It’s not often that you hear Tom Brady get candid in an interview, but that’s exactly what happened two weeks ago when he sat down for a talk on HBO’s “The Shop.” Not only did Brady get candid, but he also gave us a mystery to solve when he used a curse word to describe an opposing quarterback without mentioning that opposing QB by name. 

During the conversation on HBO, Brady was describing the free agency process he went through in 2020 and specifically, he talked about the fact that he wasn’t happy with how one team treated him. 

“There was a story in free agency and one of the teams, they were interested and all of a sudden they weren’t interested in the very end,” Brady said. “I was thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that mother f—er? Are you serious?'”

For the past two weeks, there’s been plenty of speculation revolving around which opposing quarterback Brady was referring to when he dropped the f-bomb and one name that keeps coming up is Derek Carr. The Raiders were on the short list of teams that Brady would have signed with, but they backed off early in process and decided to stick with Carr, which is one reason why the theory that Brady was referring to Carr definitely seems plausible. 

To add more intrigue to the mystery, the Raiders quarterback had an interesting reaction when he was asked about Brady’s comment this week during an appearance on the Brother from Another podcast

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“From what I know it wasn’t me, which is good,” Carr said. “If it was, I’ve gotten in enough trouble trying to challenge some people to fights. As a man, Tom, I know you got the rings, but if it’s not me, then we’re good. What I heard is it wasn’t me and so I’m good with that… But hey, if it was, then that’s different. 

Carr was then asked where he heard that it wasn’t him and he ducked the question by saying that he didn’t want to name his source. As you can see below, there was definitely some nervous laughter from Carr and if you combine that with the fact he brought up FIGHTING and that he couldn’t say for sure that Brady wasn’t referring to him makes it seem like Brady was probably referring to him. 

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora recently walked through the other teams — and quarterbacks — that Brady might have been talking about, but as JLC notes, none of them make a lot of sense. If you look at the list of teams that were at least mildly interested in Brady at one point or another, it includes: The Buccaneers, Bears, Chargers, Colts, Raiders, Saints, Titans and 49ers. 

During the interview, Brady mentioned that the team was sticking with their QB from last year, so that eliminates the Chargers and Colts, who both brought in new quarterbacks. That leaves us the 49ers, Bears, Saints, Titans and Raiders. Ryan Tannehill signed an extension before free agency and it’s unlikely that Brady would refer to Drew Brees with an F-bomb, which leaves us the Bears, Raiders and 49ers. 

According to Pro Football Talk, Brady absolutely wasn’t referring to the Bears, which leaves us the Raiders or 49ers, so using the process of elimination, it was likely Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo was the “Mother f—er” Brady was referring to, and to be honest, either answer would be easy to believe.  

The Raiders make sense because it’s very possible that Brady felt jilted by them. In an interview that took place in April 2020 after Brady had already signed in Tampa Bay, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport said the Raiders were on the short list of teams that Brady would have signed with, but they decided to stick with Carr, leaving Brady with just two teams interested in him at the very end (Chargers and Buccaneers).