Above all else, though, Brady was happy playing football again.
"I know people do joke, all of us joke, about the fact that Brady has a lot of the say, but he loves what [general manager Jason Licht] did last year and thinks if they can bring this band back together that they'll be even better coming into this season. He told people around him that he just loved this team so much," ESPN's Jeff Darlington said Sunday on SportsCenter.
It's not hard to see why Brady was so happy with the Bucs. Licht surrounded him with perhaps the best supporting cast in football, equipping him with a solid offensive line, three Pro Bowl-caliber receivers (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown), a future Hall of Fame tight end (Rob Gronkowski) and two solid running backs (Leonard Fournette, Ronals Jones II).
The Bucs also sought Brady's opinions on personnel moves and brought in Brown and Gronkowski at the quarterback's suggestion.
Add in one of the NFL's best defenses, and this was perhaps Brady's best all-around team since the 2007 Patriots went undefeated in the regular season. After recent years saw Brady forced to prop up below-average supporting casts, there were some who believed Brady was the weak link in a Bucs juggernaut.
Brady proved skeptics wrong in both the regular season and playoffs, winning his fifth Super Bowl MVP in the process.