After months of speculation, the Tom Brady sweepstakes are finally over as he’s officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was linked to a number of teams and the Las Vegas Raiders seemed like a strong contender for his services for a while. However, as free agency got closer, Brady to the Raiders rumors quickly started to dry up.
Now NBCS Sports’ Peter King is saying the Raiders may have lost interest a while ago. On WEEI’s Dale & Keefe show, the longtime NFL insider dropped some interesting information regarding Brady’s market:
I think Don Yee, being the good agent that he is, tried to get other teams interested, and couldn’t. Maybe some other teams did get interested at some point, but I know that all the usual suspects, they called and they tried to get interest in Tom. Maybe some of them did and talked to them. Apparently Tennessee was interested all along in keeping Ryan Tannehill. Indianapolis all along seemed not to be interested in Brady, and some of the other ones, I think we talked about it awhile ago — Jon Gruden at the scouting combine basically made it pretty clear (the Raiders) would not be chasing Brady and they would not be inflating the bid for Brady.
His last bit about Gruden not being interested in the future Hall of Famer would certainly cut against what many others have reported on the matter.
Conflicting Reports on Raiders’ Interest
King has been covering the NFL for a long time, so it’s reasonable to believe him. He did claim that the Raiders were “very interested” in Kyler Murray before last year’s draft, but it’s hard to prove or disprove that considering the team never had a chance at the quarterback.
On the Brady issue, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur said that the Raiders were “definitely in play for Brady” before free agency started. Tafur is among the most connected insiders for the team and a trustworthy source for all things Raiders.
So who’s telling the truth?
It’s not that anybody is lying. Perhaps there are little nuggets of truth in each report. The most likely scenario is that the Raiders like Brady and were very interested in bringing in him before the NFL Combine. However, they could’ve gotten the sense that the interest wasn’t mutual, so they tried to play it off like they weren’t interested. We’ll never know for sure, but there was almost certainly a point in which the team expressed interest in Brady.
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Who Made a Brady an Offer?
At the end of the day, the Raiders didn’t even make Brady and offer. As NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported, his only offers came from the Los Angeles Chargers and Buccaneers.
Rapoport does point out that the Raiders were interested at a time. It’s unclear why exactly they lost interest. Maybe they realized it would be unwise to invest their future into a 42-year-old quarterback coming off a down year, or maybe Brady just didn’t want to go to Las Vegas. Regardless, Derek Carr should be safe for at least one more season.