We may never know
A five-second soundbite was all Tom Brady needed to spark the next great NFL mystery.
HBO promoted Brady’s appearance on The Shop last week with a clip of him discussing his free agency in quite colorful terms.
“One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end,” Brady said. “I was thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that motherf-----?’ ”
Brady’s episode aired on Friday, but he didn’t reveal which team spurned him at the last moment or who the motherf----- was. The only other clue he dropped was that it was a team he wouldn’t have actually played for.
“When I look back, I’m like, there’s no f------ way I would’ve went to that team,” Brady said. “But they said they didn’t want me. I know what that means, I know what that feels like. And I’m gonna go f--- you up because of that.”
But that doesn’t answer the question of who Brady was talking about. The most obvious option was Mitchell Trubisky. Of all the teams Brady was connected to after leaving the Patriots, Chicago had the worst QB situation.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote a post early Saturday morning—not based on any reporting— entertaining the possibility that Brady was talking about Trubisky. Five hours later, though, Florio had some new information: “Source: Bears weren’t the team Tom Brady was referring to” was the headline of his next post. In that article, Florio laid out why the Chargers, Colts and Titans also didn’t make sense as the mystery team and suggested that Brady could have been talking about the 49ers and his old teammate Jimmy Garoppolo.
Florio spent the weekend covering the “motherf-----” beat. “Multiple people with deep connections to the NFL’s matrix have reached out in the past 24 hours to express a belief that the unnamed team was the Raiders,” he reported on Sunday.
Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel suggested that Brady was talking about the Dolphins and Ryan Fitzpatrick. But Florio threw cold water on that idea in a post Monday morning, pointing out that Miami was always going to draft a quarterback and wasn’t “sticking with” anyone.
So who was it? Garoppolo would be the juiciest answer, but it seems unlikely, given that Brady said he never would have signed with the team in question and his hometown Niners were thought to be the top choice. It seems a little harsh for Brady to refer to three-time Pro Bowler Derek Carr so dismissively, but the Raiders do make sense. Florio reported that Las Vegas was one of the last teams to drop out of the Brady sweepstakes. And then there’s Brady’s quote about how he imagined telling the mystery team, “I’m gonna go f--- you up because of that.” Brady did f--- up the Raiders when they met in Vegas in Week 7, completing 33 of 45 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns in a 45–20 Tampa Bay win.
This is the best kind of sports story. It invites all kinds of wild speculation and doesn’t really matter. It’s just fun to guess about who Brady was dissing. We’ll probably never know for sure who he was talking about, either. It’s likely that some reporter will try to ask him about it once training camp opens, but Brady is too image-conscious to answer truthfully.
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