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2020 NFL free agency: Titans drop out of the Tom Brady sweepstakes, sign Ryan Tannehill to new contract

Related: Ratified CBA is good news for the Patriots’ quest to re-sign Tom Brady

Wild Card Round - Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Update 3/15/2020: Titans drop out of the Tom Brady sweepstakes, sign Ryan Tannehill to new contract

Shortly after reports broke that the Tennessee Titans and Ryan Tannehill were “on the verge” of a multi-year contract extension for the quarterback, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the deal was done: Tannehill will remain with the Titans, while there is now one fewer team to compete with the New England Patriots for Tom Brady’s services.

Original story 3/15/2020: Titans rumored to drop out of the Tom Brady sweepstakes, are ‘on the verge’ of extending Ryan Tannehill

While the future of Tom Brady is still undecided, it looks as if one team previously viewed as a major competitor for the quarterback’s services will drop out of the sweepstakes for the impending free agent soon: as first reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini and later updated with further information by her colleague Adam Schefter, the Tennessee Titans are “on the verge” of getting a multi-year contract extension with Ryan Tannehill done.

This is not the first report of the two sides’ interest in getting a deal done before the start of free agency next week — Pats Pulpit’s own Matthew Rewinski wrote about this back in February — but still an important one because it shows that talks between the Titans and Tannehill’s camp have apparently progressed well. In turn, the Patriots will have one fewer team to worry about going after Brady once the legal tampering period opens on Monday.

Tennessee, of course, has numerous ties to the Patriots legend. Head coach Mike Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson both spent time in New England alongside Brady, and the team was therefore seen as a natural fit for the 42-year-old. Add a strong supporting cast and stingy defense, and you get a team that would likely know how to use Brady and get him in a position to win another championship before his retirement.

However, it seems as if the club will move forward with Tannehill — a younger player who has looked good in 2019 while leading the Titans all the way to the AFC Championship Game. New England, meanwhile, will try to keep Brady in the fold even though reports out of Foxborough continue to paint a bleak picture. Nevertheless, the Patriots do have incentive to re-sign the future Hall of Famer before the start of free agency on March 18.

After all, Brady’s contract voids once the new league year opens and his entire signing bonus proration of $13.5 million would then hit the team’s books. If a new agreement is reached before the deadline on Wednesday afternoon, however, that number would be split in half and prorated over both the 2020 and 2021 numbers. Considering that New England has only $25.43 million to operate with, any additional cap space certainly would be welcome.

How this situation plays out remains to be seen, but we now know that the Titans will no longer be a factor to consider: they have apparently made their choice at the quarterback position and is Ryan Tannehill instead of Tom Brady.