Ever since Tom Brady appeared on The Shop and criticized a team for "sticking with that motherf--ker" over him in free agency, the sports world has been buzzing about which NFL quarterback is the expletive in question.
It appears Brady will be keeping that reveal to himself.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback spoke to Jim Gray for a SiriusXM Town Hall that will be released Wednesday and refused to divulge the secret (via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald):
“There’s private things for me that are going to remain motivational for me. They know who they are … it’s fine. Everyone has a choice to choose. I think what you realize is, there’s not as many smart people as you think. That’s just the reality. I think it’d be a no-brainer if you said, ‘Hey, you’ve got a chance to get Wayne Gretzky on your team, or you got a chance to have Michael Jordan on your team.’ … ‘Oh, we don’t need him, no thanks. We’re good.’ In my mind, I’m kind of thinking, ‘OK, let me go show those teams what they’re missing.’ At the same time, let me go prove to the team that did bet on me, and the team that really showed they really wanted me, and committed to me, that I’m not going to let them down.”
Brady, of course, went on to sign in Tampa and led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title in his first season with the franchise. All's well that ends well.
However, it's hard not to speculate about which quarterback made Brady feel such a grave insult. The most natural suspects are the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears and Las Vegas Raiders, all of whom were linked to Brady and had some level of concern regarding their quarterback situation prior to last season.
"There was a story—in free agency, one of the teams, they were interested, and all of a sudden, they weren't interested at the very end," Brady said. "I was sitting there thinking, 'You're sticking with that motherf--ker? Are you serious?'
"When I look back, I'm like, 'There's no f--king way I would've went to that team.' But they said they didn't want me, and I know what that means, I know what that feels like. And I'm going to f--k you up because of that."
At least one of the quarterbacks speculated about, Derek Carr, already addressed the situation. During an appearance on Brother From Another, the Raiders quarterback said he was told by a "good source" that he wasn't the quarterback referenced.
It appears unlikely that the Titans are the team either, given Ryan Tannehill was coming off a Comeback Player of the Year performance in 2019. It was only natural that Tennessee looked to run it back, and the team had another solid season with Tannehill under center.
The 49ers and Bears are obvious choices. Brady already went through a "him or me" situation with Jimmy Garoppolo in New England before the latter was traded to San Francisco. The Bears had one of the worst quarterback situations but decided to trade for Nick Foles and retain Mitchell Trubisky for 2020.
Both teams being in the NFC also gives more credence to Brady wanting to destroy the squad that passed him over as well.