They may be fierce competitors on the field but Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu have formed a close bond off the field. Their friendship was put to the test when Brady and Mathieu, then playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, had a verbal exchange during Super Bowl LV. But that was behind now and they are closer than ever. After Brady signed a 10-year, $375 million deal with Fox Sports to become their No. 1 football analyst when he retires, Mathieu said he called the quarterback to congratulate him on his new endeavor.

“I just talked to Brady like three days ago. Just congratulating him and everything. He’s such a good dude,” Mathieu said on the Rich Eisen Show, per transcription from the YouTube video.

Mathieu then heaped praises on Brady, saying football aside, the quarterback has a lot to offer as far as teaching you “about life off the field.” “Whether it be business, whether it be taking care of your body, he's just a great resource to have and I'm more so impressed that guys like him take the time to kind of entertain little guys like me,” he stressed. Mathieu said he admires Brady for taking his time to reach out and congratulate him, calling him a great support. While they’re always competitive on the field dating back to their time with the Houston Texans and the New England Patriots, Mathieu said Brady is very approachable and always has time for him.

Mathieu has a chance to face Brady twice this season after signing a three-year deal worth $33 million with the Buccaneers’ NFC South rival. Mathieu joined the Saints after he was not re-signed by the Chiefs as a free agent.

Bucs get 5 prime-time games

The NFL on Thursday released the full schedule for the 2022 season, where the Buccaneers will play five prime-time games.

In Week 1, the Buccaneers will go on the road to play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. The Buccaneers will have two Sunday Night Football games against the Chiefs in Week 4 and versus the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16 on Christmas Day. The Buccaneers also have one Monday Night Football game against the Saints in Week 13 and against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8.

In addition, the Buccaneers will face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10 in the first-ever NFL regular-season game in Germany. They will play on Nov. 13 at Allianz Arena in Munich. In that game, Brady has a chance to become the first quarterback to win in four different countries after United States, Mexico and London. He also has a chance to clinch the record for most passing yards in games played outside the United States, needing just 258 more yards to break the mark set by Blake Bortles who started in five international games when he was still with the Jacksonville Jaguars.