Tom Brady
(Jeff Bottari/Associated Press)

Tom Brady Was Reportedly Close To Signing Where?

After a rather successful 20 seasons in Foxborough, Tom Brady ultimately elected to go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last March. He has faired exceptionally well thus far, winning another Lombardi Trophy and silencing those who claimed he would fall off years ago (Hi Max Kellerman!).

However, Brady was reportedly close to signing with a different team during free agency last year, and it was even a divisional rival of the Bucs, according to NFL Insider Jeff Darlington. In Darlington’s mind, there was only one correct answer as to what team this could be in reference to.

“I’m gonna say it as clear as day: it’s the New Orleans Saints,” Darlington said on ESPN. “Regret might be a strong word because ultimately Drew Brees decided to delay his broadcasting career and come back for one more season. The Saints did the right thing by bringing Brees back. But 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. I know that that’s gonna be a statement people try to question. It’s the truth.

I love the what-if scenarios in sports, and this is definitely a big one. If Brady had gone to New Orleans instead of Tampa Bay, just how different would the Saints be right now? Last year was really a do-or-die year for New Orleans.

Brady and New Orleans

In my estimation, Brady would have also performed well in New Orleans. The Saints were 12th in total offense last season, and that was with noodle-arm Drew Brees, who retired following a Divisional Series loss to Brady and the Bucs.

Brady would have fit very well into their offensive scheme, which was tailored to Brees’ declining arm strength over the years. Short passes, a lot of screen passes, spreading the ball around, and setting up the occasional deep ball – in other words, much of what Brady does currently in Tampa.

“Here’s the deal: Sean Payton cannot look back and say, ‘Man, I would have loved to have Tom Brady last year,’ because it would also have meant that they have him for a few more years moving forward. No question in my mind. The Saints, despite understanding they did what they had to do, there’s a little bit of — let’s call it regret — that Tom Brady is not their quarterback.” -Darlington later added in his interview with ESPN.

It is intriguing to look at where both teams stand now as well. The Bucs will be heading into the 2021 season as a Super Bowl favorite, while the Saints have a messy quarterback situation, forced to decide between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. They still have their explosive offense featuring Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, but it will be interesting to see how the Saints approach their first year in many without Brees.

Tom Brady Rips Other Team As Well

In a clip from the latest episode of HBO’s “The Shop”, Brady is seen heavily critiquing a team for passing on him in free agency. “The Shop” is a show in which big names in both sports and entertainment gather in barbershops across the country to discuss and debate current topics.

“One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end,” he said. “I was thinking, you’re sticking with that m—–f—-r?”

There was a lot of speculation as to which team Brady was referencing. Many speculated it was the 49ers, who trotted out Jimmy Garoppolo, Brady’s former backup, last year.

Of course, it is unlikely that we will never know. We can speculate and make as many theories as we want, but we cannot deny that Tom Brady was reportedly close to becoming a Saint. I would have loved to see how this played out.

As for Brady, he recently signed an extension with the Bucs, keeping him at the helm until 2022.

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