While the Las Vegas Raiders‘ focus is on trying to trade Derek Carr, the team also needs to have a plan for who their next quarterback is going to be. Carr wasn’t an elite quarterback but he’s at least one of the 15 best in the league. That’s not easily replaced without a strong plan.
Tom Brady has been a popular name to replace Carr but that’s a short-term answer to a potentially long-term problem. The Raiders hold the No. 7 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and that puts them in a good position to draft one of the top prospects. However, head coach Josh McDaniels may not be interested in coaching a rookie. According to Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post, the coach could be eyeing a veteran quarterback and specifically mentioned Aaron Rodgers and Brady:
Some executives who have had contact with Raiders Coach Josh McDaniels believe he’s inclined to want a strong veteran around next season, not just a rookie passer. Rodgers would make sense, but Brady played better and is clearly better versed in McDaniels’s offense. Sure, the Raiders could use another offensive lineman or two, but their roster is loaded with pass catchers and they could always put the franchise tag on Josh Jacobs, who led the NFL in rushing.
GM Says Raiders Could Be Best Option for Brady
McDaniels has had success with both veteran and rookie quarterbacks so what he wants will just depend on where he feels the team is at. If he feels the Raiders are close to building a contender, a veteran is the way to go. If he believes there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, the Raiders should use that No. 7 pick on one of the top prospects.
Brady makes the most sense as a veteran option. He spent years working with McDaniels in New England and the two have remained close. However, the Raiders had a chance to sign the quarterback in 2020 but the team declined, according to UFC president Dana White. A general manager La Canfora spoke to doesn’t believe that will be a problem:
Brady knows McDaniels’s system inside-out from their shared time in New England, where they went through the best of times together. The city and the dome would also suit him well. One general manager pointed out that former Raiders coach Jon Gruden rebuffed Brady’s overtures when the quarterback was finally extricating himself from New England: “I don’t think he’d hold a grudge against [owner] Mark Davis for that, do you?” the GM asked. “It might be the best option for him.”
Smaller-Name Veteran QBs Raiders Could Target
Brady is the obvious option for the Raiders but there’s no guarantee he even plays next season. Las Vegas needs other plans in place in case they can’t land the future Hall of Famer. Aaron Rodgers makes sense due to his connection with Davante Adams but he’d cost a lot in a trade and eats up a ton of salary cap space.
If the Raiders decide to go after a smaller name, there are some options. Jarrett Stidham made some plays in his two games as a starter. He clearly still needs work but could be more consistent if he has an entire offseason as the starter. Jacoby Brissett will be a free agent and he’s played under McDaniels before. He’d be a solid bridge quarterback. There are also players like Daniel Jones and Baker Mayfield who were drafted highly but have struggled. Perhaps McDaniels sees something in them that he can work with.