Keyshawn Johnson, Michael Irvin and Skip Bayless on Undisputed Photo credit: Undisputed

The love Skip Bayless has for Tom Brady is special, and he won’t let Bill Belichick get in the way of believing his favorite quarterback was self-made.

In the wake of Belichick’s departure from the New England Patriots after six Super Bowl championships and nearly a quarter-century as their head coach, Bayless spent part of his Friday morning on Undisputed making sure Brady was credited for the franchise’s success. According to Bayless, Belichick doesn’t deserve credit for finding Brady, the signal-caller he deserves credit for is Mac Jones.

“He hand-picked that quarterback,” Bayless said of Belichick and Jones. “And that quarterback, Mac Jones actually got off to a pretty good start the first year and then Bill just coached him into oblivion.”

Keyshawn Johnson quickly interrupted Bayless for a second, just to remind everyone that Belichick hand-picked Brady too.

“I don’t think he hand-picked him, no,” Bayless argued. “He drafted Mac Jones, he traded up to get him in the first round. Tom, the sixth rounder fell in his lap. He did not hand-pick Tom.”

Belichick drafted Jones in the first round, he did not trade up to get him. There was a belief that the Patriots could move up to get Jones, but it didn’t happen. Despite some draft boards projecting Jones being as high as a top-three pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Alabama quarterback fell to No. 15, where Belichick and the Patriots were sitting.

And as far as Brady falling in Belichick’s lap, it’s fair to say the Patriots didn’t know what they had when they selected the eventual seven-time Super Bowl champion. But Belichick was still the head coach of the team that selected Brady.

“The value board at that point really clearly put him as the top value,” Belichick said of Brady during his draft press conference on April 16, 2000. “Brady is a guy that has obviously played at a high level of competition in front of a lot of people and he’s been in a lot of pressure situations.”

While every team in the NFL repeatedly bypassed the chance to draft Brady, Belichick and the Patriots eventually relied on their value board and picked him. Not only did they pick Brady, but Belichick played him and stuck with him, even when the second most expensive quarterback in the NFL was on New England’s roster and healthy. Belichick deserves some credit for that.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to