In the middle of a wild off-season, an NFL insider believes that talking to Tom Brady is a clear leader.
“Jeff Darlington basically hindered the titans as favorites [to land Brady] right now, ”said Adam Schefter of ESPN told "The Rich Iron Show" on Wednesday, "I knew that Tennessee was an option, but he found that it was more of an option than I realized. In his eyes, Tennessee, Las Vegas and New England would be the best teams. "
Schefter went on to say that Darlington is "much more connected to this particular situation than many people realize".
The titans have many choices to make this off-season. From the first round in 2015, the team is expected to select Marcus Mariota, whose rookie contract has expired. The previous Heisman Trophy winner was used in week 6 of last season in a 0:16 loss to the Broncos.
Ryan Tannehill was traded from Miami to Tennessee in 2019 and signed a one-year contract for $ 2 million with incentives of nearly $ 4 million. The 31-year-old quarterback revived the Titan season after taking over Mariota, leading the team to a 9-7 record and two massive playoff surprises against the hugely favored patriots and ravens.
After his first pro bowl career and Associated Press NFL comeback player of the year award, it was reported before the Super Bowl that Tannehill "doesn't leave the titans" and briefly suppresses some of the Brady chatters. Tennessee is seen as a possible landing site for the six-time Super Bowl champion due to its connection to head coach Mike Vrabel, with whom Brady played from 2001 to 2009.
42-year-old Brady will be free to choose for the first time in his 20-year career if he and the patriots cannot agree on a new contract before March 18. The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers are among the teams that are expected to have pitches, but as Schefter noted, the pursuit of Brady poses risks to the titans.
"The really interesting question about Tennessee is that you have Ryan Tannehill, and if you use Ryan Tannehill as a franchise, it is really difficult to find Tom Brady," said Schefter. "I don't think you do. But take the risk of not franchising a man who played like a franchise quarterback and try to win Tom Brady while taking the risk of both of you Or are you going to franchise Tannehill and remove the Brady option from the table? "
According to Over The Cap, the planned tender for quarterback franchise day 2020 is just under $ 27 million. Brady will earn more than $ 30 million in the free agent market, and the Titans have a cap of around $ 47.4 million. The team also has to negotiate with cornerback Logan Ryan, offensive lineman Jack Conklin and star running back Derrick Henry, who gave Tannehill glowing confirmation this week.
“Ryan Tannehill is our quarterback and has attended the AFC championship. Why shouldn't we want Ryan back? "Henry said on the podcast" Bussin ’With The Boys".
Tannehill is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March. He ended the season with 70.3 percent of his passes for 2,742 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions.
"I think we all need to pay a little more attention to Tennessee here than we thought, and Tennessee is a more profitable prospect for Tom Brady than we thought," said Schefter. "Tennessee, I expect to be in the mix, Las Vegas, I expect to be in the mix. I think Chargers will try to be in the mix. I don't know if they'll make it, and of course the question is whether he's going back to New England. "