The Wolverine


The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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56 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2020 BY AUSTIN FOX T om Brady's time as a New Eng- land Patriot officially came to an end March 20, when the 42-year- old quarterback signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worth $50 million in guaranteed money. The move marked the end of an era in New England, where the former Michigan signal-caller (1995-99) had established himself as the greatest player the game had ever seen dur- ing his 20 years in Foxborough, Mass. Brady won six Super Bowl titles with the Patriots (2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017 and 2019) and took home the MVP award in four of those six, both of which are the most in NFL history. His list of accomplishments also saw him lead the NFL in passing yards three times (2005, 2007 and 2017), pace the league in passing touchdowns four times (2002, 2007, 2010 and 2015), land on 14 Pro Bowl rosters and grab three regular-season MVP awards (2007, 2010 and 2017). "Excited, humble and hungry … if there is one thing I have learned about football, it's that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that … you earn the trust and respect of those around through your commitment every single day," Brady wrote on Instagram after sign- ing with Tampa Bay. "I'm starting a new football journey and thankful for the Buccaneers for giving me an opportunity to do what I love to do." "Tom is the most successful quar- terback in the history of our league, but what makes him so special is his ability to make those around him bet- ter," Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said. "I have had the privilege to work with some of the best passers in our game, and the characteristics they all possessed were the ability to lead and get the best out of their teammates. "Tom is no different. He is a proven winner who will provide the leader- ship, accountability and work ethic necessary to lead us to our goal of winning another championship." DEVIN FUNCHESS LANDS A ONE-YEAR DEAL WITH GREEN BAY The Green Bay Packers signed former Michigan wideout Devin Funchess (2012-14) to a one-year deal March 24, marking his third club in the last three years. The Farmington Hills, Mich., native is coming off a broken collarbone in his lone year with the Indianapolis Colts, which limited him to just one game. "Funchess may not be an excep- tionally fast or quick receiver, but he's a big body (6-4, 225) with a large catch radius who excels in the scramble drill," PackersWire's Jack Wepfer wrote March 25. "He'll also have [Green Bay quarterback Aaron] Rodgers throwing to him; Rodgers will be, far and away, the most accu- rate quarterback with whom Funch- ess has played. "Taken altogether, this is a shrewd move from the Packers' front office. If he's unproductive, gets injuries or struggles to see the field, it's a low- risk gamble. If the gamble pays off, however, it's home-run free agent signing." ❑ Will Lockwood • NHL The 2016 third-round pick (64th overall) of the Vancouver Ca- nucks signed an entry-level contract with the club March 19, after completing a successful career in Ann Arbor. The U-M captain and Bloomfield Hills., Mich., native finished second on the club with 23 points (nine goals and 14 assists) as a senior, led the squad with 16 goals as a junior and was even won the Hal Downes Trophy as the team's Most Valuable Player during his freshman campaign. Jake Ryan • NFL The linebacker signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens April 20, after being limited to just two games with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 due to a knee injury. Ryan compiled 213 tackles and started 27 games during a successful three-year stint with the Green Bay Packers from 2015-17, before injuries derailed his career and caused him to miss the entire 2018 campaign. Chris Wormley • NFL The Baltimore Ravens traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers March 20, after the defensive lineman had been chosen by the for- mer in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft and had spent the first three years of his pro career with them. Wormley was a part-time starter in Baltimore under head coach John Harbaugh, earning the starting nod in 15 of the 39 contests he appeared in while totaling 54 tackles, 2.5 sacks and seven passes defended. HEADLINERS Former Michigan athletes in the news this month   MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Tom Brady Set To Begin A New Era In Tampa Bay The 42-year-old Tom Brady inked a new t w o - y e a r d e a l w i t h t h e Ta m p a B a y Buccaneers worth $50 million in guaranteed money. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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