Adam Schefter Offers Headshaking Reminder About Tom Brady’s Free Agency

Only the Chargers and Buccaneers aggressively pursued Brady


Feb 8, 2021

It’s safe to say a few teams around the NFL probably are kicking themselves right now for not aggressively pursuing Tom Brady in free agency this past offseason.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter offered a headshaking reminder Sunday night, after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium, that the vast majority of the NFL had questions about whether Brady still could thrive at age 43.

In fact, as Schefter notes, only the Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers made a real push to sign the future Hall of Famer.

To say Brady has silenced his doubters would be an understatement. Not only did he perform well between the lines this season, his first with the Buccaneers after 20 years with the New England Patriots. He also completely changed the culture in Tampa Bay, paving the way for the Bucs to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

“All I can think about when I’m watching the game (Sunday night) is when he became a free agent, there were teams that thought about making a move with Tom Brady, but in the end ultimately, when he became a free agent in mid March, there were two teams that seriously pursued him: the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Schefter said Monday on ESPN’s “Get Up,” a reality that likely stings for those franchises who considered but ultimately passed on Brady.

Brady already was considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history before joining Tampa Bay, having won six Super Bowl titles with New England. But his playoff run with the Bucs, in which he knocked off Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes en route to a seventh Super Bowl ring, is the stuff of legends.

“So there were 30 other teams that thought they had a better quarterback solution than going out and getting the greatest player in NFL history, at the most impactful position, a man capable of changing your entire culture,” Schefter said. “How could 30 teams take a look at a guy where you didn’t even have to trade any picks to New England? You didn’t have to give up any compensation. All you had to do was hand your program to him. And there were two teams that wanted to do that. Two. OK? The rest looked past him. They all thought he was too old. They all thought he looked washed up in New England in his last season there. They all thought he wouldn’t be able to do it at the age of 43. And once again, one of the things I think drives Tom Brady is proving people wrong, and now it’s proving people wrong at the age he’s doing it at.”

There’s certainly no buyer’s remorse being felt in Tampa Bay. But across the league, it’s fair to wonder what certain general managers were thinking when planning for the 2020 NFL campaign.

Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images
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