The NFL Combine is where rumor season really starts to heat up and there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Tom Brady. It’s been known that he was planning on testing the free agent market, but most believed he would end up back with the team that drafted him. However, things have taken a turn at the Combine. According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, he would be “stunned” if Brady signed with the Patriots.
It would certainly change the NFL’s landscape if Brady were to leave the team he won six Super Bowls with. As bizarre as it would be to see him in another uniform, he’s seeming more and more likely to leave. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, who is in Indianapolis for the Combine, says that there is “buzz” that the quarterback won’t return to New England.
If that news didn’t raise enough eyebrows, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald is reporting that the Patriots haven’t even reached out to Brady.
At this point, most signs point to a divorce between the two sides.
Will Raiders Be Big Players?
There haven’t been many updates lately about the Raiders‘ supposed interest in Brady. The last substantial report to come out was that the team was preparing to offer the quarterback a two year contract worth $60 million. If the Patriots really do plan to move forward without Brady, the Raiders could be gearing up to make a huge run at the quarterback.
General manager Mike Mayock was asked about Brady at the Combine, but he didn’t reveal anything interesting.
“I don’t make anything of any rumors,” Mayock said. “All I can tell you about free agency – because I’m not allowed to talk about any of them anyway – is I have watched tape of just about every guy out there at every position. All that does is uphold what I am telling you that every position gets evaluated every year and if we can upgrade it we will.”
Mayock is going to keep is cards close to the vest as he still has a starting quarterback on the roster. If the Raiders make it obvious they want Brady, but he ends up going to the Los Angeles Chargers, that could be a problem. According Williams Hill US, the Raiders and Chargers have equal odds to land the veteran quarterback.
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Sign Brady, Draft a QB?
It remains to be seen if Brady is even any better than Carr at this point in his career, but the Raiders need star power and there’s perhaps no bigger star than the future Hall of Famer. Schematically, it doesn’t make much sense as Jon Gruden doesn’t run an offense that Brady is used to and it takes time to learn the offense. The Raiders are a young team and Brady will be 43 when the season starts. Plus, his numbers weren’t much better than Carr’s in 2019 and it’s very likely he starts to decline with each passing season.
The only way a Brady addition makes sense for the Raiders is if they’re planning to draft a quarterback early in the draft. If the team takes somebody like Jordan Love in the first round, Brady will be much more open to mentoring a young quarterback than a 28 year old Derek Carr. If the Raiders don’t have any faith in Carr going forward, then Brady and Love wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to the team.