Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, Florida, USA;   Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy on his boat during the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers boat parade to celebrate their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady’s memory of Lombardi Trophy toss a bit wobbly

Nov 8, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Members of the Washington Football Team cheerleaders dance in the stands against the New York Giants at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the most memorable pass of Tom Brady’s career is one the 43-year-old quarterback claims he doesn’t remember.

During the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ celebration of the Super Bowl win, Brady launched the Lombardi Trophy from his boat in the direction of a nearby vessel, where backup tight end Cameron Brate successfully spared Brady the shame of sinking the NFL’s coveted championship hardware.

In an appearance on the “Late Late Show” with James Corden on Tuesday night, Brady said his 8-year-old daughter was the voice of reason in the moment. She chided Brady in real-time for throwing the trophy, but Brady said he doesn’t remember much else. The presence of adult beverages was not hidden by the celebrating champions.

“First of all, I was not thinking at that moment. It was not a thought,” Brady said. “It was, ‘This seems really fun to do.’ Not to mention, when you get your hands on one of those trophies, there’s a lot of really sharp edges on the bottom. I found out later, had that been an incomplete pass, that would have went down like 80 feet. I’m so happy that (tight end) Cam (Brate) caught it.”

Corden showed a video of Brady being spotted by backup quarterback Ryan Griffin returning to land. The talk show host asked Brady if he had sea legs or tequila imbalance at the time.

“A little of both,” Brady laughed. “It was definitely a moment of celebration. I’m happy I’m on land at that point. Absolutely.”

Brady said he rushed away quickly when his wife, Gisele, asked him during the postgame embrace what he had left to prove.

He’s signed for the 2021 season and said during the buildup to the Super Bowl last month that he “definitely” is considering playing until he’s 45. Brady told Corden ending a season, let alone a career, is akin to stopping a treadmill moving full speed.

“I always describe football season is like a treadmill, and it’s going fast you know,” Brady said. “And every week you know you work basically seven days a week for six straight months — and then all of a sudden you’re on this treadmill that’s going fast and then, boom, you hit the stop button.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during a boat parade to celebrate victory in Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady, Buccaneers GM to talk contract extension

Tom Brady committed to the 2021 season in the afterglow of his seventh Super Bowl victory this month, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht envisions talking about another contract with his 43-year-old quarterback.

Brady signed a two-year deal in free agency in March 2020, exiting New England for $25 million in 2020 and the same amount in 2021.

The Buccaneers are strapped for cash entering the new league year, and turning Brady’s $25 million salary into a bonus, or splitting his contract between base salary and bonus, would bring significant cap relief. The accounting maneuver was commonly utilized by the Patriots.

“We’d like to keep this going,” Licht said on The Rich Eisen Show.

The NFL league year, which is the official start of free agency, begins March 17.

A move on Brady’s contract likely would come before March 9, the deadline for the Buccaneers to employ the franchise tag. Likely candidates for the one-year tag include wide receiver Chris Godwin.

Head coach Bruce Arians said Brady is showing no signs of wear and the uninformed observer would never guess his age. Brady repeated this month that he’d like to play multiple more seasons, and in the past pointed to 45 as a benchmark he was striving to hit. He will turn 44 in August.

“It appears he had a really good time this year winning the Super Bowl and likes our organization,” Licht told the Rich Eisen Show. “Likes our coaches, likes our head coach and ownership and we certainly love him. Usually when you have those two things going for you, it’s a match made in heaven. So we’d like to keep this going.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) reaches for the ball during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs stop here: Bruce Arians hopes to keep free agents

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians saw his team overcome the odds to win the second Super Bowl trophy in franchise history.

Now comes what might be even the more difficult part for the Bucs — retaining their stars in a bid to repeat as champion.

Wide receiver Chris Godwin, who made a base salary of $2.1 million in 2020, is one of the several standouts slated to hit free agency in a month. He could receive the franchise tag to remain with the Buccaneers and play alongside fellow wideout Mike Evans, who will make $12.25 million in base salary in 2021.

