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Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis on Tom Brady: Once Drew Brees decided to play, that’s the route we were going

The first Sunday of the 2020 regular season featured the first of what would be three battles between Tom Brady and Drew Brees as quarterbacks in the same division. That day also included multiple Sunday Splash! reports suggesting that the Saints wanted to sign Brady -- even after Brees decided to play again in 2020.

Appearing on Adam Schein’s podcast, Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis addressed the question of whether his team pursued Brady in 2020.

“All I can say is this,” Loomis told Schein. “As soon as Drew made the decision that he was gonna play again last year, then that’s the route we were going. That’s probably all I’m gonna say to that.”

So why was there a sense that Brady was considering the Saints, even after Brees had said he’d return to New Orleans? The explanation could be as simple as this. Don Yee represents both Brady and Saints coach Sean Payton. Once it became clear that Brady was bound for the Buccaneers, propping up the Saints as a potential destination would help leverage Tampa Bay to pay more money and/or make more concessions -- such as free and full access to the team and its facilities for TB12 guru Alex Guerrero, pandemic notwithstanding.

If Brady was going to Tampa Bay anyway, why shouldn’t Payton have helped Brady make it as expensive as it could be for the Bucs to get him?

Ultimately, the Saints and Brees beat Brady and the Bucs twice during the season, including a Sunday night blowout in Tampa. In the single-elimination setting, however, Brady and company got it done.