Let the games begin! After spending his entire NFL career at Gillette Stadium with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady is entering free agency. Per CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Brady is open to talks with other teams for what is to be the last contract of his playing career.
Brady has been a staple of the Patriots franchise for 19 years. There are young New England fans who haven’t ever been alive during a time without Brady under center. The Patriots are certain to undergo changes in the future, with many wondering how much longer Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick will be at the helm of the organization, so it is understandable to see Brady ready to explore his options.
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At 42-years-old, Brady has been telling those close to him that, unless he is sidelined by injury, he anticipates playing until age 45. Brady is also excited at the prospect of mentoring a young quarterback so that whatever organization he plays with during his final NFL stint, it is set for success after he retires. The question for Bears fans is, could that young quarterback be Mitch Trubisky?
After an uninspiring season, there is much talk about creating some competition at QB for the three-year Bears starter. Some healthy competition could drive Trubisky to play like the draft pick that Ryan Pace hoped he would be. The Bears are currently in the bottom-five of salary cap space in the NFL, meaning they would have to do some serious budgeting to be able to afford Brady, but fans will have to wait and see what Pace intends to do this off-season after a disappointing 2019 campaign.
La Canfora reports that it would “extremely surprising” if Brady were to agree to a new deal with the Patriots before free agency begins in March. There have been other reports of the Brady family moving to Connecticut (still technically in New England, but a move nonetheless) and a deep clean of Giselle Bündchen’s suite at Gillette Stadium, indicating that Brady is indeed ready to move on. We will all just have to wait and see where Brady will end up in 2020.
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The NFL Combine isn't just about timing draft prospects in the 40-yard dash or measuring how high they can jump. It's also when free-agency plans begin crystallizing with general managers meeting with agents of prospective veteran targets.
And that's why the rumors that come from Indianapolis often have more value than any other time In the offseason.
In the case of the Chicago Bears, those rumors are beginning to swirl around the quarterback position.
It's important to pay close attention to the words Fowler used: The Bears are in the market for a veteran who can push Mitch Trubisky, not necessarily replace him.
Ryan Pace has always preached competition as the key to bringing the best out of every player. There's been no competition for Trubisky since he unseated Mike Glennon for the starting job as a rookie in 2017, and while that's normally the case for a quarterback drafted as highly as Trubisky, he's been given more than enough time to hold the presumed-starter role.
So who will the Bears target? Players like Marcus Mariota, Case Keenum and Andy Dalton are the first who come to mind. They won't cost nearly as much to acquire as players like Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater or Jameis Winston and all profile as quality backups who can emerge as capable starters, much like Ryan Tannehill was for the Titans in 2019.
Fowler's tweet also suggests the Bears may not be in the market for a quarterback early in the 2020 NFL draft. If, in fact, they add a veteran passer in free agency, it would be a waste of a second-round pick to select a rookie who'd, at best, be QB3 in 2020. They'd be better off focusing on a developmental prospect toward the end of Day 3.
One thing seems pretty obvious at this point: The Bears will have a quarterback competition in training camp, even if it isn't touted as one publicly. Trubisky won't be handed the starting job in 2020; he'll have to earn it, and that may be what brings the very best out of him.
Ohhhhhhhh baby do I have some hot Tom Brady gossip for you all.
Did Tom Brady announce his free agency decision himself?
he did not Not technically.
Oh okay, so, the team announced they were signing Tom Brady?
no, not that either I mean, no, but.
Does this news actually have anything to do with the Bears?
nope It could!
Is this just another ad for Hulu?
While we we're all waiting on those made-for-primetime combine drills to start, tidbits surrounding Tom Brady's camp's thoughts on free agency found their way onto Twitter, universally considered the safest place for reliable news:
Jeff Darlington feels that way. Do other people?
It's not looking good! Tell that to people in Los Angeles or Indianapolis or Miami or Tennessee or Las Vegas. The exciting part is that there's *more* speculation. We're not even done!
Maybe it's posturing or maybe Tom wants to go play somewhere warm -- or under a roof, at least -- for the last couple years of his career. We'll find out in *checks calendar* ... three weeks. For now, all we can do is keep dreaming of Tom Brady's RESTORE billboards.