“(Godwin) loves it here,” Arians said Thursday on 95.3 WDAE Radio. “It’s hard to leave and go to another system just for money. But it’s not bad paying two No. 1 receivers, that’s for sure, when they’re as good as our two No. 1s.”

The Bucs will have slightly more money at their disposal after the NFL raised the salary cap floor to $180 million on Thursday.

“It’s usually the money … if it’s close, I think our guys really want to stay,” Arians said. “They know they have something special. I don’t think any of them want to leave. I don’t get involved in the dollars. I just let them know we want them back.”

Godwin, who turns 25 next week, recorded 65 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games last season. His numbers took a dip after his breakout Pro Bowl season campaign in 2019, during which he posted career-high totals in receptions (86), receiving yards (1,333) and touchdowns (nine).

Wide receiver Antonio Brown, running back Leonard Fournette, tight end Rob Gronkowski, linebackers Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David, and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh are all free agents.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; A general view of the Buccaneers Training Facility and Raymond James Stadium before Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Sheriff: Vincent Jackson suffered from ‘chronic alcoholism’

Pro Bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson struggled with alcoholism and other health issues before he was found dead in a Florida hotel room this week, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said Wednesday.

Chronister also said Jackson’s family is concerned he might have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a progressive and fatal disease that has been linked to concussions.

Jackson, 38, was found dead Monday at the Homewood Suites in Brandon, where he had been living since Jan. 11.

“We got the autopsy report back that is going to be released today,” Chronister said during an appearance on the M.J. Morning Show on Q105-FM, per the Tampa Bay Times.

“Unfortunately, he suffered from chronic alcoholism. Again, just tragic. We haven’t gotten the toxicology report back, so can’t say with any certainty that was it. But a lot of longstanding health conditions that contributed to his passing because of some alcohol abuse.”

According to Chronister, Jackson’s family suspects CTE because he sustained multiple concussions during a 12-year NFL career with the San Diego Chargers (2005-11) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-16).

“This is just speculation, but what the family is telling me is that he suffered from CTE,” he said. “They believe he had a lot of concussion problems. When you suffer from that, you’re not yourself, you’re not your normal self. And they believe wholeheartedly all of these actions are a result of what he suffered while he was playing in the NFL.”

Jackson earned three Pro Bowl selections and posted six 1,000-yard seasons. He caught 540 passes for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns in 155 games.

Known for his charitable endeavors, Jackson was Tampa Bay’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award four times.

Jackson’s death prompted former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf to blast the league for not doing enough to help players in need.

“I don’t know who needs to hear this, or if I just needed to say it, but I will not continue to stand by and watch my brothers disappear because the multi billion $$$ corporation won’t do the right thing,” Leaf posted on Twitter along with an emotional video.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Detailed view of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmet against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL WR Vincent Jackson found dead in hotel

Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead Monday in a Florida hotel room, authorities confirmed.

Police said the 38-year-old Jackson had been staying at the Homewood Suites in the Tampa suburb of Brandon since Jan. 11.

Jackson’s family reported him missing on Feb. 10. Two days later, deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office located him at the hotel and spoke with him. After assessing his well-being, the missing persons report was canceled.

A housekeeper found Jackson deceased at about 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday.

The sheriff’s office said there were no apparent signs of trauma. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death.

Jackson played 12 seasons with the then-San Diego Chargers (2005-11) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-16). The three-time Pro Bowl selection caught 540 passes for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns in 155 games.

“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else.”

Jackson posted six 1,000-yard seasons. He led the NFL with 19.2 yards per reception in his first season with Tampa Bay in 2012.

Jackson became to emerge as a top receiver when he caught 18 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns in three games in the 2007 postseason. The Chargers lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

The Chargers selected him in the second round (61st overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Northern Colorado.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28) is congratulated by head coach Bruce Arians (right) after a touchdown run in the third quarter of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Leonard Fournette almost cut prior to playoffs

Running back Leonard Fournette put forth a postseason performance that likely won’t be soon forgotten by fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Heck, the nickname “Playoff Lenny” entered the sports lexicon after Fournette totaled four touchdowns in four postseason games, including one in Tampa Bay’s 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

That sizzling run wouldn’t have come to fruition, however, had Fournette not accepted his role on the team after fellow back Ronald Jones appeared to take the lead in the backfield.

