And so it begins.
A day after it was reported NFL free agents would begin flocking to Tampa Bay to join Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, the legendary quarterback’s new team reached a one-year, $2.3 million agreement with former Indianapolis Colts offensive tackle Joe Haeg, according to NFL Network.
“An unexpected high number of players” began reaching out to the Buccaneers in light of Brady agreeing to sign with them, a trend ESPN labeled the “LeBron Effect” in reference to NBA superstar LeBron James famously attracting big-name players to teams he has played for.
Haeg, 27, is hardly a star — he started just six games the past two seasons — but he offers the Buccaneers line size (6-foot-6, 298 lbs) and versatility.
He also is the first free agent to sign with the Bucs since the soon-to-be 43-year-old Brady landed there Tuesday on a contract that reportedly could be worth $60 million over two seasons. Brady announced Friday he had signed with Tampa Bay.
Ahead of free agency, ESPN reported the Buccaneers would be willing to give Brady power over the construction of a team that hasn’t made the postseason since 2007, but is filled with offensive weapons set up to be led by the six-time Super Bowl winner Brady.