Skip to main content

Tom Brady Was Reportedly Very Close To Joining Bucs Rival

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in Week 1.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 13: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leaves the field following a loss against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

During the 2020 offseason, Tom Brady signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That turned out to be a smart move for the legendary quarterback. 

Even if Brady didn't sign with the Buccaneers in 2020, there was a good chance he'd end up in the NFC South. 

According to ESPN's Jeff Darlington, the New Orleans Saints were a contender in the Brady sweepstakes.   

"I have to take you back to a time when Tom Brady had decided that he was leaving the New England Patriots, and the Tampa Bay Bucs were absolutely at the top of his list," Darlington said, via BucsGameday. "But so too were another team, and that was the New Orleans Saints coached by Sean Payton. I don't think people give it credit enough how close Tom Brady was to playing with Sean Payton in New Orleans."

The Saints ultimately stuck with Drew Brees for the 2020 season. However, there was a point where New Orleans thought the veteran signal-caller would retire that offseason. 

"Had Drew Brees ended up as the 'Monday Night Football' analyst at our network, Tom Brady would have ended up with the Saints... At one point, Brees walked into Sean Payton's office and said, 'I'm done, I'm retired.' So, it was so close to Tom Brady ending up with the Saints and Sean Payton."

Brees came back for another season before hanging up his cleats. Brady, meanwhile, defeated the Saints in the NFC Divisional Round en route to another Super Bowl victory. 

Since then, the Buccaneers and Saints have been bitter rivals in the NFC South.