According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, based upon information that Jeff Darlington relayed to him, the Tennessee Titans are the favorites to sign Brady. The Las Vegas Raiders are considered second while the Patriots are a distant third.
This is going to be the most interesting question of the offseason. … Jeff Darlington is a lot more connected to that particular situation than I think a lot of people realize. And in talking with him yesterday — and my eyes were opened to this. I mean I always thought this was possible but I got even more of a hint that it’s more possible. Jeff Darlington basically … I mean, handicapped the Titans as the favorite right now. Which I was like, ‘Whoa. OK. I knew that Tennessee was an option,’ but he made it out to be more of an option than I realized it to be.
And in his mind, to rank the teams right now, would be Tennessee, Las Vegas, and New England.
Why the Patriots Are Considered Third
While we all knew that the Titans and Raiders are in the mix, it’s still hard to wrap your mind around the idea that the Patriots are not only not the favorites — but considered third to sign the veteran quarterback.
Tennessee not only beat the Patriots in the playoffs this past postseason, they advanced to the AFC Championship Game. And unlike the situation in Las Vegas, the Titans actually have a clear void at quarterback. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill and backup Marcus Mariota will both be free agents this offseason. Long story short, the team doesn’t have to worry about trading anybody to sign Brady.
The fact that their head coach Mike Vrabel has a built-in friendship with Brady and played with him for eight seasons also plays a major role in this.
In the case of the Raiders, the allure of playing for a franchise moving to a new city along with playing for Jon Gruden is certainly there. It’s also been reported that Las Vegas is willing to offer Brady two years and $60 million. However, this is also a franchise that has made the playoffs just once in the past 17 years. Brady is synonymous with winning while the Raiders are not.
Schefter: ‘Pay More Attention to Tennessee’
Schefter goes on to warn that the Titans are very much a team worth paying attention to in the Brady sweepstakes.
And his explanation on the podcast was very interesting. And so my takeaway from that was, I think we all need to pay a little bit more attention to Tennessee here than we thought, and Tennessee is more viable as a potential Tom Brady destination than we thought. And Tennessee, I expect to be in the mix. Las Vegas, I expect to be in the mix. I think the Chargers will try to be in the mix, I don’t know if they’ll be able to get it done.
We’ll see where Brady ultimately lands as New England wants an answer from him before the start of free agency. Free agency will begin on March 18.