While Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans are sad to see Tom Brady finally riding off into the sunset, his former opponents are obviously breathing a huge sigh of relief.
That includes New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, who was asked about Brady’s retirement while in attendance at this year’s Pro Bowl festivities.
Jordan made it clear that while he has the utmost respect for the GOAT, he certainly won’t be sad to see him leave the NFC South, which will prevent Jordan and the Saints from having to play against him twice a year.
Ever the trash-talker, though, Jordan couldn’t resist the opportunity to get a dig in at the Bucs, now that Brady won’t be around (via NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe):
“We’re glad he’s out of the division. Tampa Bay will probably go back to… where Tampa Bay has been.”
8-time Pro Bowler #Saints Cam Jordan (@camjordan94) on Tom Brady retirement + hope he doesn’t see me at Pro Bowl for 3rd straight year b/c he’s at bigger Bowl. For @nflnetwork: pic.twitter.com/57TJmykNhC
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) February 4, 2023
There’s no denying the truth about Tampa Bay’s overall struggles as a franchise in the win column, and how Brady’s arrival quickly ended a long postseason drought with an immediate Super Bowl run.
But Jordan’s Saints might know a thing or two about what life is like without a legendary, first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback.
Jordan spent the first 10 years of his NFL career with Drew Brees as his quarterback. But for all their division titles and playoff appearances over that stretch, the Saints only made it past the divisional round once, and never went further than a loss to the Rams in the 2018 NFC title game.
Brees’ final game of his career was a 30-20 home loss in the divisional round to . . . Brady and the Bucs, who rolled through New Orleans on their way to a Super Bowl win in the GOAT’s first season in Tampa Bay.
Without Brees, the Saints have had a similar existence to that of the Bucs without Brady.
If you remove all of Brees’ games as a starter in New Orleans, the Saints’ all-time winning percentage in the regular season is just .417, compared to the Bucs’ .386 mark without Brady.
Since Brees’ retirement, the Saints have gone 16-18, missing the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
Brees helped lead the Saints to their only Lombardi Trophy the year before Jordan was drafted, while the Bucs’ championship in 2020 was the second in franchise history.
All that considered, who could blame Jordan if he were just a little bitter about watching Brady and the Bucs win the title in their first year together, after playing a decade with another gold-jacket quarterback without ever making a trip to the Big Game?