Adam Schefter is buying what his colleague is selling.
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said earlier this week on Schefter’s podcast he believes the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders are the frontrunners to sign Tom Brady in free agency, with the New England Patriots sitting a notch below. While this could just be speculation, Schefter later suggested on “The Rich Eisen Show” that everyone should start paying more attention to the Titans based on his conversations with Darlington.
“Jeff Darlington basically handicapped the Titans as the favorite right now,” Schefter said. “Which I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I knew that Tennessee was an option, but he made it out to be more of an option than I realized it to be. And in his mind, to rank the teams right now, would be Tennessee, Las Vegas and New England.
“And his explanation on the podcast was very interesting. And so my takeaway from that was: I think we all need to pay a little bit more attention to Tennessee here than we thought, and Tennessee is more viable as a potential Tom Brady destination than we thought. And Tennessee, I expect to be in the mix. Las Vegas, I expect to be in the mix. I think the Chargers will try to be in the mix, I don?t know if they?ll be able to get it done. And then, of course, the question is does he go back to New England?”
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) February 19, 2020
This isn’t the first time the Titans — or the Raiders and Chargers, for that matter — have been linked to Brady, who’s set to hit the open market for the first time in his NFL career when the new league year opens March 18. Many have pointed to Tennessee as a potential landing spot should Brady leave New England.
But Schefter clearly came away from his chat with Darlington feeling differently about Brady’s free agency and the possibility of the six-time Super Bowl champion signing with the Titans. As Schefter explained, Darlington is “a lot more connected to that particular situation than I think a lot of people realize,” so perhaps the informal odds tossed around earlier this week are rooted in more than simply speculation.
“The real interesting (question) on Tennessee is this: They have Ryan Tannehill. And if you franchise Ryan Tannehill, well, then it?s very hard to go get Tom Brady. I don’t think you can do that,” Schefter said. “But do you take the risk of not franchising a guy that played like a franchise quarterback last year, and try to get Tom Brady, running the risk that you could lose both? Or do you go ahead and franchise Tannehill, and remove the Brady option off the table, when it certainly sounds like a possibility?”
The Titans certainly thrived with Tannehill this past season, even defeating Brady and the Patriots in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs en route to the AFC Championship Game, where Tennessee lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.