Why did Tom Brady leave the Patriots for the Buccaneers?

Tom Brady left the New England Patriots in 2020 off-season to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Why did Tom Brady leave the Patriots for the Buccaneers?

Tom Brady (Image via Getty Images)

Tom Brady is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time. The talented QB dominated the sport for 23 years before he retired for good in 2023. But even the greatest player of all time couldn’t end his career with just one team. During the latter stages of his career, the talented QB played for the Buccaneers for 3 seasons. But why did Tom Brady leave the Patriots?

Tom Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He entered the league as the 4th-string QB in the Patriots’ depth chart and slowly worked his way to become the backup quarterback. Furthermore, after Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury during a week 2 game against the NY Jets, Brady took over the starting QB job and never looked back.

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Brady went on to play for 20 seasons as the signal-caller of the New England-based franchise under Bill Belichick and won 7 Super Bowl rings. Besides, he was named to 14 Pro Bowls, won 4 Super Bowl MVPs, 3 league MVPs, and many more individual awards. But after the 2019 season, Brady left his long-time home the Patriots despite playing at the highest level in that season.

Moreover, in the 2020 off-season, the 3-time All-Pro quarterback signed a new contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played with them for 3 years before he retired in early 2023. So why did he do it?

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Tom Brady had massive success with the Buccaneers

Tom Brady Buccaneers Todd Bowles
Tom Brady (Photo by AP/Hakim Wright Sr.)

After a 20-year stint with the Patriots, Tom Brady found a new home in Tampa Bay and had massive in there. But what prompted the 3-time league MVP QB to leave New England in the first place?

Many believe it was because Brady wanted to prove he can win without Belichick. During a 2020 interview on The Howard Stern Show, even Brady seemingly implied that he left the Patriots partly due to that reason.

“I think it’s a pretty (expletive) argument actually that people would say that. Because, again, I can’t do his job and he can’t do mine,” he told Stern. “The fact you could say, ‘Would I be as successful without him, the same level of success?’ I don’t think I would have been. But I feel the same in vice versa as well. 

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Some people believe it was because the Patriots refused to give Brady a 3-year contract which would’ve kept the 6’4″ in New England till he turned 45 years old. Anyhow, it seemed like the decision worked out well for Brady since he went on to win a Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers during his first season. And now, 3 years after he switched teams, he has retired from the league and has been arguably the greatest QB in both franchises’ history.

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