New York Jets have had a raft of quarterbacks since the start of this century and none of them have prevailed. There were the brief moments when we thought Chad Pennington could potentially be elite and the moments when Mark Sanchez looked like the ultimate game manager, but both them and the rest have ended up disappointing Gang Green fans.
But it could have all been very different. During the last 14 years, the Jets have had Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington, Brooks Bollinger, Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith as their starting quarterbacks. But if they would have wanted to they could have just picked up Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft.
I know what you're thinking. That's just hindsight talking. Well actually, it turns out that one Jets' scout begged the general manager at the time, Bill Parcells, to draft Tom Brady after seeing him light it up in a 35-34 Orange Bowl win over Alabama as an underrated college quarterback for Michigan.
Coming out of college, Brady was extremely underrated, and who knows, if Drew Bledsoe hadn't gone down injured in the second game of Brady's second season at the Patriots, maybe Brady would have never become a quarterback with five Super Bowl appearances and three Super Bowl rings.
The naysayers will always claim that Brady had greatness written all over him and would have found a way to the top eventually. And that's what one New York Jets source who was in the Jets' draft war room back in 2000 revealed to the New York Daily News on Thursday ahead of the rivalry match between the Jets and Patriots at Foxboro on Thursday Night Football.
Late in the 2000 NFL Draft, several rounds after the Jets drafted future starting quarterback Chad Pennington, one veteran Jets' scout tried and failed to persuade the legendary Bill Parcels to pick up Brady, according to the New York Daily News.
"A skinny quarterback from Michigan, so slow that his 40-yard dash at the combine could have been timed with an hourglass, was still on the board in the sixth round. The Jets scout, responsible for the Midwest, wanted him badly. He made it clear to Parcells. “Tom Brady,” the scout said.
"This comes to the Daily News courtesy of a source who was in the Jets’ draft room that day back at their old headquarters at Hofstra. The scout was Jesse Kaye, well-respected in the organization."
Jets' fans are used to hearing about their team making mistakes, but this may have been the biggest franchise history.