Tom Brady has made it official.
Days after announcing his “football journey will take place elsewhere,” the now ex-Patriots quarterback has formally signed a deal to play with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I’m starting a new football journey and thankful for the @buccaneers for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do,” Brady wrote on Instagram. “I look forward to meeting all my new teammates and coaches and proving to them that they can believe and trust in me.”
In a two-part message on Tuesday, the six-time Super Bowl champion thanked the Patriots and the fans and said “FOREVER A PATRIOT.”
“I don’t know what my football future holds, but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and my career,” he wrote. “Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible TEAM experiences.”
During his two decades with the Patriots, Brady was coached by the edgy Bill Belichick and together the pair brought unprecedented levels of success to the team. Belichick described him as “not just a player who bought into our program.”
“He was one of its original creators,” the head coach told the Patriots’ website. “Tom lived and perpetuated our culture.
“On a daily basis, he was a tone setter and a bar raiser. He didn’t just perform. He didn’t just win. He won championships over and over again.
“Sometimes in life, it takes some time to pass before truly appreciating something or someone but that has not been the case with Tom. He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time.”
The 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 draft, Brady rose from relative anonymity to become an NFL great.
He has won three NFL Most Valuable Player awards and leaves the Patriots second in the NFL all-time list in passing touchdowns (541) and passing yards (74,571).
The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.