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Bucs' Tom Brady likens himself to Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan after team passed on him: 'A no-brainer'

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is still throwing shade at the mystery team that decided to pass on him in free agency last year, saying no team would ever pass on the chance to sign players like Wayne Gretzky or Michael Jordan. 

Brady revisited the topic during a SiriusXM Town Hall event with Jim Gray on Wednesday, where said that the “reality” of the situation is that “there’s not as many smart people as you think.”

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“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,’” he said, comparing his situation to two absolute legends, via The Tampa Bay Times. “‘Ahh, we don’t need him. No thanks, we’re good.’”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) holds the Vince Lombardi trophy following the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Tampa Bay won 31-9. (Ben Liebenberg via AP)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) holds the Vince Lombardi trophy following the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Tampa Bay won 31-9. (Ben Liebenberg via AP)

Brady said the response by that team, who he declined to name, became a central point of motivation for his success with the Bucs. 

“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.”

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The 43-year-old quarterback, who is set to turn 44 next month, did just that. 

After not making a single playoff appearance since 2007, the Bucs started out the 2020 season strong but quickly fell to the middle of the pack. With Brady leading the way, Tampa would win the final four games of the season to advance to the Wild Card Round and the rest is history. 

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Speculation around what team might have passed on the chance to sign Brady led to New Orleans after ESPN reported back in June that the Saints were “close” to signing him but decided to stick with Drew Brees after he decided to stick around for another season.

The answer to that rumor likely won’t ever be revealed — at least not by Brady. 

“There’s private things for me that are going to remain motivational for me.”

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