As unthinkable as it might have been before, Tom Brady’s days as a New England Patriot could be numbered. The quarterback led the team to six Super Bowls, but he’s coming off his most disappointing season since becoming the starter. He’s clearly on the downside of his career and Bill Belichick isn’t necessarily known for his sentimentality.
Brady has been linked to the Las Vegas Raiders thanks to Jon Gruden’s love for veteran quarterbacks. While the Raiders have a young team and a competent starter in Derek Carr, people still think this rumor has legs and rumblings hit an all-time high when Mark Davis was seen chatting with Brady at UFC 246.
Tom Brady Good for Business?
On a football level, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the Raiders to add Brady at this point in his career. It takes quarterbacks a long time to learn Gruden’s offense and while Brady is a different animal, is he really going to want to take that much time away from his family to learn a new playbook? NFL insider Jay Glazer wrote in The Athletic that the move makes sense for the Raiders from a business perspective:
“I said it last week, the Chargers or the Raiders [makes sense for Brady]. I spoke about the business side of things. You guys kind of jumped on me talking about how great ticket sales are for the Raiders. I don’t know if I said ticket sales or not but there’s way more than ticket sales when you’re building up a business. They can use Tom Brady to build the business of the Raiders, which will now be an international team. I say that because of all the big business whales from all over the world who are going to come to Las Vegas and now be exposed to the Raiders.
That’s going to be a hot ticket. The international marketing will be huge. The Raiders are going to be big players internationally with that. That’s why I would think it’s a brilliant move to go to Vegas.”
It’s true that Brady is among the biggest stars in the NFL and his face on billboards all over Las Vegas would be marketing gold. However, there’s another, more effective way of building a business for a football team.
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Just Win, Baby
At the end of the day, nothing helps business better than winning. The Dallas Cowboys, Patriots and Raiders aren’t popular because of the players they have. They’re popular because they’ve all won multiple Super Bowls. The problem with Brady is that he probably doesn’t provide the Raiders the best chance at winning games. At his age, he’s going to start getting worse before he gets better. Nobody is denying that Brady should be mentioned among the greatest football players ever, but football is a young man’s game.
If the Raiders aren’t sold on Derek Carr, Brady isn’t the guy replace him with. They had very similar numbers in 2019 and Carr has more upside at this point in his career. The way the team could justify adding Brady is if they draft a project like Jordan Love in the draft and let the veteran mentor him for a year.