It has been around a month since Tom Brady decided to leave the New England Patriots after 20 seasons to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. It’s a significant change that puts Brady in on a new team for the first time in his illustrious career. There has been some time in between that has allowed for the move to be digested further. Among those notable reactions to the move has been future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who recently gave his two cents on the situation.
Tom Brady signs with Buccaneers
In the months leading up to free agency, Brady had continued to drop hints that he may leave the Patriots.
There wasn’t a strong sense that the Patriots were working diligently to keep him with the franchise beyond the 2019 season. Instead, it opened the door for uncertainty to roam rampant on the matter that led to Brady voicing that he would explore his options in free agency.
The 42-year-old announced days before he hit the open market that he was leaving New England after spending the last two decades with the franchise. Shortly after that, it became clear that he honed in on joining the Buccaneers on what wound up being a fully guaranteed two-year, $50 million deal.
It opens a new chapter in Brady’s career that will see him take on a new challenge in his 21st season and beyond.
Peyton Manning’s reaction to Tom Brady’s decision
There has been plenty of reaction to Brady’s massive move over the last few months, which the list now includes his former rival and longtime friend Peyton Manning.
The two-time Super Bowl champion voiced on Sunday on ESPN’s Sportscenter that he found Brady’s decision a little surprising given that he chose to move to the NFC. (H/T Greg Joyce of the New York Post)
“That was interesting,” Manning said Sunday on “SportsCenter.” “I’ve talked to Tom at different times, but never really about that actual decision. He seems happy, he seems excited. I’m a little surprised he jumped over to the NFC. I always see Tom Brady as an AFC guy, so he’s going to have to go through initiation to learn the ropes of the NFC.”
Although Manning didn’t venture that route when he departed from the Indianapolis Colts to join the Denver Broncos in free agency, Brady is entering a new conference where the competition will be entirely different than what he has been used to over his career.
In many ways, the NFC has been argued as being the more well-round conference of the two with more steady competition. That isn’t to say the AFC isn’t formidable by any means, but that there are more playoff-worthy teams in the other conference.
As Manning pointed out and many others have as well is that he’s joining a tough division that has the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers. That is night and day compared to what he faced for years in the AFC East over the last two decades.
What to expect from Tom Brady in 2020
It’s going to be an entirely new process for Brady heading into his first year with the Buccaneers.
There is a considerable adjustment period that he will have to navigate through that includes getting to know his new teammates, a new playbook, and his entire surroundings. What has made this process more tricky is the impact that the coronavirus has had on sports in general throughout the country and globe.
It hasn’t allowed for players to work together in the offseason while it will likely see other areas impacted, such as training camp being canceled. There is no clarity about when this entire situation will move forward in the direction of getting sports leagues back on track.
That presents a massive challenge for the entire league to work through that could have a monumental impact on the 2020 season and beyond. However, if things work out favorably, the Buccaneers led by Brady will be must-see TV.