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With Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers team history enters new chapter

Thomas Barrabi

The NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise will begin a new chapter this fall after signing of superstar quarterback and future Hall of Fame inductee Tom Brady.

The Buccaneers had an estimated valuation of $2.2 billion as of September 2019, according to Forbes. The team’s worth could fluctuate significantly in the coming months given the impact of Brady’s signing and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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The Buccaneers trace their origins back to 1974, when tax attorney Hugh Culverhouse paid $16 million for the right to start the NFL’s Tampa franchise. The team began play in 1976.

The fledgling franchise got off to a dismal start. The team lost 26 consecutive games before they finally earned their first win. Tampa Bay made their first playoff appearance in 1979, but the team struggled to return to winning ways for much of the next two decades.

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The Buccaneers’ fortunes began to improve in 1995, when Malcolm Glazer purchased the team for $192 million. Two years later, Glazer hired head coach Tony Dungy, who led Tampa Bay on an unprecedented run of success. The Buccaneers made the playoffs four times during his six-year tenure.

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When Dungy left to coach the Indianapolis Colts in 2002, the Buccaneers hired Jon Gruden, who promptly led the team to a Super Bowl berth. Tampa defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII to secure their first championship in franchise history.

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The Buccaneers have struggled since that Super Bowl win. The team made the playoffs just two times. In 2019, Tampa Bay finished with a disappointing 7-9 record.

Brady and star tight end Rob Gronkowski will lead a new-look Buccaneers offense into the 2020 season. The 42-year-old quarterback will look to guide Tampa Bay back to the Super Bowl for the first time in nearly two decades.

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