Patriots

Is this the mystery team that irked Tom Brady in free agency?

Patriots

Tom Brady may never reveal which team ticked him off in 2020 free agency, but NFL detectives are on the case and appear to have solved the mystery.

During a discussion on HBO's "The Shop: Uninterrupted" that aired Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback recalled being upset last offseason when a team pursuing him in free agency dropped out.

"One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end. I was thinking, 'you’re sticking with that motherf-----?' " Brady said.

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Some wondered if Brady was referring to the San Francisco 49ers, which would make the "motherf-----" in question his former New England Patriots teammate, Jimmy Garoppolo.

But Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio made the case for another candidate: The Las Vegas Raiders.

"Multiple people with deep connections to the NFL’s matrix have reached out in the past 24 hours to express a belief that the unnamed team was the Raiders," Florio wrote Sunday.

The Raiders do make sense as the mystery team. They reportedly were in the running for Brady's services before deciding to stick with Derek Carr, who's a fine quarterback who ranked 10th in the NFL in passer rating in 2020 but certainly isn't on Brady's level.

 
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Brady also said in the full episode there was "no f---ing way" he would have played for that team anyway and vowed to exact his revenge after they passed on him.

"They said they didn’t want me. I know what that means, I know what that feels like. And I’m gonna go f--- you up because of that," Brady said, as transcribed by Florio.'

If the Raiders are the mystery team, then Brady kept his word: The 43-year-old QB torched Las Vegas for 369 passing yards and four touchdowns in a 45-20 rout in Week 7.

So, there's a pretty strong argument that the Raiders are to blame for giving Brady even more motivation to prove his greatness after leaving the Patriots. Thankfully for Las Vegas, Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Bucs aren't on the team's schedule in 2021.