Tom Brady to the Jets? What Ty Law, Stephen A. Smith said about nightmare scenario for Patriots


“If I’m Tom Brady, hell no. I’m not putting myself in that position. I’m messing with my brand.”

Tom Brady speaking during a half time celebration in Brady’s honor as team owner Robert Kraft applaudes during their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium. 
Tom Brady seems content with his second retirement from the NFL these days. Matthew J. Lee / The Boston Globe

It was all but inevitable, wasn’t it?

As soon as Aaron Rodgers was loaded onto a cart in the first quarter of Monday’s Jets-Bills game, speculation started to spread about New York placing a call to a certain ageless signal caller currently in retirement.

Those whispers grew louder on Tuesday, especially after the Jets confirmed that Rodgers was ruled out for the remainder of the 2023 season due to a torn Achilles tendon. 

With Zach Wilson standing as New York’s next option under center, it seems like a given that the Jets will peruse the QB market to help bolster a talented roster.

Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum took to X — formally known as Twitter — on Tuesday morning to map out his former team’s contingency plans.

Leading the way were trades for veteran QBs like Matt Stafford and Jameis Winston, along with bringing in Colt McCoy and Matt Ryan for physicals. The third option, which Tannenbaum tabbed as “unlikely”, involved giving a call to Tom Brady to see if he has the itch to play once again.

As shocking as it would be for Brady to suit up for Gang Green this fall, Brady’s noncommittal history with retirement — coupled with his potential impact on a Jets roster already stacked with a stout defense and receiving options like Garrett Wilson — does carve out some validity to a seemingly improbable scenario.

Speaking on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” Tuesday morning, Patriots legend Ty Law didn’t put much stock into a scenario where Brady calls off retirement for a second time … especially to join one of New England’s most reviled foes. 

“Absolutely not,” the Hall of Famer said of his former teammate joining the Jets. “And I know Tom, he keeps himself in great shape. They’ve got something out there called the TB12 method. He is not coming back to play football and I don’t think that he’ll go to the Jets.”

Law is far from the only media personality to quickly strike down the notion of Brady putting on the football pads once again.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith rolled through a list of reasons why a return to the gridiron shouldn’t be in the cards for Brady, especially with a team like the Jets.

“He’s a seven-time champion. Of course, you make that call [if you’re the Jets],” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take”. “But here’s where I disagree. Number one, what you just highlighted, all the intricacies … new system, new players, unfamiliar. It’s not like you would be going to Josh McDaniels, who once coached you. It’s not like you would be going to Bill O’Brien, who once coached you. You’re going to an entirely new situation. And by the way, [Jets OC] Nathaniel Hackett is there … That ain’t working. Just cancel that, OK? So, we get that out of the way.

“Number two, the stationary target that I pointed out. Number three, you haven’t been working out and getting yourself conditioned for an NFL season because you retired officially and you were looking to go into the booth after taking a year off, all of this other stuff. That’s number three. And number four, the level of competition in the AFC. You were in Tampa last year in the NFC. Now, you would be against Buffalo, against Miami, against Cincinnati, against Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers.

“I’m sorry. If I’m Tom Brady, hell no. I’m not putting myself in that position. I’m messing with my brand.”

Of course, Brady himself also stressed once again during Monday’s episode of his “Let’s Go!” podcast that he isn’t feeling the itch to play anymore after calling it quits (for a second time) in February.

“I think the advice I gave different guys is if they’re looking in their career — and I told this to a friend last night — ‘just make sure you leave it all out there,’” Brady said. “Because you just never want to have one drop left and think, ‘Ah, everyone’s out there playing, and I’m sitting up here, and I still feel like I could do it.’ I don’t feel like that. I feel like I’m just super content with my decision and where I’m at in life.”

Whether it be his various post-retirement ventures — including a stake in the Las Vegas Raiders and a lucrative broadcasting career at FOX — or the optics of joining a team like the Jets, don’t expect Brady to turn heel just days after declaring himself as a “Patriot for life.”