Contrary to what happens in MLB and the NBA, marquee free agents that can change a franchise do not typically come available in the NFL. That is especially true at quarterback, as provisions such as the franchise tag make it very difficult for an elite signal-caller to reach the open market. Tom Brady was an exception to that commonality last offseason when he decided to leave the New England Patriots after two decades for reasons that are still not set in stone to this day. On a tease for an upcoming episode of The Shop, Brady is heard speaking dismissively about a quarterback whose team elected to keep him instead of pursue the at-the-time six-time champion.
The mystery around whom Brady is referring to in the clip has become fodder for internet sleuths trying to unearth which of the other 30 teams it could have been. Longtime Brady advocate Colin Cowherd said on The Herd on Tuesday he firmly believes it is Buffalo Bills backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The ex-Tar Hell was on the Chicago Bears at the time, who were still presumably trying to see what they had the former No. 2 overall pick before each side cut ties this offseason.
“It’s Mitch Trubisky,” Cowherd said. “(Brady) really considered three teams: Tampa, the Chargers, and Chicago.”
Cowherd eliminated the Colts and Chargers as neither had an incumbent to speak of, as well as the Saints, Titans, Raiders, and 49ers for various other reasons. Trubisky had arguably his best season with the Bears in a 2020 playoff run, but even then, his numbers did not stack up to one of the unquestioned all-time greats in Brady.
“What Tom is saying now as the GOAT to a now backup is a reasonable thing to say,” Cowherd said. “It is Trubisky. That’s the answer, and it’s the truth.”
Will we ever find out the real answer? If so, it will be on Friday night, when the newest episode of The Shop debuts on HBO.
Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII
“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”
The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.
Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.
Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.
Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.
Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.