Two weeks in a row, events have transpired linking the six-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady to the Las Vegas Raiders. While it may seem far fetched for the QB to leave his beloved Patriots for the desert, there are reasons why it makes sense. Then again, there are reasons why it makes little sense.
Since the Raiders sputtered to end the 2019 season winning just one game out of their last six, I have said emphatically I still believe Derek Carr will be the starting quarterback when the Las Vegas Raiders take to the field for the first regular-season game. Even with reports of the Raiders pursuing New England Patriot’s free agent Tom Brady swirling, I still believe that will happen.
I don’t have any reason to believe that won’t happen despite the chatter, the wishes of those who don’t care for Carr or national media who can sway with the wind.
Still, yesterday’s report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter citing sources claiming Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, and the Raiders will pursue Brady in free agency if he doesn’t resign with New England can’t simply be ignored nor dismissed.
Could it be posturing by someone to influence another move? Perhaps. Could it be a masterful game of chess by Mike Mayock or Gruden? Perhaps. Could there be any truth to it? Perhaps.
For those who want to stick their head in the sand and dismiss the report and discussion of Brady to Las Vegas, it’s probably best you click out now. For those willing to listen to why this move makes sense and why it doesn’t, read on.
Why Brady to the Raiders Makes Good Sense
If you buy into the narrative Carr is not the kind of quarterback Gruden covets to run his offense, even aging and end-of-the-line Brady makes some sense.
Brady has won six Super Bowl titles and three NFL MVP awards – his leadership is unquestioned. He demands respect in the huddle and with a young roster of talented players, he could be a welcomed addition. He’s also a player who brings a wealth of game experience and leadership. It’s not that Carr isn’t a leader, but Brady is on a different level.
Looking at the two quarterback’s stats from this past season, the numbers are eerily similar to Carr, with the Raiders QB actually fairing better in some categories.
|Player 2019 Stats||Record||Comp%||Yards||Y/A||TDs||INTs|
Despite the statistical dead-heat between the two players, the continued buzz around Gruden being frustrated with Carr lives on. That sometimes is perpetuated by the man himself who always pulls back from outright endorsing Carr as the team’s franchise quarterback when he can.
With Brady, there are still lots of unknowns. Although he holds all the cards on where he’ll be under center next season, Patriots owner Bob Kraft has repeatedly said he wants Brady to return for a 21st season and wants his QB to end his career in Boston.
With Brady tasting free agency for the first time in his career, flirting is going on and, according to Schefter, Gruden likes Brady and the two have a very good relationship.
It also would make a lot of sense from a business perspective. Although buzz for the Raiders in Las Vegas is growing each day, the marketing implications of a Brady to Las Vegas move would undoubtedly create an opportunity for the team to endear itself to its new market in a way unparalleled. Brady joining young stars like Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Maxx Crosby, and Jonathan Abram, would certainly make waves in their home market and around the NFL.
Do Gruden and Mayock think this team is close enough to jettison a young QB for a proven champion who’s looking for one last push to the promised land?
There’s no doubt Brady would bring something to the Raiders on the field they don’t have today. But would it make sense to dump a 28-year old quarterback in Carr (coming off one of his best seasons statistically) for an almost 43-year old veteran at the end of his career?