Jeff Darlington Audio: He was not necessarily planning to play the free agency market. Now, he did in his head go over the options. He thought about all the different scenarios, the 49ers, even the Patriots. At one point someone had expressed and the idea of going back to the Patriots, to which he quickly was like, “it ain’t happening”. The Dolphins was not happening. It was always going to be, in his head, playing for the Bucs or retiring. And today we find out exactly what that decision was.
Felger: So that was Jeff Darlington on ESPN this morning, very close to Brady, very close to the Brady Camp. He was out ahead of most of the stuff when he went to Tampa in the first place. So I’ll listen to what he said. And when he said “someone expressed the idea of going back to the Patriots”, when he says that, folks, he doesn’t mean like Brady’s driver, or the doorman at his apartment building, or his father. No, no. I think what he meant was someone expressed the idea, meaning, I think that meant someone in New England. Someone floated that to him. That’s what I guess. And Brady said, “that ain’t happening”. But when someone expressed the idea Mazz, how did you read that? Who do you think that was?
Mazz: Oh I think it was probably someone in the Kraft family. Again, Mike Reiss had a comment a little while back about how he think’s the Patriots might have a willingness to bring him back but it really depends on whether Tom would do it and he was not sure he would. And when I heard that, when I heard Reiss say that, I went, “oh, my gosh, they would consider it. They would consider it”. And so my guess is that somehow somebody networked with Brady, either Robert himself or someone on behalf of the Krafts, sniffed around it with someone who is in Brady’s circle. And Brady said, “thanks, but no thanks”, I’m not doing it.
Jim Murray: It had to be ownership because I don’t think he would want to come back with everything that transpired.
Felger: Someone expressed the idea of going back to New England.
Mazz: Wasn’t Bill!
Felger: And he said “that ain’t happening”. And I think that’s more than just idle chatter in his circle. I think that came from the outside and he said “that ain’t happening”. So it kind of pisses me off that if the Patriots wanted it, they didn’t go forward to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. That sort of bugs me as part of this too. I’m not ready for it to end.
Mazz: So Mike, that’s the other thing. Darlington reported that in Brady’s mind it was either going to be Tampa or nobody. Do you believe that?
Mazz: Me neither.
Felger: Of course. You could always make him an offer that he can’t refuse. I mean, I think maybe he went into it saying that or, you know, but I think he left his options open, as anyone would. Let’s see if someone wants to get silly. What if someone makes me an offer that I just can’t say no to?