The Chicago Bears are officially under-performing at the midway point of the 2019 NFL season. Their 3-4 record through Week 8 is in stark contrast to the lofty expectations going into this season. So of course sports commentators and fans are talking about anything but the apparent tragedy unfolding in real-time. These are the right conditions to get truly bizarre talking points out into the wild. Case in point: sports talk keeps turning to whether legendary Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will head to Chicago in 2020.
Is this just a bunch of noise for Bears fans to cling to? Or is Tom Brady to the Bears a realistic move that fans should take seriously?
Tom Brady might be gone from New England
Tom Brady is synonymous with the Patriots. While Bears’ longtime rivals in Green Bay boast arguably the best QB in the game in Aaron Rodgers, Brady has a few extra rings to back up his claim. So it came as a shock when ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that his sources pointed towards Brady looking for a new challenge in 2020.
Schefter lays out three options for Brady: staying in New England, retiring at the top of his game, or leaving for another team. Before that comment, most observers would have said sticking with his team as the obvious choice. Now, things aren’t quite so simple.
The 2019 NFL season is defined by backup QB work. Several starters, including Andrew Luck, retired, suffered injuries, or simply did not play well halfway through the season. If those trends continue, Brady may well have his pick of teams in desperate need of a proven QB.
Could Tom Brady really go to the Bears?
Why are so many people talking about the future of a 42-year old QB in his 20th season? Simple: The 2019 Patriots aren’t perfect. But Brady’s 64.7% pass completion rate nearly is. And the team’s current 8-0 record definitely is. The NFL certainly tries to be a meritocracy. Why should age be of much relevance for a QB leading a team the way he is right now?
Brady turned down next year’s option on his Patriots contract and put his home on the market. For the first and probably last time, he’s signaling great interest in playing for a new team before he leaves the game for good. So why would he be a good fit for Chicago?
The Bears have an offensive-minded coach blessed with a great defense. Mitchell Trubisky is an average at best QB who is unable to gel with Nagy’s playcalling. Adding Brady takes the offense in a completely different direction. An offensive veteran with strong leadership and dependable high-level performance alongside Khalil Mack’s top-tier defense could be a force.
NFC North dream match: Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers
If Tom Brady leaves the Patriots simply to find a new challenge, he could do worse than joining the Bears. Because in the NFC North, the other great QB of the era is waiting for him.
The 35-year old Aaron Rodgers is in the midst of another amazing season in Green Bay. His 65.4% completion rate in 2019 puts him just ahead of Brady’s already eye-popping performance. Without Brady’s six Super Bowl wins to Rodgers’ one, there would be no question that the Packers hero is the best QB of the era.
Diving headfirst into Rodgers’ conference is the perfect way for Brady to explain to Patriots fans why he won’t end his career with them. It’s a challenge that nobody could criticize him for pursuing. The Bears’ flagging offense needs the shot in the arm either way. Is Chicago really the best destination for Tom Brady? For now, only the ingredients are in place. It’s up to Brady and the Bears’ front office to figure out the rest.