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FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) waves to the crowd after an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. Tom Brady is an NFL free agent for the first time in his career. The 42-year-old quarterback with six Super Bowl rings said Tuesday morning, March 17, 2020, that he is leaving the New England Patriots. (AP Photo/Frank Victores, File)

This story was updated Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 11 p.m. with more information.

LOS ANGELES — If the Chargers made a push for Tom Brady, but they again were foiled by the quarterback.

Brady opted to end his brief foray into free agency by reportedly agreeing to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Brady has reached an agreement in principle to join the Bucs.

The frenzy surrounding Brady picked up Tuesday morning when he announced on social media that he is not returning to the New England Patriots, the team with which he spent 20 seasons.

In a post thanking Patriots fans, Brady wrote, "I don't know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career."

The Chargers are in search of a replacement for Philip Rivers, who has started all 235 games the franchise has played since 2006. Rivers and the Chargers mutually decided to part ways last month.

On Tuesday, Rivers agreed to a one-year, $25-million deal with Indianapolis.

The Chargers had interest in Brady both for what he brings on the field and in prestige.

They are moving into the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood this season and his presence would have boosted the profile of the Chargers both nationally and, perhaps of more importance, locally.

The team has struggled to establish itself in L.A. since relocating from San Diego three years ago.

Along with all his career accomplishments, Brady and the Patriots also knocked the Chargers out of the playoffs in the 2006, 2007 and 2018 seasons.

 

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