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Long-time producer Fred Gaudelli was “really surprised” Tom Brady agreed to become an analyst

While buying a portion of the Raiders would complicate Tom Brady’s path back to the field, Mike Florio and Chris Simms assess how viable of an option he’d be in the event Jimmy Garoppolo’s foot injury is an issue.

Next year, we think, Tom Brady will become the No. 1 analyst for Fox’s NFL games.

There’s a lingering doubt as to whether Brady will ever do it. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post has expressed varying degrees of skepticism about the situation; on at least one occasion his opinion was twisted into something more than that.

In an extensive interview with legendary NFL game producer Fred Gaudelli, Marchand asked Gaudelli for his reaction when learning Brady would be entering the broadcast booth.

I was really surprised,” Gaudelli said.

“Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I know Tom, but I’ve been in meetings with Tom for over 20 years. And while he definitely knew our team, I never heard him express any interest in being an analyst. I knew he was beginning to dabble in media. He had the TB Times, where he had these cartoons after games that he’d have his staff put together that were really pretty fun and somewhat innovative. . . . And then you could see him dipping more into media, but I saw him more like Peyton [Manning], a media mogul and kind of doing it on his terms.

“Like I said, I never got the impression once that being in a booth and doing what we were doing was something that appealed to him. It doesn’t mean it didn’t, I just never had that interaction with him where he was curious about what we were doing or how we were doing it and what our lives were like or what the process was like. So I was surprised.”

That’s an important revelation. Gaudelli was in meetings with many teams and players over the years. Those who aspire to become broadcasters will at some point declare their interest. Brady, in more than two decades, never gave Gaudelli that impression once.

Marchand also asked Gaudelli whether Brady eventually will go through with it.

“I mean, he’s signed on to do it,” Gaudelli said. “I guess until you see him in the booth, there’s always that question whether he does it or not, but at this point, I have to take him for his word.”

But here’s the thing about Brady’s word. It’s only as good as it’s ever going to be on the day he gives it. After Brady retired earlier this year, Jim Gray reminded Brady that he once said he’d retire when he “sucks” and that he clearly doesn’t suck.

Brady basically said he believed it when he said it.

But beliefs can change. And Brady has shown he won’t be bound by past beliefs.

So, when it comes to Brady working games, many have one specific belief -- they’ll believe it when they see it.