The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quickly emerged as the favorites in the Tom Brady sweepstakes when free agency began in March, but they weren’t the only team in the NFC trying to recruit the six-time champion.
Los Angeles was rumored as a potential landing spot for Brady. He would have instantly become the face of the franchise, especially since Phillip Rivers left for Indianapolis.
It turns out one of the most storied franchises in NFL history wanted Brady as well. According to Dan Patrick, the Chicago Bears were one of the finalists in the Brady sweepstakes.
Chicago was never linked to Brady when he was a free agent, but the fit would’ve made sense. The Bears ended up trading for Nick Foles in the offseason, so clearly the front office wanted to improve its quarterback room.
Here’s what Patrick said about Brady’s free agency list, via The Big Lead:
“Did you know that the Bears were in the final list of teams for Tom Brady?… The final list that Brady was looking at, the Chargers, the Bears, and the Buccaneers. I was told this yesterday. I said, ‘Wait a minute. The Bears?’ [The source] told me yes.”
Weather could have played a factor in Brady’s decision. Tampa Bay’s environment is pretty friendly for a 43-year-old quarterback. Chicago, meanwhile, has frigid weather late in the season.
Only time will tell if Brady made the right decision this offseason.
Brady’s debut with the Buccaneers is this weekend in New Orleans. It should be an exciting game between two of the best offenses in the league.