One motivating factor for Tom Brady to leave the New England Patriots in last year's free agency to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was apparently tied to the quarterback's longtime rival Peyton Manning.
Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen said Manning's success with the Denver Broncos after a remarkable run with the Indianapolis Colts challenged Brady to make history with more than one team.
"(Brady) said one of the things that looked really fun and challenging to him is what Peyton did in Denver," Christensen recently said on "The Zach Gelb Show." "There was something about that challenge that hit (Brady) right. I do think that the challenge of that was a huge thing for him.
"Twenty-one years is a long time," Christensen added about Brady's career. "Sometimes there's time for a change. He's mentioned several times that he was impressed with it and that looked fun and challenging to him."
Brady's Patriots and Manning's Colts were the AFC's two best teams for several seasons. The two squads met 12 times (playoffs included), with Brady winning eight of those contests.
Brady led New England to six Super Bowl titles while being named regular-season MVP three times from 2001-19. He left the Pats after two decades and signed a two-year deal with the Bucs in March 2020.
The 43-year-old is off to a great start with the Buccaneers after leading Tampa Bay to its first Lombardi Trophy since 2002 in his debut with the club.
Manning was named regular-season MVP four times with the Colts from 1998-2011, helping Indianapolis win one Super Bowl. He joined the Broncos as a free agent in 2012 and quickly made Denver a powerhouse.
The Hall of Fame signal-caller, who switched teams at the age of 36, led the Broncos to a league-best 50-14 record from 2012-15, as well as a Super Bowl title in two appearances in the big game.
Manning's four-season stint with the Broncos was also marked by his historic 2013 campaign, winning his fifth MVP award after breaking the all-time single-season records for passing yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55).