But Bucs general manager Jason Licht says the six-time Super Bowl champion made the sales pitch during their first talk after free agency began.
"We had a great conversation - (head coach) Bruce (Arians) and I - we talked to him for over an hour and a half. And he made it clear in the conversation that he was very, very interested," Licht said Monday on "Get Up," according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.
"It was almost like a recruitment on his part, telling us why it would make sense for him to come to Tampa Bay. The next call we made, we signed him, but it was at that phone call that we realized, that we felt like we had him," he added.
Brady made the stunning decision to leave the New England Patriots following an unprecedented 20-year run.
Speculation about Brady's future dominated the NFL news cycle prior to free agency, with the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Tennessee Titans widely regarded as the most likely landing spots.
But the Bucs swooped in late to secure the passer on a two-year deal reportedly worth $50 million fully guaranteed, with another $9 million available in incentives.
Some failed to connect Brady to Tampa Bay partly because of the questionable stylistic fit with Arians. However, Licht is confident the 42-year-old can thrive in the head coach's downfield-oriented scheme.
"The tape showed to us that he had plenty of arm. In fact, we thought that he had an ideal arm for Bruce in his system," Licht said. "He can still throw it deep. We felt like the mobility was still the same as he's always had, which, he's never been able to outrun anybody. But he certainly is good in the pocket in terms of eluding pressure and with his poise and his instincts.
"We did not see a decline in his arm talent whatsoever. And, in fact, we feel like he could still play for over two years for us, and hopefully that's the case."
Brady changed teams for the first time after producing one of the worst statistical seasons of his storied career in 2019. The future Hall of Famer threw for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns with eight interceptions while completing 60.8% of his pass attempts.