Amid the recent resurgence in interest over who Tom Brady considered signing with last year, a surprising team resurfaced.
The Chicago Bears made Brady’s final three for considerations with the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being the other two. Independent NFL reporter Dov Kleiman reported that the Bears offered a contract to Brady and therefore weren’t the team Brady referred to in his NSFW comments on HBO’s The Shop about a team that turned him down.
Dan Patrick also reported the Bears pursuit of Brady on his show in September 2020.
“The final list that Brady was looking at: The Chargers, the Bears, and the Buccaneers,” Patrick said via CBS Sports. “I was told this yesterday, and I went ‘wait a minute. The Bears?’ (My Source) said ‘Yes.’ Brady was considering the Bears.”
According to Patrick, via NBC Sports Chicago, “the Bears were runner-ups” to the Bucs since Brady wasn’t too keen on the West Coast with the Chargers. Bears head coach Matt Nagy didn’t totally hide the fact that the Bears tried to sign Brady, according to NBC Sports Chicago’s Adam Hoge.
“What I think is one of the biggest strengths that we have is we look at all options. We do,” Nagy said per Hoge. “We look at all options. And at every position. And that’s important to do. So we feel like, OK, at that position obviously we went and we made a trade for Nick (Foles). So that was a position that we were looking at and we look at every option with different people so I’ll leave it at that.”
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Bucs’ Weather Won Out Over Bears
Tampa’s former NFC Central rival had a few key pieces at the time that would attract Brady despite the cold Lake Michigan fall and winter. Chicago was a “quarterback away” from a Super Bowl as CBS Sports John Breech described. The Bears had the fourth-ranked defense in 2019 led by Khalil Mack, and the team had talented skill players in Tarik Cohen and Allen Robinson.
Besides a Super Bowl-ready roster, the Bears’ location made an intriguing family consideration for Brady.
“The fact that he was considering the Bears, Chicago at least — because he wanted to be able to be in proximity to New York where his son is,” Patrick said via CBS Sports. “So he’s got a son with Bridget Moynahan and they live in New York and he wanted to be able to be close enough to him, but ended up taking Tampa Bay.”
The deal-breaker came down to the weather according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport in September 2020. Rapoport added that the Bears “had multiple conversations about Brady” last year.
Brady’s Moment in Chicago
Brady went to the Bay instead of the Midway, but he made one appearance with the Bucs at the Bears’ home stadium of Soldier Field in October 2020. It became one of the more memorable moments of the season as Brady blundered on a fourth-down play, which cost his team the game.
He thought it was third down, which he didn’t admit following the game. Months later — well after winning Super Bowl LV — he admitted the truth.
“You guys remember this one? fourth quarter, last chance in Chicago. I thought it was the second-to-last chance in Chicago but apparently not,” Brady said in a video shared by Sports Center. “I don’t think I’ve ever been as confused as I’ve been in this moment right here. Look at that face.”
Bucs fans will gladly take that slip up over Brady being a Bear instead of a Buccaneer.