New England Patriots

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 03: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passes during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have won the Tom Brady sweepstakes. But they weren’t the only team that entered the 2020 offseason with hopes of luring ‘The GOAT’ to their city.

“Definitely we looked at Tom and thought that would have been a great opportunity,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told The Indy Star this week. “He’s a special guy.”

Irsay would know, too.

One of the constant threats to the Patriots during Brady’s 20-year run with New England — first in the Peyton Manning era and then Andrew Luck era — Irsay’s Colts had 14 regular-season meetings and another five postseason showdowns with Brady’s Patriots during a two-dynasty era of AFC domination.

And it was a rivalry dominated by Brady, with Brady compiling a 11-3 regular season record against the Colts and wins in four of their five postseason meetings.

Oct 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Brady’s dome domination would have lined up with the Colts’ championship aspirations, too, with Brady boasting a 13-4 career record with 40 touchdowns and a 111.8 passer rating in 17 career dome games.

The 43-year-old Brady entered the free agent market with an interest in joining the Colts, too, but Indy ultimately decided to go with a year of Philip Rivers, who led the Colts to the postseason this past season before retiring earlier this month.

“I think Frank [Reich] really knew Philip well,” Irsay said of the Colts’ decision to go with Rivers over Brady. “They had worked together and there was such a great familiarity there, that it seemed to be a great fit for us.”

But with Brady off to his 10th Super Bowl, Irsay is certainly aware of what could have been with Brady, and knows that the debate is over when it comes to No. 12’s greatness.

“You have to throw all the charts out and the age thing with [Brady],” said Irsay. “We’ll just have to make sure he was born on this planet when it’s all said and done, because he appears to be from another world with what he’s accomplished in his athletic career.”

Brady and the Bucs will square off with the defending champion Kanas City Chiefs on Feb. 7.