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Tom Brady pitched himself to Buccaneers front office before signing

Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 20. File Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI
Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 20. File Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo

March 31 (UPI) -- Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history, but he did some personal promotion this off-season before being signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady, 42, officially signed with Tampa Bay on March 20 after spending his first 20 NFL seasons with the New England Patriots. The six-time Super Bowl champion spoke on the phone with Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht and coach Bruce Arians before agreeing to join the NFC South franchise.

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Licht detailed the March 18 conversation during an appearance Monday on ESPN's Get Up.

"We had a great conversation -- Bruce and I -- we talked to him for over an hour and a half," Licht said. "And he made it clear in the conversation that he was very, very interested.

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"It was almost like a recruitment on his part, telling us why it would make sense for him to come to Tampa Bay. The next call we made, we signed him, but it was at that phone call that we realized, that we felt like we had him."

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Arians and Licht had Brady as their top quarterback target before the conversation with the future Hall of Famer. Despite critics saying Brady has lost arm strength over the years, Licht said the Buccaneers believe his arm is ideal for their offensive system. The Buccaneers also think Brady has more than two years remaining in his NFL career, if he chooses to play that long.

"The tape showed to us that he had plenty of arm," Licht said. "In fact, we thought that he had an ideal arm for Bruce in his system.

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"He can still throw it deep. We felt like the mobility was still the same as he's always had, which, he's never been able to outrun anybody. But he certainly is good in the pocket in terms of eluding pressure and with his poise and his instincts. We did not see a decline in his arm talent whatsoever."

Brady completed 60.8 percent of his throws for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 16 starts last season.

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