Fans and media members aren't the only ones playing the Tom Brady free-agency prediction game.

The Patriots quarterback hits the open market March 18, and several clubs -- most frequently the Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans -- have been speculated as landing spots for Brady if he leaves New England.

But where do Brady's contemporaries believe he'll end up? Cam Newton apparently sees the 42-year-old heading to L.A.

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"He thinks that Tom is going to come to the Chargers," former Chargers defensive end Shawne Merriman told TMZ Sports, claiming the Carolina Panthers quarterback made his prediction during Super Bowl week in Miami.

Merriman disagrees with Newton's take, though -- and believes the Chargers would be better off with a QB like Newton to replace Philip Rivers, who is parting ways with L.A. this offseason.

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"Tom's a great quarterback. He's just not a great quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers," Merriman told TMZ Sports. " ... I think if you're going to move from a different direction from Phillp, you go in and get somebody that could do a little bit more -- a little more athletic.

" ... I think Cam Newton could be a really good choice, even for the short term."


Merriman didn't share Newton's reasoning behind his Brady-to-the-Chargers theory, but L.A. could be a draw for the six-time Super Bowl champion, who has family in Southern California (including a niece playing softball at UCLA) and may want to expand his TB12 Sports brand to the West Coast.

We may have to wait a while to see if Newton is onto something, as Brady and the Patriots have yet to engage in contract negotiations, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.