Fournette reportedly was unhappy after he was inactive for the Buccaneers’ game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14. Coach Bruce Arians said he had a conversation with the former first-round pick the following day, one that he now shared with the Tampa Bay Times.

“I said, ‘This is your situation. It can change at the drop of a hat,’” Arians said. “But this is your situation. Either embrace it, or you say, ‘Cut me.’ I said, ‘What do you want? Because this is a very special team that you’re part of. I think you’ve got a feeling of that. Just see if you can hang in there to see what happens.’ And he did, and I’m really proud of him.”

Prior to this conversation with Arians, Fournette had 69 rushing attempts for 271 yards and three touchdowns. The 26-year-old also had 28 receptions for 171 yards.

After the talk, Fournette rushed for three touchdowns in the next two regular-season games. He also had 300 rushing yards and three touchdowns to go along with 18 catches for 148 yards and a score in the playoffs.

–Field Level Media

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady offers a fist bump after a boat parade to celebrate victory in Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs QB Tom Brady to undergo minor knee surgery

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will undergo minor knee surgery, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians termed the upcoming procedure as a “clean up,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Brady was seen wearing a brace or sleeve on his left knee during the team’s Super Bowl victory parade on Wednesday.

Brady was never listed on Tampa Bay’s injury report during the postseason and it isn’t immediately known when he injured the knee.

According to ESPN, Brady has been planning to have the procedure for months.

The 43-year-old Brady earned his seventh Super Bowl ring last Sunday when Tampa Bay clobbered the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. He threw three touchdowns while winning Super Bowl MVP honors for the fifth time.

–Field Level Media

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, Florida, USA;   Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate during the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers boat parade to celebrate their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs celebrate Super Bowl win with rowdy boat parade

Pandemic or not, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated their Super Bowl LV championship in style on Wednesday.

With thousands of fans lining the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians enjoyed the moment with a beer in one hand and a microphone in the other.

“We have the best coaching staff in the NFL. And we damn sure have the best players in the NFL,” the 68-year-old Arians said. “We’re going to keep the band together.”

The band leader is, of course, quarterback Tom Brady, who followed up his Super Bowl MVP-winning performance in a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday by completing another pass three days later. Brady tossed the Lombardi Trophy from his boat to another, with tight end Cameron Brate making the catch.

“That was the best catch of my life,” Brate said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Unbelievable. That was the best catch of my life. If I had dropped that? I think I would’ve had to retire.”

Retirement doesn’t appear to be on the table for Arians and tight end Rob Gronkowski this time around. Gronkowski, in fact, celebrated on Wednesday with his shirt off and beads around his neck.

On the heels of his record fifth Super Bowl MVP award, the 43-year-old Brady appeared to be a bit tipsy after making it safely back to land. Third-string quarterback Ryan Griffin was seen helping him off the boat.

Brady had a little fun on social media at his own expense.

The Buccaneers can afford to have a little fun after recording their second Super Bowl title in franchise history, even if they could not celebrate in unbridled fashion. Tampa Bay’s mayor Jane Castor had implored attendees on foot to respect social distancing guidelines and asked fans to don masks, rules which appeared to be followed by some, not all.

Of the many private boats and vessels also floating nearby, they were asked to remain at least 50 feet from all boats carrying players and members of the organization.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the second quarter of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Tom Brady apologizes to Tyrann Mathieu via text

Quarterback Tom Brady apologized to Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu via text message following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-9 win in Super Bowl LV on Sunday, according to an ESPN report.

In its report on Monday, ESPN wrote that it was read the contents of the text out loud.

Brady, 43, and Mathieu had several on-field verbal altercations, with the latter being flagged on one occasion for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Mathieu, 28, was shown pointing a finger in Brady’s face, while the quarterback chased the safety down after he threw a touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. Mathieu was defending Brown on the play.

Per the report, Brady called Mathieu “the ultimate competitor” as well as a “class act” in his text. He also said he’d like to apologize to Mathieu in person in the future.

