Tom Brady Rumors: Chargers Believe They're out of Running Amid Buccaneers Buzz

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 17, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks on the field before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, who announced plans Tuesday to leave the New England Patriots after 20 seasons, is looking for a new home. 

The Los Angeles Chargers are a rumored suitor, but per Jim Trotter of NFL Media, the Bolts now believe they are "out of the running" for the 20-year veteran.

"I've been saying for two days I believe the Chargers are the best fit for Brady - and I still believe that. But I'm told the Brady camp has led the Chargers to believe he is going to stay back East because of family considerations.

"The Chargers made a serious run at Brady, but, barring a change of heart by the quarterback, the team believes it is out of the running for him."

Further indicators had Brady going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead, with Dale Arnold of WEEI Radio and NESN and Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports both reporting that sentiment on Tuesday.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network followed up on Trotter's report, specifically the note about Brady wanting to stay closer to New England.

"Family considerations were a huge part of Brady’s looming decision—more so than scheme or personnel," Rapoport tweeted. "Tampa, the only other known suitor, is closer to the NE and in the same time zone."

And Tampa Bay is now the reported winner in the Brady sweepstakes, per ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington. Per Schefter, "there's no signing date or announcement officially set up, but Brady is expected to be a Buccaneer."

That signals the final blow for any hope the Chargers have of acquiring the free agent, but the very least, they have numerous options to pursue.

The Bolts are looking for a replacement at quarterback after parting ways with Philip Rivers, who the Chargers drafted in 2004. Rivers was a Charger for 16 seasons, starting every game for the final 14 and making eight Pro Bowls and six postseasons.

For starters, L.A. owns the sixth overall pick in the draft, so they could land a signal-caller like Oregon's Justin Herbert or Utah State's Jordan Love.

Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa is more likely to go top five, with the Miami Dolphins a presumed target at No. 5 (Matt Miller of Bleacher Report placed the Crimson Tide signal-caller in his latest mock), so L.A. would have to trade up to have a chance.

From a veteran standpoint, the Bolts could go after Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who is headed out of Charlotte after nine years.

Other players available include ex-Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who is all but certain to leave town with Cincinnati pegged to select LSU's Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

L.A. is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball despite a disappointing 5-11 season last year. The Bolts did go 12-4 one year before, though, and that's likely a better barometer of the team's skill level.

With Derwin James and Joey Bosa returning on defense and a boatload of skill-position talent on offense led by running back Austin Ekeler and wideout Keenan Allen, the right quarterback should lead the Bolts back to the playoffs.