Tom Brady threw 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 16 starts last season for the New England Patriots. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
April 7 (UPI) -- Tom Brady said choosing to leave the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this off-season is a "great change."
Brady officially signed with the Buccaneers March 20 after spending 20 seasons playing for the Patriots. The six-time Super Bowl champion and future Pro Football Hall of Famer wrote about the transition to his new team Monday in an article for The Players' Tribune.
"Life is always changing, and in whatever decision you make, or direction you choose, there's an opportunity," Brady wrote. "Choosing to leave New England, and the only team I've known for 20 years, to join a new football team is a great opportunity, a great change and a great challenge."
Brady infamously entered the NFL as sixth-round pick by the Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft. The Michigan product grew up in the Bay Area, idolizing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana. Brady wrote about the culture shock from each stop during his football career.
He also said he had no idea he would spend 20 years playing for the Patriots and starting a family in the Foxborough, Mass., area.
"Changes and challenges are part of life," Brady wrote. "They're part of athletes' lives. They're supposed to happen. They need to happen sometimes.
"These changes can be emotional, too. For as long as I can remember, my career, and football in general, has been an extremely important and gratifying part of my life. But just as important, and oftentimes more gratifying, are the times I spend with my wife and children, and the joy I feel watching my kids get older. In my case, this means always checking in with myself and with them to make sure my priorities are in the right place -- and if they're not, making adjustments."
Brady said being present for his three children was something he considered when making the move. He said he wants to show up at their sporting events and find balance between his NFL career and being a father.
The 14-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time NFL MVP and three-time All-Pro completed 60.8 percent of his throws for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 16 starts last season for the Patriots. He has also drawn criticism for declining arm strength in recent years. The 42-year-old quarterback acknowledged he doesn't have 10 years remaining in his career, but he is "as capable" of doing his job as he has ever been.
"Most of all, I'm motivated," Brady wrote. "I want to deliver for my new team, my new coaches and my new teammates. I don't want to let anyone down. I'm going to give it everything I've got."