So, that was kind of a crazy few hours on the Bears quarterback front. And nothing actually happened.
First, PFT dropped the bombshell that the Bears were in negotiations with free agent Teddy Bridgewater, which got folks all titillated. But then contrary reports indicated that not only did Bridgewater have another suitor in Tampa Bay (and possibly another in Los Angeles), but he was unlikely to wind up with the Bears regardless of what else happened on the quarterbacking turnstile.
Speaking of which, that’s where Tom Brady came in: there was a very brief time – like 25 minutes? – where it seemed the Bears and Bridgewater’s marriage would actually be dictated by whether Brady wound up in Tampa Bay. But like I said, that was quickly scuttled by other rumors.
Then, reports had the Bears actually mostly interested in the veteran trade market – Nick Foles and Andy Dalton – which admittedly would square a little more with the prior expectations for how the Bears would proceed this offseason (starting-capable veteran to push Mitch Trubisky, and then maybe drafting a developmental QB).
But you know what? Things were so crazy and so quickly-shifting and so interconnected that I’m not quite ready to say anything is settled just yet in the quarterbacking world, be it for the Bears or otherwise.
… oh, well, except for one thing:
Browns reached agreement with former Redskins' QB Case Keenum on a three-year, $18 million deal that includes $10 million guaranteed, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
- Keenum was among the veteran possibilities to pair with Trubisky, but instead he winds up on a very healthy deal with the Browns to serve as the back-up/veteran steward for Baker Mayfield. I am not especially disappointed by this one.
- As for the big name on the market, the Boston media is crushing Tom Brady for thinking there would be a lot of suitors for a 43-year-old quarterback at $30 million per year. Indeed, it seems like it’s just a trio of clubs at this point, with the Buccaneers perhaps the most aggressive suitor:
The tampering window has opened and #Patriots QB Tom Brady’s agent can hear from teams. My understanding: The #Chargers and #Bucs will inquire, and of course New England wants him back. That is Brady’s market as of right now.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2020
I am told the Tampa Bay Bucs have made the intentions to Tom Brady loud and clear.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 16, 2020
Tampa Bay's interest in Tom Brady is very real and sincere. We'll see if he reciprocates
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 16, 2020
- If Brady goes to Tampa Bay – I still suspect it’s a long-shot (just a gut thing) – then who knows, maybe Bridgewater is a Bears possibility again?
- I say that because, going back to Bridgewater and things not being entirely settled for a moment, Mike Florio at PFT isn’t giving up on his original report that the Bears were going after Bridgewater. In reporting that the Bears were also in talks with the Jaguars on Foles, Florio keeps it in the present tense that the Bears are still talking to Bridgewater.
- If the Bucs don’t sign Bridgewater, it’s possible they’d look to retain Jameis Winston, but he might have another suitor:
Lot of belief that Jon Gruden has an interest in Jameis Winston with the Raiders. That’s been speculated for a long time.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 16, 2020
- That’s a fun one to think about, eh? Because if the Raiders wind up bringing in Winston, it would be paired with a long-rumored trade of Derek Carr, in whom the Bears have reportedly had interest. And if the Bears are down for going the trade route, they probably couldn’t find a better option than Carr, who is solid, is on a good contract, and isn’t yet 29.
- How’s this for a hypothetical carousel: Tom Brady returns to New England, so Tampa Bay pounces on Teddy Bridgewater, so the Raiders grab Jameis Winston while trading Derek Carr …
- Of course, it’s conceivable that the Raiders would bring in Winston to pair with Carr as a kind of competition, but you’d wind up with a super expensive back-up one way or another. I think the Raiders are going to seriously evaluate their options over the next couple days, and may decide to move on from Carr.
- Speaking of which? Sorry for all the circling back and forth, but man, this shit is all so interrelated. Vic Tafur indicates the Raiders are NOT out on Tom Brady. And if Brady were interested, Tafur says the Raiders would obviously move on from Carr in favor of Brady. We’ll see. (UPDATE: We saw. The Raiders opted for Marcus Mariota, likely as the back-up to a retained Derek Carr. Boo.)
- One last thought? The fact that all has been quiet on the many other Bears’ needs today tells me, very strongly, that the team wants to get the quarterback situation settled first – because it might be expensive – and then sort out the rest.