Bernstein: Could Bears Pursue Tom Brady?

Speculation is growing that Brady will leave the Patriots.

Dan Bernstein
February 27, 2020 - 1:59 pm
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(670 The Score) Let's first list all of the reasons why it would be unlikely for the Bears to be the destination for veteran quarterback Tom Brady's final act on the NFL stage.

They don't have the money, they play outdoors in the cold, the head coach and general manager wouldn't want a player of that gravity and significance causing internal instability and Brady knows the Bears lack a running game, speed on the outside and anything close to a functioning tight end. There are more, sure, but that's just off the top of my head.

We're doing this because Jeff Darlington of ESPN reported Thursday that, "Tom Brady is currently operating under the belief that he will enter free agency to play somewhere other than New England next season, a sentiment the quarterback has shared with others." Darlington added, "I'm now at the point where I'd be stunned if Brady went back to New England," while Boston Herald reporter Karen Guregian tweeted, "The Patriots still have not reached out to Tom Brady. According to a source, 'It's not looking good.'"

This could be mere negotiation tactics, leaking to put fan pressure on Patriots Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick to get more serious with an offer to the 42-year-old Brady. Some believe it's the still unknown fate of the rank-and-file vote on the new CBA that's holding up their outreach to Brady, because nobody knows if there will be newly created space under a higher salary cap.

But at long as the chance exists, it isn't entirely a fantasy to envision the Bears pitching themselves as a reasonable destination for one of the best of all time to do the job.

They might just find themselves with enough money if the new deal goes through, and it also may be more situational fit for Brady than it is squeezing out every last dollar. The Bears can offer him a creatively offensive-minded head coach and new collection of passing game experts who would conceivably be willing to tailor game plans to his taste and comfort. And there's the security of what projects to be a still-solid defense.

Brady has played in the cold his entire professional life too, and unless his old bones crave Los Angeles, Tampa or Las Vegas, there might be more cachet with a heritage, founding franchise.

And sure, it upsets the power dynamic for general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy, but so what? Pace has the exploding cigar of Patrick Mahomes stuck in one corner of his mouth and that of Deshaun Watson in the other, while Nagy just keeps collecting assistants around him to function as deflector shields against the criticism for a glaring dearth of points. Brady would be a temporary reset button that derails all the narratives. Ownership can be sold on the sales and marketing spasm, the tickets and jerseys and national television stage. The Bears could get a representative tight end. Or two.

The downside risk is minimal for the Bears, with the biggest question being whether Brady is any good. He has looked increasingly mortal despite his bizarre claims of eternal youth due to his magical diet and "pliability" and all the goofiness from his connection to infomercial quack Alex Guerrero. His arm is aging better than his legs, and his struggles in the second half of last season were noticeable last season, particularly in the face of pressure. The declines tend to accelerate from here.

It would be a desperate play by the Bears, but entertainingly so. A Brady circus for a season would be at least a welcome departure from the current quarterbacking experience that revolves around salvaging what's left of a disappointing Mitchell Trubisky and deciding which other failure to put next in line behind him while the clock keeps ticking on Khalil Mack's prime.

Until it's not possible, it's possible.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.