Who was Tom Brady referring to on LeBron’s talk show The Shop?

Who was Tom Brady referring to on LeBron’s talk show The Shop?

I'm putting on my detective hat to find that mother...

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Screenshot: HBO - The Shop

Tom Brady drama is like Thanksgiving. It doesn’t come around very often, but when it does, we feast. Brady has gone through his two-decade career only giving us bloodthirsty drama fanatics minor glimpses into what really goes on behind the scenes. He gave us one of those glimpses toward the end of his career with the Patriots. While Brady always made sure to speak highly of Bill Belichick during his departure from New England, it was obvious the relationship between the two had become a little tumultuous.

Other than that though, Brady has given us little. We’ve gotten scraps. Sure, there was the MAGA hat in his locker, and a clip of him during a 2019 loss to Houston where he appears to be chewing out his wide receivers. (Not his “wife receivers,” as the tweet below suggests.)

But those were merely speculations lacking payoff, brief peeks into Brady’s personal life, not enough hard evidence for anyone to really dive into. However, in the latest trailer for an episode of HBO’s The Shop set to air this Friday, Brady talks about his free agency prior to last season. In the clip, Brady says “One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end. And I thought to myself ‘You’re sticking with that mother—?’” The promo cuts just before what we all know is coming. You can watch it below.

Finally! That’s what I’ve been waiting for! WOOOOO! Tom Brady essentially dissing another quarterback, implying that it’s an absolute travesty that a team would even consider choosing said quarterback over Brady. That’s good stuff. The only problem is... Brady doesn’t tell us which team/quarterback he was referring to. Maybe he goes more in-depth in the show’s full episode, but I’m too impatient to wait for that. Besides, isn’t the best part of any show, or piece of gossip, the time before you know exactly what’s going on, when everyone is throwing out wild theories and trying to guess what’s happening? That’s the best part. As soon as Lost gave us all the answers, the show wasn’t as good.

So, with that said, let’s throw out some wild theories and take a look at whom Brady might have been (probably) referring to in that brief clip.

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3. Mitchell Trubisky

3. Mitchell Trubisky

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The list of teams interested in signing Brady last offseason was smaller than you might think, but one of those interested teams was the Chicago Bears. Per reports, the Bears even made an offer to the then-6-time Super Bowl champ, before eventually trading for Nick Foles.

Trubisky has long been the butt of many jokes in NFL circles for his inconsistent play, and the fact that Chicago traded up one spot to draft him over Patrick Mahomes. If you’ve watched even one Bears game since 2018, you’ve probably noticed just how poor Trubisky can be. Maybe it’s partly due to Matt Nagy’s flaws as a play caller, but it’s obvious that Trubisky has some serious problems of his own.

Now imagine you’re Brady. You’ve won six Super Bowls. You’re widely recognized as the greatest quarterback to ever grace a football field, yet the Chicago Bears tell you that they’d rather roll with… MITCH TRUBISKY. Someone who was mocked for earning a Pro Bowl nod, and then did this in the precision passing challenge.

He Cody Parkey’d the 5-point target, by the way.

If I were Brady, I’d be pretty upset if the Bears chose Trubisky over me. Then, for them to go out and trade for the guy who beat me in Super Bowl LII? That’s just icing on the cake. It would definitely upset me enough to call one of them a motherfucker. But that’s just me.

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2. Ryan Tannehill

2. Ryan Tannehill

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I like myself some Ryan Tannehill. I think he’s a great quarterback. Is he as good as Tom Brady? No. Not by a long shot.

What makes me think Tannehill is likely the quarterback Brady was referring to isn’t the fact that Tannehill has underperformed as the signal-caller for the Titans. He certainly hasn’t. It’s what Tom Brady says.

Brady says, “I thought to myself, ‘You’re going to stick with that mother—?’” I know he says he thought it, but if he thought, it he probably really wanted to say it. Who would he ever consider saying something like that to? He’d never say that to a head coach or GM, but he’d probably say it to a player... maybe a teammate, or a former teammate even — someone he once shared a locker room with. Enter Mike Vrabel, head coach of the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots linebacker from 2001 to 2008.

It’s hard to think that the Titans were ever super serious about moving on from Tannehill, though. He has excelled as the team’s signal-caller. Not to mention that Vrabel’s Titans had just handed Brady a first-round exit from the NFL’s most recent playoff season. His team was one win away from the Super Bowl. He probably believed he could return with just a little more luck in 2021.

That being said, Vrabel has also gone on record stating that he would cut off his own genitals to win a Super Bowl. I’m no scientist, but signing Brady seems a lot easier and a lot less painful than cutting off your balls. Brady is the best ever at winning Super Bowls, so if Vrabel was serious about how much he wanted to win a Lombardi Trophy, maybe he did seriously consider Brady.

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1. Jimmy Garoppolo

1. Jimmy Garoppolo

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Remember earlier when I said Brady never gave us any drama to feast on? Well, the Jimmy G. situation was definitely a piece that I left out on purpose to save for this last slide.

When Jimmy Garoppolo was forced to suit up and win some games for the Patriots while Brady was suspended for Deflategate, Belichick lost sight of Brady, his great treasure, and — if not for a moment — his heart desired another. Brady was already upset at the fact that Belichick was keeping Garoppolo around and that was reportedly a big reason why Jimmy G was eventually traded to San Francisco. After everything Brady and Belichick had been though, how could Belichick ever want to replace Brady?

Fast forward a few years. Brady is a free agent looking to return to the Bay Area, looking to play for the 49ers, his hometown franchise and the team he grew up rooting for. But then, once again, somebody tells him that they’d rather roll with Jimmy Garoppolo. This is the guy who just cost the 49ers a Super Bowl victory by overthrowing Emmanuel Sanders. This is the guy Niners coach Kyle Shanahan only trusted to throw the ball eight times in the NFC Championship. The 49ers’ Super Bowl window was closing rapidly, and they passed up an opportunity to snag Tom Brady?!

Brady has played his whole career in pursuit of greatness. He wants to be the indisputable GOAT. So for a quarterback who has two Super Bowl rings riding Brady’s coattails to be favored over Brady not once, but twice... that’s highly questionable, and makes Garoppolo most likely to be the quarterback Brady was referring to in the clip.

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