“Listen, Tom Brady’s a great quarterback,” Mathieu said after the game. “I never really saw that side of Tom Brady, to be honest. But whatever. No comment. It’s over with. I’m done with it.”

Mathieu, however wasn’t done with it on social media. He said Brady started the verbal issues when he called Mathieu “something I won’t repeat” in a since-deleted tweet.

“He’s clearly chasing me, but I got flagged,” Mathieu said in another deleted tweet.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) talks with Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the second quarter of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl notebook: Tom Brady, Tyrann Mathieu have words

Tom Brady was winning more than the game on the field, he was also up for shouting down anybody that wanted to disrupt his plans for a seventh Super Bowl title.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ veteran quarterback appeared to be in something of a socially distanced argument with Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu near the end of the first half of an eventual 31-9 Tampa Bay victory.

With his helmet bobbing with every word, Brady pointed an index finger at Mathieu as he started to leave the field. Mathieu appeared to hold up four fingers, with the crux of the argument still unknown.

“We love that (stuff),” Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans said. “… We love when he gets fiery and competitive. When he does it, a lot of guys back him up to help him out. We love the competitiveness that he brings.”

Mathieu seemed to suggest on Twitter that Brady said something inappropriate, which led to the heated discussion. But the tweet seemed to disappear from his feed as fast as it appeared.

Brady was wearing a microphone during the game.

“Listen, Tom Brady’s a great quarterback,” Mathieu said, according to ProFootballTak. “I never really saw that side of Tom Brady, to be honest. But whatever. No comment. it’s over with. I’m done with it.”

–Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had much more on his mind than the football game Sunday as he was coaching with a heavy heart.

Reid’s son Britt, a Chiefs assistant, was involved in a car wreck Thursday that injured two young children, one of whom, a 5-year-old girl, is still hospitalized in critical condition. Multiple reports indicated Britt Reid was being investigated for driving while impaired.

Andy Reid was quick to address the car accident in his opening statement to the media.

“My heart goes out to all those involved in the accident, in particular the family with a little girl who’s fighting for her life,” Andy Reid said. “Just from a human standpoint, man, my heart bleeds for everybody involved in that.”

Asked whether the incident was a distraction, Andy Reid said, “We had put the game plan in the week before. The distraction wasn’t a distraction as far as the game plan goes. That was already in and how we were going to work with it and go forward.

“From a human standpoint, it’s a tough one. From a football standpoint, that wasn’t … I don’t think that was the problem.”

–Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes could be headed for offseason surgery, according to a report from NFL Network.

Mahomes has been bothered by turf toe and surgery could be an option to make sure the injury does not get worse over time. The MVP of last year’s Super Bowl, who was also the 2018 NFL MVP, threw two interceptions Sunday but refused to blame his health for his performance.

“You battle through it; you’re playing football,” Mahomes said. “You have to battle through injuries. We’ll look at it (Monday), and we’ll make a final decision on it if we’re going to have to have surgery on it or not.”

–Rob Gronkowski isn’t done yet.

After retiring from the New England Patriots two years ago following Super Bowl LIII, Gronkowski decided to end his time off and join buddy Tom Brady this season in Tampa. He wound up playing in all 16 regular-season games for the first time since 2011, catching 45 passes for 623 yards and seven touchdowns.

But Gronkowski showed his real worth in Super Bowl LV, finishing as the Bucs’ top receiver with six catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. In the process, he combined with Brady to become the NFL’s most prolific postseason touchdown tandem with 14 TDs to break a tie at 12 with the Hall of Fame San Francisco 49ers duo of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

“It definitely ranks as one of my greatest accomplishments ever,” Gronkowski said of moving south to win another Super Bowl with Brady. “It’s just an unbelievable story.”

It’s one that Gronkowski hopes to continue, saying afterward, “I’ll remain unretired. … I definitely see myself coming back.”

–If there is one team that knows the joy of a Brady-led Super Bowl title, it is the New England Patriots. Brady won six Super Bowls in New England, so when the veteran won No. 7 with the Buccaneers, his old team was quick with praise.

“Congratulations to the greatest of all time,” the Patriots posted to their Twitter account soon after Super Bowl LV was complete.

–Field Level Media