Brady signs extension, frees salary cap space for Buccaneers

FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady leaves the field an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, in this Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, file photo. om Brady has agreed to a contract extension with the Buccaneers that provides the Super Bowl champions with much-needed salary cap relief and will help the seven-time NFL champion reach a goal of playing until hes at least 45. Brady posted a picture of himself on Twitter, signing the extension Friday, March 12, 2021, with the message: In pursuit of 8 ... LFG@ Buccaneers were keeping the band together. (AP Photo/Brett Duke, File)
FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady leaves the field an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, in this Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, file photo. om Brady has agreed to a contract extension with the Buccaneers that provides the Super Bowl champions with much-needed salary cap relief and will help the seven-time NFL champion reach a goal of playing until hes at least 45. Brady posted a picture of himself on Twitter, signing the extension Friday, March 12, 2021, with the message: In pursuit of 8 ... LFG@ Buccaneers were keeping the band together. (AP Photo/Brett Duke, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TAMPA, Fla. – Tom Brady has agreed to a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that provides the Super Bowl champions with much-needed salary cap relief and will help the seven-time NFL champion reach a goal of playing until he’s at least 45.

Brady posted a picture of himself on Twitter, signing the extension Friday with the message: “In pursuit of 8 ... LFG@ Buccaneers we’re keeping the band together.”

The extension confirmed by the team frees about $19 million in salary cap space, a move that improves Tampa Bay’s chances of returning as much of its championship roster as possible for 2021.

Seven starters from the Super Bowl were among two dozen Buccaneers eligible to become free agents next week.

“When we acquired Tom a year ago, we were extremely excited about the leadership, poise and winning track record that he would bring to our locker room. Since that time, he has proven himself to be the ultimate competitor and delivered in every way we had imagined, helping us capture the Lombardi Trophy,” general manager Jason Licht said.

“Year after year," the GM added, "Tom proves that he remains one of the elite quarterbacks in this game and we couldn’t be happier to keep him in Tampa Bay as we continue to pursue our goals together.”

Brady's extension adds an extra season on the two-year, $50 million contract he signed in free agency last March following a 20-year run with the New England Patriots.

The five-time Super Bowl MVP capped his first season with the Bucs by leading Tampa Bay to its first championship in 18 years.