The Patriots, at the very minimum, appear to be thinking about life after Tom Brady.
Brady reportedly is in New England’s plans for the 2020 season, but the quarterback himself could have other ideas. The 42-year-old is eligible to become a free agent for this first time in his career March 18, and he’s expected to field a handful of suitors should he reach the open market.
It was reported Sunday that Andy Dalton could be a backup plan for the Patriots should Brady sign elsewhere in free agency. But New England could face some competition if it ultimately decides to pursue the 32-year-old, as the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts also are interested, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport reports, “It doesn’t sound like there’s been any hardcore negotiations between teams and the Bengals,” but it would make sense for Cincinnati to look for a deal. Dalton, who’s on the books for $17.5 million next season, likely isn’t in the Bengals’ future plans, as the franchise all but surely will select Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s draft. While Dalton isn’t exactly a top-tier trade chip, Cincinnati probably still would be able to garner a modest return, especially considering how desperate quarterback-needy teams can be.”
So while all is quiet on the Dalton front at the moment, things could begin to heat up once the dominoes start to fall in free agency.