Bucs' Tom Brady was very 'close' to signing with Saints, NFL insider reveals

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Tom Brady’s blunt assessment of the mystery team that passed up on the chance to sign him during free agency last year has one NFL insider pointing the finger at the New Orleans Saints

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington revealed on Wednesday’s episode of “Get Up” that the Saints were very “close” to signing Brady but it was ultimately the uncertainty surrounding Drew Brees that led to their decision to pass.

“I’m gonna say it as clear as day: it’s the New Orleans Saints,” Darlington said of which team has the biggest regret in backing down from Brady, without saying for sure who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was referencing in a preview of HBO’s “The Shop: Uninterrupted.” 

“Regret might be a strong word because ultimately Drew Brees decided to delay his broadcasting career and come back for one more season. The Saints did the right thing by bringing Brees back,” he said. 

“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. “I know that that’s going to be a statement that people try to question; it’s the truth,” he added. 

Brady caused a storm of speculation this week when a promotion for the HBO show airing this Friday showed the future Hall of Famer knocking an unknown team for deciding against signing him. 

“One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end,” Brady said in the clip. “I was thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that motherf—–?’”

There’s no telling who Brady was talking about — Darlington said there were essentially two teams excused from making a run from Brady — but the storylines seem to add up.

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