Last week, Tom Brady won his fifth Super Bowl and officially cemented his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. For years, Jets fans have been kicking themselves over not selecting him anytime before the Patriots did and are left to wonder what could have been if coach Bill Belichick and Brady were on the Jets.
Well it's time to stop thinking about the past. As the old saying goes, "hindsight is 20/20". We need to stop looking at Brady's draft class in the present. We can only look at it as it happened.
Every NFL passed on Brady at least once. Remember, Brady wasn't selected until the 199th pick, 6th round of the NFL Draft. That means every team passed on him five times. In that sixth round, there were 40 picks, and Brady was selected with the 33rd pick of that round, so another 25 teams passed over him, including the Patriots. The teams that passed over Brady the most that round were the Seahawks and the Eagles, each three times.
Hypothetically, let's say the Jets did select Brady and Belichick stayed with the team instead of quitting after 24 hours. There's no guarantee that Brady and Belichick would've had the same success as they had in New England. Brady would be in a position battle with fellow rookie Chad Pennington. While at Michigan, Brady got so frustrated over playing time that he had to see a psychologist and the athletic director to build up his confidence. Imagine how frustrated Brady would've been if he had to ride the bench while Pennington was out on the field.
In New England, Brady had the opportunity to learn from Drew Bledsoe, who went 98-95 as a starter during the regular season. If Brady had come to New York, he would've learned from Vinny Testaverde, who went 90-123-1 as a starter during the regular season. Both were decent quarterbacks in their careers, but Bledsoe had the winning pedigree instead of Testaverde.
So Jets fans, don't kick yourselves over Tom Brady. Every NFL team passed on him at least once, including the Patriots. Even if the Jets had taken him, there's no guarantee that Brady would have the same success as he did in New England. He could've been the backup QB to Pennington. Plus, Brady learned from Bledsoe, but he wouldn't be as good if he learned from Testaverde. Jets fans can only hope for the day that Brady hangs up the cleats. Until then, they have to accept the fact that Tom Brady is a legend that everyone passed over.