By the time his career is over, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will have a very strong argument to be considered the greatest player in NFL history. And even if there’s a debate about his status as the best who’s ever played, there’s no denying his standing as the league’s all-time greatest winner.
His six Super Bowl titles are evidence of that.
Brady is a throwback to the days before free agency and player movement. He’s been a Patriot for his entire career, one that started in 2000 as the unassuming sixth-round pick from Michigan. Now, 20 seasons later (only four players in league history have spent that much time with one team), we could be witnessing his final year in New England.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggested all signs are pointing toward Brady eyeing a new challenge in 2020. He voided the final year of his contract and is putting his home up for sale (as is his longtime trainer).
That begs the following question: what destinations make sense for Brady next season? Buckle up, Bears fans:
Brady and the Patriots are off to one of the best starts in franchise history. He’s completing 65.9% of his passes (one of the best completion rates of his career) and hasn’t lost any juice from his fastball. He’s taking advantage of the incredible start by New England’s defense and continues to prove, year after year, that productive offenses don’t necessarily need superstar skill players. Instead, it starts with strong offensive line play and a quarterback who knows how to win games. The Patriots are 7-0.
It’s shaping up to be a great final act, the momentum of which he can bring to a city like Chicago.
Brady to the Bears would make a ton of sense. First, Chicago’s defense is in the second season of a legitimate championship window. And while there will be a few departures and some new faces added this offseason, the core will remain the same. That defense, with Brady leading the offense, is a recipe for NFC dominance.
Second, Brady has the kind of pinpoint accuracy to take advantage of wide receiver Allen Robinson’s my-ball skill set. He’d also force opposing defenses to respect the passing game, which by default will make the running game better. He’ll enhance the entire offense just by stepping onto the field.
Third, and most important, Brady can stare Aaron Rodgers in the eyes and make him flinch. For the first time in modern franchise history, the Bears would have the best quarterback in the NFC North, and on any given week, the best quarterback in the NFL.
Sure, Brady is getting old. He’s going to be 43 at the start of next season. And yes, eventually, Father Time will catch up with him. But there’s no reason to believe his end is right around the corner. So if the Bears can harness one year of Brady, with Mack leading the defense, it would be like football heaven opening above Chicago.
Speculation like this, even if it’s nothing more than a far-fetched pipe-dream, is the direct result of Mitch Trubisky’s struggles. If the third-year quarterback was having the kind of breakout year that was expected of him in 2019, no quarterback (not even Brady) would be in the Chicago sports conversation. The Bears would have their guy; a young gunslinger who can wow fans with his athleticism and playmaking ability. Instead, entering Week 8, there are as many questions surrounding the quarterback position in Chicago as there’s ever been, dating back to before then-GM Jerry Angelo traded for Jay Cutler.
It’s only natural for fans and football media to connect an all-time great like Brady to an all-time great franchise like the Bears who have what could be an all-time great defense, especially when the team is lacking what appears to be an even average quarterback.
Trubisky can silence this kind of conversation with a strong final 10 games of the season. But at this point, and with Brady potentially hitting the market this offseason, do you even want him to?