With Tom Brady’s departure from the Patriots official, the Las Vegas Raiders haven’t been connected with the quarterback recently but that does that mean the door is closed?
The football world has been waiting to see if Tom Brady would end up back in New England where he won six Super Bowl rings. Now, they have their answer: Tom Brady is going to finish his career elsewhere. And the question still remains: could the Las Vegas Raiders still make a run at what most consider the best quarterback of all time?
On the first day of NFL legal tampering, the Raiders signed another veteran quarterback in Marcus Mariota. Mariota is assumed to be the QB2 behind Derek Carr and his signing signaled the Raiders wanted to get deeper at the position and perhaps bring someone in to push the 29-year old Carr. For the former Titans starter, it’s a clean slate and a new organization with some stability.
Early on, the Raiders were linked to Tom Brady both through rumor and innuendo. Add UFC chief Dana White publicly posting videos recruiting Brady to Las Vegas, and the talk made sense. Media outlets looked at Brady to Vegas as the ultimate PR move for Mark Davis, Mike Mayock, Jon Gruden, and the Raiders. The idea: make a big splash heading into Allegiant Stadium and their new home.
While that idea is intriguing, Tom Brady to the Raiders never made real sense from a football perspective. The Raiders won’t be drafting a “sure thing” QB in the first round, so there’s no one to groom.
Second, while a significant part of the fanbase is ready to move on from Derek Carr, there’s been no indication the Raiders brass has that point of view. Still young, and now entering his third year in the same offensive system, there are signs Carr’s improvements will continue. To switch to a 43-year old quarterback down to his last few years in the league doesn’t exactly scream investing in the future.
Adding to all those facts is the Raiders offense under Gruden. Sure, you could argue it’s Tom Brady so the GOAT can learn any offense. Yet very rarely do people look at the situation from Brady’s side. Not only is the window for him to win more ring is closing fast, but there is also only a hand full of teams on the verge of making a championship run.
That, fit with the offense, and the team’s with the resources to give him the $30 million he’s seeking annually, aren’t numerous. The market for Brady isn’t huge and the main reason why Brady to the Raiders was appealing has nothing to do with football on the field.
And that’s why the chances are minuscule.
In my life, I’ve learned over and over again to “never say never.” Could Tom Brady end up in Las Vegas wearing the Silver and Black? Sure. But don’t bet on it.
Just like a wide-eyed first-time visitors to Las Vegas that don’t understand how high the odds against them winning at the tables are, Raider’s fans wanting or watching for Brady to pick their team would be better served to let any thought of “Tommy Tuck Rule” setting up shop in Las Vegas go.
The thoughts of Brady ending his career in the pewter of Tampa Bay, or within the Raiders division with the no-fan Los Angeles Chargers, is as surreal as the world we’re living in during this COVID-19 crisis. Had he ended it under center in Las Vegas wearing the iconic Raiders shield and the silver and black, that seems like a fitting end for a living legend and future Hall of Famer.
Instead, the Raiders seemed focused squarely on their future and building a championship roster with the quarterbacks they have.
It would have been intriguing for Raider Nation to have to embrace one of its most hated players who had the key role in one of the team’s most pivotal moments.
It will be interesting to watch where Tom Brady ends up over the next few days. Just don’t have daydreams of him in Las Vegas.