not able to eat together, we're not able to travel well [and] we don't get the normal camaraderie that you have on a normal team.
"Under the circumstances, we're all doing the best we can do and it's been a tricky year in that sense. Going to try to go do my best like I always do to try to finish the job this coming week."