The Las Vegas Raiders have their quarterback with the recent signing of Jimmy Garoppolo. The 31-year-old veteran wasn’t at the top of the team’s list but he’ll be able to man the ship while they find a long-term option. While Garoppolo is a capable starter, the Raiders do need to make sure they have a backup plan in case he gets hurt.
The quarterback missed 30 combined games during his time with the San Francisco 49ers due to injury. Players don’t become more durable once they’re in their 30s. If the Raiders lose Garoppolo at any point during the season, they may have a chance to get their preferred option at quarterback. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer has reported that Tom Brady was the quarterback that the team wanted to add this offseason. He ended up retiring but not everybody is convinced he’s done for good.
FOX Sports analyst Nick Wright floated the idea of Brady coming out of retirement during the season and joining the Raiders if Garoppolo were to get hurt.
“I had Eric Mangini say to me about a month ago that he doesn’t think Tom Brady is gonna play Week 1, but if there were a team that he knows the system that were to have a need at quarterback midway or late in the year, he could potentially come back under that circumstance,” Wright said on the March 14 episode of “The Herd.” “Well, now the Raiders have Josh McDaniels as the head coach, and a starting quarterback that is the most injury-prone starting quarterback in football. … But could this possibly open the door a bit to Tom Brady being a midseason Raider acquisition? I think possibly.”
Is This a Realistic Idea?
Brady isn’t starting his new job as a FOX Sports color commentator until 2024 so there’s nothing holding him back from playing in a few more games. If he does want to return, there aren’t many more teams than the Raiders that would make sense. For most teams, he’d have to learn a new system, which would be difficult to do in the middle of a season.
Brady spent years under Josh McDaniels and knows his system better than anybody. If the Raiders have a good thing going but Garoppolo gets hurt, coming to Las Vegas for a few months could be appealing to the future Hall of Famer. It’s still a highly unlikely scenario but it could be an interesting situation to watch if the Raiders need help.
Garoppolo Still Has Something to Prove
In a perfect world for the Raiders, Garoppolo won’t get hurt and be able to finish up the season. Nobody is rooting for the scenario where the team is forced to go after Brady in the middle of the year. Garoppolo also still has a lot he wants to prove.
“Hell yeah,” Garoppolo said at his introductory press conference when asked if he still has anything to prove. “I’m trying to win a Super Bowl. I know every player says that when they come up to their first press conference, but that’s my goal — get a ring, get the Silver and Black back to where it should be.
“I know it’s not an easy process. I’ve been through it. In San Francisco, [the 49ers were] lower end of the field when I first got there, [so] it’s a process. But it will be worth it.”