Patriots Rumors: No, Tom Brady Is Not Being Traded To The Houston Texans

It doesn't matter what your friend's girlfriend's sister's uncle told her - Tom Brady is not being traded, and the rumors that put that into circulation are based on pure speculation.

ESPN's "What If" article is being blamed for starting this rumor, but it actually isn't the real culprit - Greg Garber's article about a trade involving Brady, Andre Johnson and a first-round draft pick essentially admits it's a hypothetical scenario with no basis in reality.

Garber stoked the fire by including a quote from an anonymous NFL GM (the only kind of GM showing up in ESPN articles these days) saying the trade "actually makes too much sense", but there's absolutely nothing that indicates the move is anything more than a "what if" scenario posited by Garber. The Texans are included only because they fit Garber's overall hypothesis - that the Patriots could move Brady to a young team on the rise that needs a quarterback. That former Patriots coach Bill O'Brien is in charge there only helps the narrative.

It isn't easy to track the origin of the first "Tom Brady to the Texans" rumor, but there are a few places it pops up before the ESPN post.

First, there's this tweet from Grantland's Bill Barnwell back on August 13, which was 1. intended as a joke during the Ryan Mallett-to-Houston speculation (Mallett was indeed traded to Houston three weeks later) and 2. intended to be completely ridiculous.

The next Brady-to-Houston proposal popped up on the Texans Bull Blog on September 1, the day after the Mallett trade. It was also based on speculation on the part of the author, and never claimed to be anything else.

Then, there's this Fansided article from about three weeks ago, which has a very catchy headline (Tom Brady Rumors: Buccaneers, Texans could pursue trade) but again, zero substance.

The article contains this sentence, which echoes the real problem here: "One rumor that is starting to pop up more and more, pre-dating this slow start by the Patriots, is that Tom Brady’s days in New England are numbered."

Here's the thing: Bill Belichick and the Patriots have a habit of shipping players out once they've served their purpose - just look at Richard Seymour or Logan Mankins. The idea that they'd do the same with Brady - the biggest star in franchise history - makes for a tempting story. Throw in the potential storyline of rookie QB Jimmy Garoppolo taking over for the Pats midseason, and you've got a world-class internet rumor in the making.

It speaks volumes, though, that there haven't even been any "rumors out of Foxborough" or "unnamed sources" claiming Brady is on his way out - just speculation from people well outside of the Patriots facility. Just because the Patriots have a pattern for how they deal with older players, it doesn't mean that they'll treat Brady - their franchise quarterback for the past decade - the same way.

Could the Patriots trade Tom Brady? Anything is possible in the NFL, but the rumor that he's being traded to the Texans this season is based on pure imagination.

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