As the beginning of free agency creeps closer into view, more reports suggest that quarterback Tom Brady could the New England Patriots and catch on with another team. And while the Los Angeles Chargers remain in the discussion for his services, other franchises appear to have better odds of landing the six-time Super Bowl champion.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who cites colleague Jeff Darlington, the Tennessee Titans have emerged as a strong contender for Brady's services. Schefter discussed the possible pairing this week on the Rich Eisen Show.
"This week, Jeff Darlington came on my podcast," Schefter said. "And 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 -- my eyes were open to this. I always thought this was possible but I got a hint that it's even more possible. Jeff Darlington basically handicapped the Titans as the favorite right now. Which I was like, 'Whoa.' I knew that Tennessee was an option, but he made it out to be more of an option than I realized it could be."
On paper, the Titans could make a compelling case to sign Brady. Mike Vrabel, the team's 44-year-old head coach, played linebacker for the Patriots early in Brady's career. The two won three Super Bowls in New England and went to a fourth. Meanwhile, the roster features plenty of weapons on offense, headlined by rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown and impending free-agent running back Derrick Henry. Tennessee overcame a 2-4 start in 2019 to earn a spot in the playoffs, eventually reaching the conference championship.
In addition to the Titans, Schefter listed the Las Vegas Raiders and Patriots as the best-positioned suitors for Brady while downplaying the Chargers' chances.
"I think the Chargers will try to be in the mix," Schefter said. "I don't know if they'll be able to get it done."
Free agency officially begins on March 18, though teams can begin communicating with player reps when the legal-tampering window opens two days earlier.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH