It was just a quick call between friends.
That’s Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel’s story after he FaceTimed soon-to-be-free-agent Tom Brady on Saturday while the Patriots quarterback was at the Syracuse-North Carolina basketball game.
With Vrabel’s team rumored to be in the hunt for Brady’s services in free agency, despite Ryan Tannehill’s resurgence last season, some were quick to suggest tampering.
“Well, it would be no different than a conversation you would have with your girlfriends on a weekend,” Vrabel said on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Friday. “My relationship goes back to 2001 with Tom Brady — training camp in Rhode Island, at Parente’s we’d go to practice and a bunch of us would go out to the bar at Parente’s after practice and that’s where a lot of those friendships were made.
“Those friendships aren’t just going to stop or not continue to grow and develop now that I’m a head coach and he’s a quarterback with an expiring contract. Those are going to continue on well after we’re done playing with his family, with my family and having the ability to meet Jules and all those players — there’s a special bond that goes on in the locker room and that’s not going to stop.”
That bond is what got the Brady-to-Tennessee rumors flowing in the first place, though before Vrabel and his former teammate can begin questing for a fourth Super Bowl together, the Titans have to figure out what to do with Tannehill.
The 31-year-old is due a big raise after helping guide the team past Brady’s Patriots and then to the AFC Championship Game last season. Tannehll is eligible to be franchise-tagged, a decision that must come by Thursday — a week before Brady could hit the open market on the 18th.