Before he decided to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady was very close to signing with the New Orleans Saints instead.
The signing of Tom Brady changed the landscape of the NFC South, but the division could have looked very different if the quarterback had landed in another spot.
According to Jeff Darlington of ESPN, the Saints were very close to landing Brady instead.
It’s something they may regret, if they don’t already.
Tom Brady came close to signing with the Saints instead of the Bucs
As Darlington tells it, the timing was just off for New Orleans. When Brady came on the market, Drew Brees decided to return for one more season with the franchise. If he had decided to retire then, the Brady sweepstakes may have played out differently.
“The Saints did the right thing by bringing Brees back but I think that people still underestimate how close Tom Brady was to signing with the New Orleans Saints up until he ultimately decided on the Bucs,” Darlington said.
As much as New Orleans will stand by their treatment of Brees, regret about things not working out with Brady will likely linger.
“Here’s the deal, Sean Payton can’t not look back and say ‘Man, I would have loved to have Tom Brady last year because it would have also meant that I’m going to have him for a few more years moving forward.’.” Darlington explained. “Despite understanding they did what they had to do, there is a little bit of, let’s call it, regret that Tom Brady is not their quarterback.”
The Saints went 12-4 and won the division, so having Brees back didn’t set them back in 2020. However, Brady led the Buccaneers past New Orleans in the playoffs and went on to win the Super Bowl.
While the Saints are looking to rebuild with either Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston. Their quarterback picture is extremely unclear. Meanwhile, the Bucs can move forward full-steam ahead with Brady.