Tom Brady almost joined a Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFC South nemesis in 2020 instead of the Bucs.
Brady nearly signed with the New Orleans Saints according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington on Tuesday’s Get Up.
“I think that people still underestimate how close Tom Brady was to signing with the New Orleans Saints up until he ultimately decided on the Bucs,” Darlington said on the show. “I know that’s going to be a statement that people try to question, but it’s the truth.”
Brady made a NFSW statement on HBO’s The Shop regarding a team that passed on him in free agency in 2020 to keep its incumbent quarterback. Brady didn’t name the team in the video though many concluded it’s probably the San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The puzzle pieces all fit together. Brady grew up as a 49ers fan, and his former team, the New England Patriots, drafted Garoppolo during his prime. The Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers as Brady clearly wasn’t retiring soon.
“I’m gonna say it as clear as day: it’s the New Orleans Saints,” Darlington said on ESPN.
Brady, however, has a friendship with Brees, which had been highlighted several times last season.
Saints Considered Brady as Brees Pondered Retirement
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was pondering retirement after the 2019 season, and the team only had Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater as the main backups. ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared on the Rich Eisen Show that the Saints seriously considered Brady in free agency.
Brees ultimately decided to play one more season. It looked like a great decision at first in 2020 as the Saints swept the Bucs in the regular season and won the NFC South division title. Brees looked solid in 12 games played with 2,942 yards and 24 touchdowns. He missed four games due to injury.
Things changed after Brees’ injury, despite returning. The Saints couldn’t handle the Bucs defense in the NFC Divisional playoff round, and the Bucs advanced 30-20 with Brady outdueling Brees. Brady threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Brees had 134 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions.
“The Saints despite understanding they did what they had to do, there is a little bit of — let’s call it regret — that Tom Brady is not their quarterback,” Darlington said on ESPN.
Now the Saints are searching for a new starter after Brees retired. Media reports indicate that backups Jameis Winston and Hill.
How the Saints would have looked in 2020 with Brady under center will be left to computer simulations as it would for all of the other failed suitors.
Other Suitors for Brady in 2020
The Los Angeles Chargers made an offer to Brady in 2020, and the 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, and Las Vegas Raiders were all reportedly in the running. Only the Chargers, and Titans made the playoffs. The 49ers and Bears drafted quarterbacks, and the Raiders still have Derek Carr.
Bleacher Report Gridiron recently proposed which of four Brady suitors “would’ve had the best shot at winning a Super Bowl with the GOAT” on its Twitter account. The choices were the Raiders, Titans, 49ers, and Chargers.
Brady had his own answer — “The Bucs”.