Bears

Tom Brady: 'I still have more to prove'

Tom Brady: 'I still have more to prove'

Patriots quarterback and soon-to-be free agent Tom Brady ended any speculation about his future Wednesday on Instagram when he posted a long statement that concluded with the 20-year veteran confirming he'll return for his 21st season next fall.

"You don't always win," wrote Brady. "You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove."

It's hard to imagine what Brady actually has left to prove. With six Super Bowl victories and four Super Bowl MVP awards on his resume, he's already in the conversation as the best quarterback in NFL history.

While Brady's Instagram post eliminates any doubt that he'll play in 2020, it doesn't erase questions about where he'll call home.

The Bears are expected to be in the quarterback market this offseason, and for any team searching for a new starter, Brady will be at or near the top of their wishlist. Chicago may not be the ideal destination for the 42-year-old, however. With the team's commitment in Mitch Trubisky as the starter during GM Ryan Pace's end-of-year press conference, veterans like Brady are likely to look elsewhere.

There's also the salary cap working against the Bears. Brady's projected market value is around $34 million per year, according to Spotrac. Chicago isn't expected to have the kind of room under the salary cap to add a hefty salary like that.

Still, it's hard to say for sure what will factor in Brady's decision about where to play next year. The Bears have better skill players than the Patriots fielded in 2019 and the defense is already championship caliber. If he's looking for a Super Bowl and not a big payday, he might take a longer look at Chicago.

At the very least, Brady's commitment to 2020 is good news for the Bears even if they aren't interested in signing him. Maybe he fills the void for another quarterback-needy team and allows Pace's real target — say, Marcus Mariota? — to become an easier catch.

Stay tuned.

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Report: Bears have ‘been in touch’ with Bengals about Andy Dalton trade

Report: Bears have ‘been in touch’ with Bengals about Andy Dalton trade

As the Bears look to acquire a veteran quarterback to push Mitch Trubisky, one name that’s been thrown around is Andy Dalton.

According to The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., the Bears have “been in touch” with the Bengals regarding a potential Dalton trade.

Dalton comes with a hefty cap hit ($17.5 million) and is only under contract through 2020, but Trubisky being on his rookie deal would help the Bears stomach his salary. The 32-year-old threw for 3,494 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season, sporting 78.3 passer rating.

Adding Dalton would give the Bears insurance in case Trubisky’s 2019 struggles persist next season. Dalton is an established veteran who is familiar with Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. The two worked together from 2016-18, when Lazor was Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach (2016) and OC (2017-18).

Dehner’s report doesn't offer any specific packages the Bears and Bengals have discussed. However, barring a surprise, Cincinnati will select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall in the NFL draft in two months. Considering Burrow is set to become the Bengals’ quarterback of the future, trading Dalton will give him the chance to play elsewhere.

The Bears have made it clear Trubisky is entering 2020 as their starter. However, someone like Dalton could usurp him if the former No. 2 overall pick can’t find his footing this season.

Black History Month: The courage to be a black quarterback

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USA TODAY

Black History Month: The courage to be a black quarterback

NBCS Chicago is celebrating Black History Month with special episodes to discuss the impact of the black athlete in sports. In the final episode of the series, Laurence Holmes is joined by his "Football Aftershow" teammate and former Chicago Bear Alex Brown to discuss, making coaching in the NFL more diverse, is the Rooney Rule helping, and the common practice of moving black quarterbacks to other positions.

(4:20) - Alex Brown on being pushed to not play quarterback in high school

(9:15) - Jalen Hurts asked would he be willing to change positions in the NFL

(17:03) - Alex Brown on playing in a Super Bowl that featured 2 black head coaches

(22:12) - Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy not being mentioned for a head coaching job

(26:00) - Does the Rooney Rule work?

(40:35) - Overcoming unfairness

(44:28) - Watching a NFL where there are successful black quarterbacks

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player  below:

Under Center Podcast

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