Patriots

Why did Titans choose Ryan Tannehill over Tom Brady in free agency?

Why did Titans choose Ryan Tannehill over Tom Brady in free agency?

Editor’s note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today’s team: The Tennessee Titans with Joe Rexrode of The Athletic.

The Tennessee Titans were considered one of the frontrunners to land Tom Brady in free agency. However, the Brady-to-Nashville hype dissipated when the Titans committed to Ryan Tannehill with a four-year, $118 million contract.

Imagine reading that a year ago? The Titans picked Ryan Tannehill over Tom Brady? What planet are we on?

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

But Tannehill's 2019 season was no joke. The 31-year-old tossed 22 touchdown passes with only six interceptions and finished the year with the highest passer rating (117.5) of all starting quarterbacks.

He also led the Titans all the way to the AFC Championship Game with playoff victories over Brady's New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. That apparently was enough to convince head coach Mike Vrabel and Co. that Tannehill was the answer going forward.

In our latest edition of Patriots Opposing Views, Joe Rexrode of The Athletic chatted with Phil Perry about the Titans' faith in Tannehill and whether they would have gone after Brady if circumstances were different.

"I think it's only about Ryan Tannehill," said Rexrode. "When Tannehill came in to the job, they were 2-4, they had just lost an awful game at Denver, Marcus Mariota was flaming out. If the season continued as it did, I think it would have been an all-in situation for Vrabel to try to bring Brady here. There was a lot of reasons for it to work and for both sides to like it, but I think Ryan Tannehill by the end there they were like, 'How do we not pay this guy?'

"And obviously you're talking about 10, 11 years difference in age, So from a long-term perspective, it makes sense if he is what he was last year. It's always a gamble, but I really think it's a totally different mindset for them if Tannehill doesn't kind of grab that job the way he did."

Only time will tell whether or not Tannehill's success last season was simply a flash in the pan. His seven previous seasons in Miami weren't exactly admirable, but perhaps a change of scenery is all he needed. That, and of course a 240-pound behemoth at running back named Derrick Henry.

As great of a fit Brady may have been in Tennessee with his old friend Vrabel, he still landed in a solid situation. He'll lead a high-powered Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense after signing a two-year, $50 million contract in March.

NFL Twitter explodes with reaction to Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' reported contract

NFL Twitter explodes with reaction to Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' reported contract

Patrick Mahomes has fully committed to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The superstar quarterback, who led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl LIV triumph last season, reportedly has agreed to a massive 10-year contract extension worth $450 million. ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Mahomes is the best player in the NFL and, at only 24 years old, could lead the Chiefs on a dominant run of success over the next decade. In his two seasons as the Chiefs' starting quarterback, Mahomes has a 24-8 record, a 4-1 playoff record and a Lombardi Trophy. He also won Super Bowl LIV MVP and the 2018 NFL MVP.

Given his age, talent and potential, it's not surprising that NFL Twitter was pretty fired up about Mahomes and the Chiefs extending their partnership through 2031 (he has two more years remaining on his current contract).

Here's some of the best Twitter reaction to Mahomes' massive contract extension.

NFL rumors: Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes agrees to huge 10-year contract extension

NFL rumors: Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes agrees to huge 10-year contract extension

The Kansas City Chiefs are going to be a tough opponent for the New England Patriots and the rest of the AFC for many years to come.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes reportedly has agreed to a massive 10-year contract extension, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Mahomes has two more years left on his current deal with Kansas City, so this extension would keep him with the Chiefs for 12 more seasons.

The Chiefs won their first Lombardi Trophy in 50 years last season when Mahomes led a fourth quarter comeback against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Mahomes won Super Bowl MVP, adding to the NFL MVP he won during the 2018 campaign. The 24-year-old quarterback has thrown 76 touchdown passes with only 17 interceptions in the last two seasons (30 games played).

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league, and his résumé through three pro seasons -- the last two of which he's been the full-time starter in Kansas City -- is absolutely astounding.

What does this news mean for the Patriots?

Well, the Chiefs aren't going anywhere. Kansas City will continue to be a top contender in the AFC as long as Mahomes is healthy. He has a 25-8 record as a starter in the regular season, in addition to a 4-1 playoff record that includes a Super Bowl title.

The Chiefs also have been one of the league's highest-scoring offenses (32-plus points per game) in the league over the last two seasons, and no lead is safe when Mahomes has the ball. The Patriots found that out first hand during the 2018 AFC Championship Game in Kansas City. New England held a 14-0 halftime advantage, and it also led 24-21 and 31-28 late in the fourth quarter before losing both and having to play overtime. Former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won the game in the OT period with an incredible touchdown drive on the first possession.

The AFC title win in 2018 was one of two victories for the Patriots in three matchups versus Mahomes. New England beat him twice in 2018 and lost in the 2019 regular season when the Chiefs earned a 23-16 Week 14 win at Gillette Stadium.

The Chiefs will play the Patriots again in the 2020 regular season in a Week 4 matchup at Arrowhead Stadium. You can bet the Patriots and Chiefs will play plenty more times throughout the length of Mahomes' reported extension, and it would be pretty fun if some of those games came in the playoffs.