There’s a lot that can happen between now and free agency in March but it’s looking like the Las Vegas Raiders are planning to go after Tom Brady. The future Hall of Famer is likely on his way out of Tampa Bay and could be interested if he doesn’t retire. However, there is a scenario where the quarterback walks away from the game or signs elsewhere.
That would put the Raiders in a bind as he’s the only available quarterback who offers a likely upgrade over Derek Carr. The team made their decision on Carr and he will be either cut or traded in the coming weeks. He’ll be off the roster before Brady can even hit free agency.
The Raiders will look at other free agents like Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett or Baker Mayfield but they may decide to attempt a trade if Brady isn’t gettable. Head coach Josh McDaniels is a big fan of New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. He went from being a Pro Bowler under the coach to one of the more uninspiring quarterbacks in the NFL since he left. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believes that Jones is unhappy in New England and that the best outcome for both sides is that the quarterback is traded to Las Vegas.
“Mac Jones, we saw the repeated outbursts. We’ve seen the questionable play where it’s a manifestation of frustration,” Florio said. “Maybe Josh McDaniels makes a phone call to Bill Belichick to work out a trade for Mac Jones and maybe the Patriots move on at quarterback.”
Are Patriots Already Going to Trade Jones?
Jones was a first-round pick just two years ago. He was supposed to be the future at quarterback for the Patriots. Even when he struggled this season, Bill Belichick wouldn’t bench him for Bailey Zappe. Belichick only cares about winning so he would’ve played Zappe if he thought he was better than Jones.
The Patriots were in the playoff race until the end of the season and starting over at quarterback again could set them back. Much of Jones’ struggles could be due to the fact that he didn’t have a real offensive coordinator this season. Adding a proven offensive coordinator who knows how to develop a young quarterback could get Jones back to playing at a solid level again.
Would Raiders Want Jones?
McDaniels is obviously high on Jones. The two had success together last year and the coach has spoken highly of the quarterback. That said, is McDaniels ready to risk his career by going with a quarterback who ranked 26th in passer rating this season? He’d have to be confident that he can make it work to do that.
If the Raiders bring in McDaniels’ quarterback and he looks terrible while the team misses the playoffs again, he will almost certainly get fired and never get a head coaching job again. Bringing in Brady or a rookie may buy the coach some time. McDaniels may be willing to take that gamble but general manager Dave Ziegler might not be. Things could get tricky for the Raiders this offseason if they can’t land Brady and don’t want to draft a quarterback.