During last offseason, there was a lot of speculation that the Las Vegas Raiders could be a team that targeted Tom Brady in free agency. Some rumors even suggested that the team put together an offer. Once free agency came, the Raiders didn’t appear to show much interest as Brady ended up signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That obviously ended up being the right call as he won a Super Bowl in his first year with the team. Derek Carr put together a strong season for the Raiders but they missed the playoffs. It’s fair to wonder if the team would’ve made it to the playoffs with Brady at the helm. The future Hall of Famer was recently a guest on HBO’s The Shop and opened up about his free agency last year.
During the segment, he took a shot at an unnamed team that stopped showing interest in him towards the end and even threw shade at their quarterback. Many have speculated that he had to be referencing either the Raiders with Carr, the San Francisco 49ers with Jimmy Garoppolo, the Tennessee Titans with Ryan Tannehill or the Chicago Bears with Mitch Trubisky.
Considering Carr is a three-time Pro Bowler, it’s hard to imagine Brady was ripping on him. The most obvious player to shade would be Trubisky, who couldn’t even get re-signed by the Bears after the season. That said, it’s possible he’s talking about any number of quarterbacks. Regardless, he’s likely happy that whichever team he’s referencing ended up passing on him.
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Did Brady Want to Go to the Raiders?
What’s very interesting is that the Raiders may have been able to sign Brady had they wanted to. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported last year that the quarterback ‘wanted’ the Raiders.
It’s not often the greatest quarterback in NFL history wants to play for a specific team and it doesn’t happen. Las Vegas would’ve provided an interesting opportunity for Brady as it’s a big market with a rabid fan base. However, the Raiders weren’t as close to Super Bowl contention as the Buccaneers were.
Raiders Should Be Content With Decision
Brady gets most of the credit for the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl but there’s no way he would’ve even made it to the big game without the team’s stout defense. The Raiders’ defense was nowhere close to Tampa Bay’s. Las Vegas has a very young team so throwing a 43-year-old quarterback in the mix wouldn’t make much sense. Tampa Bay was always a better fit considering their roster.
For the Raiders, had they signed Brady and moved on from Carr, it could’ve set the team back. If the roster wasn’t good enough Brady to win a Super Bowl, they would’ve given up a quarterback who could be a starter for several more years for a guy who only has a year or two left. Obviously, Carr is nowhere near Brady in the history books but he’s good enough to get the Raiders back in the playoffs with the right roster around him.