NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This is the last thing New York Jets fans need to hear.
But here it is: Tom Brady could have been drafted by the green and white, if only one scout had his way.
The New York Daily News published the ultimate “what if?” story ahead of Thursday’s Jets-Patriots matchup in New England, a near-miss in 2000 that might have dramatically changed the balance of power in the NFL over the past decade-plus.
According to the paper, scout Jesse Kaye “had such a conviction” that Brady should be the team’s sixth-round pick that “he nearly stood on a table shouting his name.” But then-general manager Bill Parcells wasn’t having it.
Instead, the Jets selected cornerback Tony Scott. New England took a flyer 20 picks later on Brady, a relatively unknown quarterback out of Michigan, and the rest is history.
Of course, it’s also a “what if?” story for the three-time Super Bowl champion. Brady may have languished as a third-stringer behind Vinny Testaverde and Chad Pennington, who the Jets took in the first round that same year. He also wouldn’t have had head coach Bill Belichick, who infamously resigned as “HC of the NYC” just months before the draft.
And — chew on this — maybe Damon Huard would be a future Hall of Famer, the beneficiary of a brutal injury to Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe in 2001.
OK, probably not.
More likely: New England would have just been a touch less dominant from the stretch beginning in ’01, when the Patriots won all but two division titles. That parity thing hasn’t really applied to the AFC East during the Brady era.
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