Even though the Super Bowl will take place later today, a lot of talk on this February Sunday revolves around the greatest quarterback in NFL history: Tom Brady, who is scheduled to enter unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career next month. It started with a report that the New England Patriots might be willing to pay him in excess of $30 million per year to keep him around, but that he prioritizes weapons over money.
Later, two NFL insiders added that two teams are expected to be among those making a run for Brady in case he fails to find a common ground with the Patriots and hits the open market: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on Sunday that the Los Angeles Chargers might make a run at the future Hall of Famer, while ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted that the Las Vegas Raiders “are poised to pursue” the soon-to-be 43-year-old as well.
Before that can happen, however, Brady will need to at least still remain unsigned once the NFL’s so-called legal tampering window opens on March 16. The Patriots, however, would be smart not to let the process even reach that point: not only would they risk losing their by far best available quarterback option, the team would also be on the hook for a dead salary cap hit of $13.5 million stemming from his de facto contract extension last year.
The Chargers and Raiders, meanwhile, are not necessarily surprises when it comes to teams possibly entering the Brady sweepstakes. While Los Angeles will open a new stadium soon and is in dire need for some buzz more than three years after relocating from San Diego, the Raiders have just relocated themselves and will need to make Southern Nevada their home — and what better way to do that than with the NFL’s biggest star?
L.A. and L.V. will be at the forefront of the potential battle for Brady, but one other team viewed as a candidate apparently will not be: the Tennessee Titans will be moving forward with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, if a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is to be believed. Tennessee, of course, was seen as a possible destination for Brady given his friendship with Titans head coach and former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel.