Report: Saints, Bears pursued Tom Brady during offseason

Tom Brady’s options this offseason weren’t always just between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the list of suitors for Brady was longer than initially appeared. The New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears reportedly pursued Brady during the offseason before he ultimately chose Tampa Bay. 

New Orleans’ pursuit of Brady stemmed from the uncertainty of what lied ahead for Drew Brees. It was reported that the 41-year-old was contemplating retirement, and the Saints planned to offer Brady a deal if Brees announced he was done playing football. When Brees announced he’d return for 2020, the pursuit of Brady ended. 

Chicago, on the other hand, made an “under-the-radar offer” to Brady. The 43-year-old opted against playing for Chicago because he didn’t want to continue playing in cold weather after 20 years in New England. The Bears later made a trade for Nick Foles, who now will be Mitchell Trubisky’s backup after losing the quarterback competition in training camp. 

The Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers were the main teams competing for Brady’s services, but he eventually signed a two-year, $50 million deal with Tampa Bay.

Brady will make the first start of his career for the Buccaneers on Sunday against the Saints, and it’s not going to be easy if one of his top receivers in Mike Evans doesn’t suit up due to injury. 

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