By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Over the course of two decades in the public eye, Tom Brady has learned how to speak into a microphone without ruffling too many feathers or drawing too much undesired attention. It’s generally a rare moment when the 43-year-old lets it rip and speaks from the gut — and it seems like his appearance on HBO’s “The Shop” this week may be one of those moments.
Brady will appear on the show, along with Draymond Green, Kid Cudi, Chelsea Handler, and Paul Rivera. In a teaser clip, Brady reflects upon a team that wasn’t all that interested in signing him last season, when he was a free agent for the first time of his career.
“One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end,” Brady said. “I was thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that mother [bleeper]?'”
— HBO (@HBO) June 21, 2021
Obviously, a person doesn’t win seven Super Bowls and play through his 40s unless he has an ultra-rare sense of competitiveness. So such a thought process isn’t surprising, per se. It is, however, notable for being a rare instance of Brady speaking honestly about his feelings when the cameras are rolling.
As for which team he’s referring to, he likely won’t be revealing that in the full episode. But we can certainly guess.
We know that in terms of interested teams, the Bucs and Chargers wanted Brady. In terms of some realistic team-quarterback combos that carried over from 2019 into 2020 that might fit the bill, we’ve got:
Las Vegas-Derek Carr
L.A. Rams-Jared Goff
NY Giants-Daniel Jones
NY Jets-Sam Darnold
San Francisco-Jimmy Garoppolo
Some of those make more sense than some others. Tennessee was rumored to be a big possibility for Brady, before the Titans signed Tannehill to a four-year, $118 million deal. That signing came just after Tannehill and the Titans ended Brady’s final season in Foxboro, so emotions might have been running high on that one.
Brady likely wouldn’t drop a soundbite like that one if it involved Jimmy G. in San Francisco, even though that would be great for websites and talk shows. Chicago and Trubisky would possibly be a good match, too, as the Bears had a top-five defense in 2019 but clearly had a deficiency at quarterback.
Denver and Drew Lock did make some sense, but did Brady really want to play in Denver? The same thought applies in Indianapolis, though the Colts opted for Philip Rivers in free agency over Brady instead of “sticking with” somebody.
We could guess all day, really. But maybe Tennessee or Chicago makes the most sense. There’s some room for interpretation.
Ultimately it is interesting because Brady — the greatest quarterback to ever play the game — had very little interest in free agency. He went out and had a dynamite season in a new home in a new offense and ended up as the Super Bowl MVP. Any team that didn’t want him clearly has to still be a bit sore about it, and Brady’s brief comment in this clip can serve as a little bit of a spiking of the football.