From the Daily News' Gary Myers comes an alternate history worthy of Harry Turtledove: A source who was in New York's draft room in 2000 claims one scout aggressively urged Bill Parcells to select Tom Brady with the Jets' sixth-round draft pick.
Seems like, if it went down like this, we'd have heard about it by now. But Myers's source, who "has a long memory," offers up plenty of details.
One veteran scout in their draft room had such a conviction on a player he nearly stood on a table shouting his name to general manager Bill Parcells.
The scout was Jesse Kaye, well-respected in the organization.
Even though the Jets had already invested the 18th overall pick on [Chad] Pennington, the first quarterback they had taken in the first round since Ken O'Brien in 1983, the source said Kaye loved Brady, who had thrown for 369 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-34 overtime victory over Alabama in the Orange Bowl in the final game of his college career, but was unable to persuade Parcells — despite the scout's deep conviction that Brady was going to be an excellent player — to take him.
When the Jets turned in their card in the sixth round with the 179th pick, they took North Carolina State defensive back Tony Scott. Twenty picks later, using a supplemental sixth-round draft choice, the Patriots selected Brady.
Kaye, who is still a consultant for the Jets, ostensibly declined comment on this story. Parcells tells Myers he doesn't remember Brady's name coming up.
Even if there's truth to this version of events, it doesn't have to be a big deal. Tons of names are thrown out there in draft rooms. Brady may have been mentioned by half the league before the Patriots took a flyer. Still, this hypothetical is better in the abstract. What if the Jets had drafted Tom Brady? They would have ruined him somehow.