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The Walls Are Closing in on Bears in Quarterback Hunt

Analysis: Tom Brady's decision makes the Bears' bid to find Mitchell Trubisky's backup or job challenger all the more difficult, and the signing of Chase Daniel with Detroit takes away one reliable fall-back plan

The walls are closing in on the Bears in their quarterback hunt and Tom Brady's announcement Tuesday about ending his connection with the New England Patriots hurts it all the more.

"It is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career," Brady said, before going into a long tribute to the Patriots organization and fans.

The Bears are obviously not in the chase for a quarterback who will be 43 when the season starts, and wants at least $30 million a year.

However, their signing or trade for another quarterback can be hurt or delayed by what happens when the Bucs and the Chargers pursue Brady.

The Patriots are in need of a starting quarterback now and both Teddy Bridgewater and Nick Foles would be ideal fits for what New England does on offense.

Brady wasn't very mobile, never had the biggest arm and often gained passing yardage off shorter throws and yards after catch. It fits ideally with Bridgewater and Foles.

New England and Tampa Bay both had been labeled by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport in February as competition for the Bears in pursuit of a trade for Dalton. If the Patriots become actual competition for Dalton, the Bears can focus instead on Foles.

There is no way they could offer up a draft pick as compensation better than what New England could produce. The Patriots collect compensatory picks the way the Bears have been collecting tight ends. They have so many they don't know what to do with them.

Also, the Patriots will obviously have cash available they wouldn't have had with Brady, so it's another reason this ends.

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The losers among teams who do pursue Brady will need a quarterback, which will further eat into the pool of talent available to the Bears.

The Bears lost options Monday behind Mitchell Trubisky when Marcus Mariota and Case Keenum agreed to contracts, Mariota with the Raiders and Keenum in Cleveland.

Bridgewater went through a negotiation with them on Monday and no deal was consummated. They went on to discuss their trade options for Dalton and Foles.

The best option cash-wise is Dalton because he is on the final year of a contract consisting almost entirely of cash.

Foles might be the most ideal option in terms of their offense, because he's played in it with Kansas City and at Philadelphia. Yet trading for Foles would probably be more difficult because the Jaguars would need to absorb a huge cap hit to get rid of a quarterback who will be in the second year of his contract. And the Bears would need to take on a bigger commitment cash-wise than with Dalton.

With the musical quarterbacks game taking shape, the Bears could wind up being the odd man out.

They can't even rely on signing Chase Daniel back now as a backup after he agreed to terms with Detroit to be backup with the Lions.

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