BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A new report surfaced Thursday afternoon saying that the Tennessee Titants actually aren't all that interested in signing Tom Brady in free agency.
Instead, they are using the rumors of "Brady to Nashville" and Head Coach Mike Vrabel's close relationship with the six-time Super Bowl champ as a way to get 2019 NFL Comeback player of the year Ryan Tannehill to re-sign with the Titans at a more team-friendly cap number.
This report comes from Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal, who says the market for the soon-to-be-43-year-old quarterback is not as big as is being portrayed. He says that some of the better teams (Titans) who have been reported to be in the running aren't actually vying for Brady's services, and that the Patriots Front Office does not fear weaker teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Oakland Raiders snatching the QB away from Foxborough.
From Bedard's column:
The truth is there isn’t much of a market, at least not with teams Brady really wants to or would play for. You, me, the Patriots and the lampost know Brady is not playing for Raiders or Bucs. He might, at the very end, play for the Chargers but they might go another direction before that. The Giants and Colts are out. League sources expect the Titans to lock in Ryan Tannehill at some point at a cheaper rate thanks to the Brady leverage, although that could change.
Like Brady, Tannehill is set to become a free agent in less than two weeks. Tennessee does have the ability to use the franchise-tag on him, but they also have to figure out what they are going to do with pending free agent and NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry.
There was (and as of March 5, still is) a chance they would be able to use a "transition-tag" in addition to the franchise tag if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't signed, but there is some news on that front today, too.
The NFLPA has sent out official ballots to every dues-paying member. They have until 11:59 p.m. next Thursday, March 12, to vote on the proposed CBA. Fifty percent plus one of the members voting yes means it will pass and go into effect.
This is important for not just the Patriots, but for most teams in the league, whether or not the CBA passes greatly impacts how teams will approach free agency.
Last week, reports surfaced that Bill Belichick may not be interested in serious contract talks with Brady until the CBA gets signed, so he'll have a better idea of how he can construct the rest of his roster and get the organization compliant with the salary cap. If the vote passes through, that will leave five-plus days for the Patriots to sign the signal-caller before free agency begins at 4 p.m. on March 18.
Now, if they were to start seriously negotiating right after the deal gets signed, it would most likely be Brady's agents handling most of the in-person talks. Brady himself said on Wednesday when he appeared on Instagram live with UFC President Dana White that he and his family are about to go on vacation, and that they have a lot of plans for the next 10-12 days.
White, who is from Boston and a huge Patriots fan, was making the pitch to Brady that if he leaves the Pats (White is hoping Brady re-signs), he should come to Las Vegas and join the Raiders.
Another potential free agent QB made an appearance in New England Thursday. All-time passing touchdowns and yards leader Drew Brees was in town for the "Saving By Shaving" event put on by Granite Telecommunications in Quincy, which benefits pediatric cancer research.
Brees said that Brady is "synonymous with the Patriots" and "the face of the franchise," but he has no idea what his colleague will do.
When it comes to Brees' future, the 41-year-old QB says he's staying in New Orleans:
"I have no intention of going anywhere," he said. "I don’t care what the offer would be or what the situation might be, I am Who Dat Nation for life.”
Patriots fans are hoping that they hear similar remarks from Brady in a few weeks.
WBZ NewsRadio's Dan Watkins (@DanWatkinsRadio) reports