Though he’s still on the roster for now, the Las Vegas Raiders have made up their mind and will be moving on from Derek Carr in the coming weeks. It’s a risky move to let go of a solid veteran quarterback without a clear succession plan. The plan appears to be to go all-in on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady reuniting with Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas makes a lot of sense but things are never that simple. He’s going to be 46 when next season so retirement is on the table. There will also be more teams than just the Raiders interested in him. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Las Vegas knows that they’ll be facing competition for the future Hall of Famer:
This one’s been telegraphed since the end of the season — it’s now the worst-kept secret that Las Vegas would have interest in signing Brady.
A few teams I’ve spoken to expect Brady to retire. But should he play, the Raiders believe they are one of about three teams that he would consider. Tampa Bay isn’t out of it yet, though Brady appeared to say his goodbyes to the media in his last news conference with the team following the playoff loss to Dallas.
One Coach Thinks Brady Makes Sense With Raiders
Brady is going to want to go to a situation where he knows he can win. The Raiders went 6-11 in 2022 so that has to concern him. If the San Francisco 49ers wanted to sign Brady, they would have to be the overwhelming favorites to land him. However, Brock Purdy just led them to the NFC Championship so they might feel comfortable moving forward with him next season.
The fact that the Raiders have good weapons on offense and a coach that Brady has a close relationship with should work in the team’s favor. One coach thinks it would be a “seamless transition.”
“I just think with the weapons they have and the familiarity with Josh McDaniels’ offense and the people there, it would be a seamless transition for him,” a veteran AFC offensive coach told Fowler.
What Will Raiders Do if Brady Retires?
The Raiders had to feel confident that they could convince Brady to come to Las Vegas when they made the decision to bench Carr. He’s the only free agent quarterback who is arguably an upgrade over Carr. Moving on from Carr just to sign Jimmy Garoppolo or Baker Mayfield doesn’t seem like a wise decision.
However, there’s a real chance Brady retires and nobody gets a chance to sign him. Fowler noted earlier that there are teams that believe he will call it a career. That would be bad news for the Raiders. Brady is the perfect quarterback to run McDaniels’ system. Any other quarterback is either limited or will take time to learn the system. Luckily, the Raiders do have a top-10 draft pick. If Brady doesn’t end up in Las Vegas, the team almost certainly needs to use that pick to try and get a top quarterback in the draft. Pairing an exciting rookie with a player like Garoppolo could actually be the better long-term play.