Chris Simms

NFL Rumors: 49ers out of Tom Brady sweepstakes; two teams remain

NFL Rumors: 49ers out of Tom Brady sweepstakes; two teams remain

The number of potential suitors for Tom Brady in free agency is dwindling.

Not long after Ryan Tannehill and the Titans agreed to a massive contract extension Sunday, thus squashing all Brady-to-Tennessee talk, NBC Sports' Chris Simms reported the San Francisco 49ers are also out of the Brady sweepstakes.

Simms notes the 49ers were Brady's "No. 1 choice," but San Francisco ultimately declined to pursue the six-time Super Bowl champion. Instead, they'll stick with Brady's former backup, Jimmy Garoppolo.

According to Simms, the two teams still in the running to sign Brady are the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Wednesday, it was reported the Bucs were "going all in" to make Brady their new quarterback.

If true, that means we can also cross the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers off the list. Both teams were rumored to be front-runners to sign Brady in free agency.

As long as the NFL doesn't move the start of the new league year amid the coronavirus pandemic, Brady will become an unrestricted free agent on March 18.

Chris Simms' Tom Brady-Ryan Tannehill take may grind Patriots fans' gears

Chris Simms' Tom Brady-Ryan Tannehill take may grind Patriots fans' gears

We can understand Derrick Henry supporting Ryan Tannehill amid speculation that Tom Brady may consider joining to the Tennessee Titans.

Tannehill is Henry's quarterback, after all. He's not going to throw him under the bus.

But Chris Simms has no stake in the game -- and still believes the Titans would be better off with Tannehill than the six-time Super Bowl champion in 2020.

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Here's Simms on Wednesday's edition of NBC Sports PFT Live with Mike Florio:

 

"Everybody out there: You're crazy!" Simms said. "Tom Brady is not better than Ryan Tannehill right now! I'm just sorry! 

"I know Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback ever, certainly the most accomplished. (He's) the man. But that doesn't mean he's the best in 2020."

Simms didn't stop there, suggesting the Titans may not have defeated the Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round if Brady was under center instead of Tannehill.

"The Titans weren't a team that had weapons galore," Simms said "They didn't have great weapons (either). We didn't really know about A.J. Brown until Ryan Tannehill got in there."

Got all that, Patriots fans?

This kind of take is nothing new from Simms, who ranked Brady as the NFL's ninth-best quarterback last summer and put Matthew Stafford ahead of the 14-time Pro Bowler at the midseason point.

He's also not wrong that Tannehill was excellent last season, leading the NFL in yards per attempt (9.6) and ranking second in touchdown percentage (7.7 percent) while going 7-3 as Tennessee's starter.

But 10 starts do not an elite quarterback make -- especially a QB who had the NFL's 2019 leading rusher (Henry) taking the heat off him.

Were Brady's numbers worse than Tannehill's in 2019? Sure. His 6.6 yards per attempt were the second-lowest of his career, while his 3.9 touchdown percentage represented his lowest rate ever.

As Patriots fans will tell you, though, Brady also helped a team with a revolving door of mediocre offensive weapons score the seventh-most points in the NFL while finishing 12-4.

All debates aside, the money could prove Brady's worth compared to Tannehill: The former may command north of $30 million in free agency, while the latter might be several million below that number.

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Stephon Gilmore for MVP? Chris Simms says Patriots CB deserves award

Stephon Gilmore for MVP? Chris Simms says Patriots CB deserves award

Stephon Gilmore arguably has been the MVP of the New England Patriots this season. But how about MVP of the entire league?

NBC Sports' Chris Simms believes the Pats' shutdown cornerback deserves to be in the MVP conversation, not just Defensive Player of the Year. It isn't the most popular take considering the play of star quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson, but it certainly puts a spotlight on Gilmore's sensational season.

"He should probably be in the MVP discussion," Simms said of Gilmore on Pro Football Talk. "[The Patriots] are doing historic 1985 Bears, 2000 Ravens things. He is a big part of that. He shuts down the No. 1 receiver every week."

"I just want to be clear, are you saying Defensive MVP or the whole shebang?" PFT's Mike Florio asked.

"The whole shebang," said Simms. "That's what I'm saying."

Watch below (Gilmore talk begins at 2:30 mark):

No matter the individual accolades Gilmore earns or misses out on after the season, he's a major reason the Patriots are in a position to make yet another deep playoff run. His dominance has helped offset the offense's struggles all year long.

He'll look to help the Patriots defense's historic run continue on Sunday when they visit the Houston Texans. Kickoff for the Week 13 matchup is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.

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