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Brady, 42, will lead the Buccaneers into a Week 1 road matchup against the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees, their longtime star quarterback. Brees and Brady rank first and second, respectively, on the NFL’s all-time passing touchdowns leaderboard.
The Sept. 13 clash will mark Brady’s first regular-season game in uniform for a team other than the New England Patriots. Brady signed a two-year, $50 million contract with Tampa Bay after 20 seasons with the Patriots.
Brady will play his first game in front of the hometown Tampa Bay crowd in Week 2 when the Buccaneers face off against the Carolina Panthers. Like the Buccaneers, the Panthers are aiming to return to the postseason after a middling 2019 campaign.
The Buccaneers are also on the books for several prime-time games, beginning with an Oct. 8 battle with the Chicago Bears in Week 5 on “Thursday Night Football.”
Tampa Bay will play on “Sunday Night Football” against the Oakland Raiders in Week 7 and against the Saints in Week 9. The Buccaneers will appear on “Monday Night Football” in Week 8 against the New York Giants and in Week 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The five prime-time contests are the most the Buccaneers have played since 2003, the year after they won their first Super Bowl.
Aside from Brady, the new-look Buccaneers offense will feature his former Patriots teammate tight end Rob Gronkowski. The three-time Super Bowl champion came out of retirement shortly after Brady signed with Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers’ 2020 schedule does not feature a game against the Patriots, meaning any rivalry matchup between Brady and his former employers would have to wait until the Super Bowl.
It’s unclear if the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will force any changes to the NFL’s 2020 schedule. For now, league executives are proceeding as if the season will proceed without interruption.