Patriots

Derrick Henry: Tom Brady the 'GOAT', but why wouldn't Titans want Ryan Tannehill back?

Derrick Henry: Tom Brady the 'GOAT', but why wouldn't Titans want Ryan Tannehill back?

If Tom Brady decides to leave the New England Patriots after winning six Super Bowl championships in 20 years with the franchise, one interesting free agent destination for him to consider is the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans beat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Wild Card round this past season thanks in large part to the efforts of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry. Henry, in particular, dominated the Patriots' highly rated defense with 182 rushing yards and a touchdown in the Titans' upset victory. Both of these players can become unrestricted free agents when the market opens in March, and even though Tannehill was great for the Titans in 2019, the idea of possibly acquiring a quarterback of Brady's caliber would be intriguing.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Henry recently was asked on Barstool Sports' "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast about what he would think if Brady came to the Titans. The veteran running back had plenty of praise for the 42-year-old quarterback, but it's clear he's a fan of Tannehill's ability to help the Titans win going forward.

"I would think: Why isn't Ryan Tannehill good enough?" Henry said. "(Brady) still can play. Obviously, age doesn't matter for him, he's still playing at a high level, so my question would be, why isn't Ryan good enough, you know?"

Tannehill took over as the Titans' starting quarterback in Week 7 and helped the team earn a wild-card playoff berth with a 7-3 finish to the regular season. The Titans upset the Patriots and No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs -- both on the road -- before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.

Tannehill proved, for the first time in his career, that he's able to make winning plays in the postseason. The Titans would be wise to bring him back given how explosive their offense became after he was named the starter.

"Tom Brady is the GOAT," Henry reiterated later in the podcast. "That is no question at all. The best of all time. But then, at the same time, I mean, Ryan Tannehill is our quarterback, went to the AFC Championship. Why would we not want Ryan back? Just wanted to clear that up, Tom Brady is the GOAT."

Brady and Tannehill are among the best players in what's expected to be a loaded class of free agent quarterbacks, and where these two sign no doubt will have a profound impact on the balance of power in the AFC.  

Curran on Brady's future: Where we stand and what's next

Bills WR gives Patriots bulletin-board material after Tom Brady departure

Bills WR gives Patriots bulletin-board material after Tom Brady departure

Is the AFC East officially wide open now that Tom Brady is no longer a member of the New England Patriots? At least one Buffalo Bills player thinks so.

Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie was ecstatic to hear the news of Brady signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That comes as no surprise, as the ex-Pats QB is an absurd 32-3 against Buffalo in his 20-year career and New England has won 11 straight division titles with Brady under center.

During an interview with WROC in Buffalo last week, McKenzie expressed his excitement about Brady leaving while giving the Patriots some bulletin-board material.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

“The Brady situation, I cheered,” McKenzie said. “He’s a great player. Our team is stacked. The last two years we’ve been giving him a run for his money, but now that he’s gone, it’s going to kind of be the Bills’ time to take over.”

McKenzie's confidence isn't unfounded. The Bills made a big splash earlier this offseason by trading for star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, giving Josh Allen another dangerous weapon opposite John Brown. With Brady and several other key contributors leaving in free agency, the Patriots may have their work cut out for them next season.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane sang a much different tune than McKenzie on Thursday, saying it's "funny and comical how people are writing off the Patriots in the AFC East." Still, it's safe to bet McKenzie's words will be remembered in Foxboro when the 2020 campaign kicks off.

Scott Pioli: Why Bill Belichick, Cam Newton are 'like oil and water'

Scott Pioli: Why Bill Belichick, Cam Newton are 'like oil and water'

At various points this offseason, the New England Patriots have been connected to some of the free-agent quarterbacks on the open market. And after they lost Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, speculation increased that they could add a veteran to compete with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in the quarterback room.

One guy that has been mentioned quite a bit is Cam Newton. The 2015 MVP was released by the Carolina Panthers this offseason but has yet to sign with a team.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Newton has been tied to the Patriots mostly by betting odds, which does make some sense. After all, Stidham is inexperienced and Hoyer has been an average-at-best starter during his time in the NFL. Newton has a history of high-level play when healthy, so perhaps he'd be worth the gamble for the right team.

But will the Patriots actually pursue him? One of the team's former personnel executives doesn't think so.

In a recent interview with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio, Scott Pioli, who worked in the Patriots front office from 2000-2008, spoke about Newton's connection to the Patriots. And ultimately, he doesn't think that Bill Belichick and Newton would be able to coexist.

"With Cam Newton, the Patriots thing is interesting because I've heard a lot of people talk about that. In my mind, having spent as much time with Bill as I did, I don't see those two coexisting together," Pioli said. "The personalities and beliefs of how the game should be played and is played, it seems like oil and water."

Listen and subscribe to Phil Perry's Next Pats Podcast here: 

Pioli joked that the Patriots will probably go right out and sign Newton after hearing these comments. But he ultimately just thinks Belichick and Newton wouldn't mesh well.

"I just see them as being very different personalities and having very different approaches to the game," Pioli said. "Bill believes in football more than entertainment. Cam believes that football and entertainment are almost equal partners. And in this day and age, it is, but Bill has the soul of a football man. I couldn't see that one working out too well. And if I did, it would probably have to be for one season."

Pioli makes some good points and perhaps that is why the team hasn't shown a lot of interest in Newton so far. Given that the team seems to believe in Stidham, it probably wouldn't make sense for them to bring in Newton to compete for the job if they're worried about how he might fit with the team.

Patriots fans should have a better idea of what the quarterback room will look like once the 2020 NFL Draft comes and goes. The Patriots may take another young player at the position to compete with Stidham and Hoyer. If they do, that would likely fully eliminate the possibility of them adding another veteran quarterback, if that option isn't already off the table.