While again declining to reveal names, Tom Brady has offered some more choice words for the teams that bypassed him last year in free agency.
Only this time, his comments were pointed without being profane.
“I think what you realize is that there’s not as many smart people as you think. It’s just the reality,” the Bucs’ 43-year-old quarterback told Jim Gray for a SiriusXM Town Hall event that premiered Wednesday evening.
Brady’s latest comments on the issue come roughly a month after the premier of his viral appearance on HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted. During that casual interview with a room of celebrities, Brady brought up one of the teams that chose to stay with its current quarterback instead of signing the future Hall of Famer.
“I was thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that motherf---er?’” he said at the time.
During his sit-down with Gray, Brady said the teams who bypassed him know who they are but declined to identify them because “there’s private things for me that are going to remain motivational for me.” A clip from that part of the conversation can be seen here.
“It would be a no-brainer if you said, ‘Hey, you’ve got a chance to get Wayne Gretzky on your team,’ or ‘You get a chance to have Michael Jordan on your team,’” added Brady, who signed with the Bucs (on an original two-year deal) in March 2020.
“‘Ahh, we don’t need him. No thanks, we’re good.’ In my mind, I’m kind of thinking, okay, let me go show those teams what they’re missing. And at the same time, let me go prove to the team that did bet on me, and the team that really showed that they really wanted me and committed to me, that I’m not going to let them down.”
Brady’s lengthy interview with Gray will replay many times on both the Mad Dog Sports Radio (Channel 82) and NFL Radio channels, while being available on the SiriusXM app.
Other topics discussed by Brady:
His return to New England (where he spent his first 20 seasons) for an Oct. 3 prime-time game
“It’ll be a great day for football. ... I’m not naive to the fact that there’s some marquee games that you always look at over the course of a season: a matchup of places guys have been versus where they’re at now, or brothers playing one another, or former Super Bowl teams going. ... It’s just naturally there’s more buildup, but at the end of the day it’s going to be a game where we’re going to go out there, we’re going to prepare like we’ve been preparing.”
The drive to keep playing in his mid-40s (Brady turns 44 on Aug. 3)
“Naturally I think for people, it’s always easy to say, ‘What more is there to prove?’ or ‘Why keep playing?’ I play because I love the game, I play because I love to compete. We shouldn’t stop our life, even though we love something, because just someone puts an arbitrary timeline on that. I felt for a long time I could play until I was 45 years old. I think I committed to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to play until I’m 45,’ and this year I’ll be 44, which naturally takes me to next year. And I’ve got a two-year contract, and we’ll see what happens beyond that.”
Whether he could play beyond age 45
“Yeah, I think I’ve got to get to that point first, and then just evaluate how I feel and where I’m at in my life. But things change as you get older, and there’s a lot of different responsibilities I have in my life. My kids and my family are certainly very important, and they made a lot of sacrifices over a long period of time to watch me play, so I owe it to them, too.”
His Lombardi Trophy toss during the Bucs’ celebratory boat parade
“It was probably the highest-risk toss of my life, because little did I know at the time there was 80 feet of water, I guess, had that not been a completion. Fortunately, my boy Cam Brate on the other side of the reception made a big catch. We were all slightly overserved that day, so it could’ve slipped through his hands, it could’ve been pretty messy. Very happy that wasn’t the case.”
The effects of having no preseason in 2020
“My first game with the Bucs was at New Orleans, on the road, Week One. I literally didn’t know where to sit on the bench for the first game of the year. I mean, that’s crazy to think that you didn’t even know where to sit, or you don’t know the pregame routine because it was the first one, so you had to learn it. Now I know where to sit. Now I know how the cadence of plays are called. Now I know how the week of practice works.”
Whether his recent golf opponent, Aaron Rodgers, will play for the Packers in 2021
“I certainly expect him to be playing (in the NFL). I don’t know the intricate details of that relationship, but it’s hard to find a great quarterback in the NFL. That’s just the reality.”
Whether he’s interested in coaching at the college and pro level after retirement
“No. That would be a very short answer to a detailed question. ... I definitely don’t want to coach.”
The support and influence of his parents (Brady’s voice cracked during this response)
“When I wanted to play sports when I was young, my parents never said, ‘That will be too hard, you should try something else.’ ... I think my parents always said, ‘You can do it.’ ... I was seventh on the depth chart at Michigan. They were like, ‘You’re going to be the starting quarterback at Michigan some day,’ and sure enough I was, and I got to be in the pros. ... There was never a doubt. In their mind, there never was a doubt. Maybe at different times I doubted a little bit, but they were there to support me and push me to it, and I think that was a really amazing thing that my parents did.”