Sean Payton Reveals How He Tried to Draft Tom Brady in 2000

Sean Payton had a successful run as the head coach with the New Orleans Saints with Drew Brees as his starting quarterback. But before he joined the Saints, Payton came close to coaching another legendary signal-caller. While appearing on the Green Light Podcast, Payton revealed he wanted the New York Giants to draft Tom Brady when he was the team's offensive coordinator in 2000. 

"All right, so I'm in New York and my agent is Don Yee, and Don also represents Tom Brady," Payton said, via Yahoo! Sports (per CBS Sports). "Don would periodically call me with a client that he just signed, and he said, 'Hey will you call up Tom Brady? He's at Michigan and I've got him, and just help him out with things that would be important for him at the combine.'"

"Basically, I remember it being a half an hour phone call on what's important. Make a good impression, be prepared to answer some football questions. The interviews were much more informal at that time." Payton didn't have the power to draft Brady but he did grade him as a third or fourth-round player. As everyone knows, Brady was selected by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, and the rest is history. 

"We were (scouting) Brady, now this is going around the room and everyone's seen Tom run the 40 at the combine. Everyone's seen, you know, you get the body, weigh in pictures, all of that," Payton said. "So, you have a guy who is not fully developed yet who was pretty much a one-year starter. You could tell that he needs the weight room. But Lloyd Carr (Michigan head coach) said this, I'll never forget it, he said he's the toughest player that he's ever coached. That meant something."  


At the time, the Giants had Kerry Collins as the starting quarterback and led the Giants to a Super Bowl that year. But in 2001, Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl title and would go on to win five more titles with the team. It's interesting Payton talked about Brady considering both were linked to being part of the Miami Dolphins organization. Brady reportedly came close to being part of the Dolphins ownership group while Payton was contacted to be the coach after resigning his position with the Saints.