The Tampa Bay Buccaneers originally seemed like an unfeasible option for free agent quarterback Tom Brady. But the team was able to successfully pull it off, signing Brady to a two-year contract. Their pursuit was extremely serious from the get-go, based off all reports.
According to ESPN's Ian O'Connor, the Buccaneers called their chase for Brady "Operation Shoeless Joe Jackson." Why did they use this specific codename? Well, because the Bucs believed that Brady entering the open market was as likely as the former Chicago White Sox hitter walking out of an Iowa cornfield, a la "Field of Dreams."
"If you build it, he will come," Buccaneers director of player personnel John Spytek would tell general manager Jason Licht, according ESPN. "Go the distance."
The name was created by Spytek, who was a teammate with Brady at Michigan for one year, and a huge fan of the Kevin Costner flick. A guy with "spy" in his surname came up with a codename and nabbed a key Spygate contributor. You can't make this up.
We highly doubt that Brady opted to put pen to paper based on a cutesy operation title. In all honesty, the main selling point for Brady was that the Buccaneers had an explosive offense containing wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, as well as tight ends OJ Howard and Cameron Brate. These were the weapons that Brady lacked with the New England Patriots.
Code name or not, the Buccaneers got their man in "Shoeless" Tom Brady, a quarterback who can finally utilize their offense to its full potential. 2020 is going to be special down in Tampa Bay.