Imagining what the NFL would be like if X star player ended up at Y destination is fun and, in most cases, somewhat relevant. Doing this with Tom Brady—a sixth-round draft pick—isn't as compelling, as every single team in the league had a free shot at the quarterback and passed five times.
Nonetheless, the New York Daily News plastered an image of Brady in a Jets uniform on the cover of its Thursday edition, highlighting a story about the Patriots star almost being drafted by the New York Jets.
The Daily News' Gary Myers tells the story of a team scout trying to convince then-Jets head coach Bill Parcells to draft the ponderous quarterback out of Ann Arbor.
Alas, the Jets—who had already used their first-round selection on Marshall University quarterback Chad Pennington—decided to pass on Brady in favor of North Carolina State defensive back Tony Scott.
The Patriots would take Brady 20 picks later, solidifying the pro football world as we knew it.
Myers goes on to give the Jets credit for Brady's chance at success, saying he might've never had an opportunity to shine if the New York defense hadn't nearly murdered New England starter Drew Bledsoe in 2001.
"If Jets linebacker Mo Lewis didn't knock out Bledsoe late in the second game of the 2001 season with a serious chest injury—Bledsoe, bleeding internally and losing a liter of blood per hour, nearly died in the ambulance—then who knows if the legend of Brady ever would have been born," Myers writes.
So there you have it. The Jets could've had Brady, but instead carved a bloody trail for him to travel down the road to greatness.
Of course, working on this logic, Drew Brees could've been a Denver Bronco, but instead the team passed on him in 2001 and opted to give him a Super Bowl-winning torn labrum instead. Indeed, things could've been so different in this league.
Despair not, Jets fans. While the quarterback situation in New York continues to backfire, at least there isn't the specter of Tebow hanging over the franchise anymore—although those days may be coming back.
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