The year is 2021 and Tom Brady’s rings continue to pile up. Rewind to just over a year ago, when the hall of fame quarterback was searching for a new team to play with, and only a couple came calling. The two with the most interest were the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ultimately, Brady ended up joining Tampa with another Super Bowl trip on his mind, and the rest is history as he added a seventh ring to his collection.
Not more than a day after Brady won another Super Bowl, his first with the Bucs, the time of reflection on what could"ve been if other teams had pursued him is starting to sink in.
Nonetheless, the Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs in dominant fashion, 31-9, on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, and Brady has no intentions of hanging in up.
At the age of 43, he continues to defy the odds and keeps Father Time waiting in line as the legacy of Brady continues to grow each year.
He was wildly efficient, and his teammates stood by him each step of the way, with one thing in mind: add to Tom Brady"s rings.
This year was different and presented many challenges for everybody in the NFL, and in the world, for that matter. For Brady, his challenges in football were new ones, and though it took him a while to adjust, he once again proved why he"s the greatest of all-time.
After signing with the Bucs, former Patriot teammate Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement and joined him in Florida also. The Bucs signed Leonard Fournette after he was released from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and ended up signing Antonio Brown after Brady advocated for him. You can thank these there signings in a big way for adding to Tom Brady"s rings, but it had to come together on defense, as well.
This was a typical title-hungry team, full of veterans like Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh who wanted a taste of a Super Bowl win, and Bruce Arians as head coach, who came out of retirement two years ago with hopes of winning a title.
Yes, the Bucs defense was terrific all season under the tutelage of Todd Bowles, whose resume is on the top of the pile after the season he had.
However, Brady led this team through to the end, and his efficient quarterback play and championship demeanor were contagious for the rest of the locker room.
It took Brady a while to get acquainted with Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, which isn"t unordinary after spending nearly two decades with New England. Learning something new is always difficult, especially when you do something so well for such a long time somewhere else, but they figured it out.
Brady threw for 4,633 yards, which is the most since 2015, and he tossed 40 touchdowns, the second-most in his career besides that 50-TD season.
He played in every single game, which he usually does, and that"s a testament to his training and work ethic, as well as his physical stature.
Still, even at the age of 43 and with people saying he"s lost his touch and doesn"t have the arm strength he once did, he got a Super Bowl victory. Lucky number seven on the list of Tom Brady"s rings and just another example that he is the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
He threw a touchdown pass in all but one game this season, and his performance in the Super Bowl in their home stadium was just a regular Brady-Esque night. He finished with 201 yards on 21 of 29 with three scores and no turnovers, and the game was never close after Gronkowski took two trips to the endzone in the first half.
He once again came home with Super Bowl MVP honors, his fifth in his career, and with the way that he"s currently playing, there"s a good chance this Tampa squad heads to Los Angeles next year to try and repeat as champions.
The End of Tom Brady"s Rings?
They have their own free agency issues to sort out, as guys like Fournette, Gronk, Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett, and Ndamukong Suh are set to hit the market, but as long as number 12 is there, Tom Brady should continue to add rings to his resume.
His ability to read the defense and communicate with his offense affects everybody around him, and although the Bucs finished as a Wild Card in the NFC, they marched through the playoffs with ease.
The accomplishments and accolades of Brady will go down in history, needless to say. He willed this team to a Super Bowl in his first year in Tampa, despite learning a new system, with new coaches, moving to a new city, and with limited offseason programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It felt like this team had been together for years and that can be attributed in a large part to Brady.
Let"s assume this offseason that the training camps go back to normal. If so, the sky is the limit for Brady and the Bucs as they set their eyes on a repeat. It will be a tough road, as no team has repeated as Super Bowl champs in almost two decades, but the last person to do it was Brady. Judging off of this, there"s a good chance that we see even more additions to Tom Brady"s rings before he retires.