The reign of Tom Brady in the NFL has finally come to an end … or has it? The seven-time Super Bowl champion recently announced his retirement despite coming off one of the most statistically impressive seasons of his career. He threw for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but lost in the second round of the playoffs.
Brady is used to competing for Super Bowls so 2021 ended up being a disappointing season. Despite the fact that he just barely entered retirement, there’s already a lot of chatter surrounding him making an eventual come back.
If he does change his mind about retirement, it’s unlikely it’s to return to the Buccaneers. There have been rumors that he didn’t have the best relationship with head coach Bruce Arians and may look for a new team.
Perhaps the most obvious fit would be the Las Vegas Raiders. Brady spent many years being coached by Josh McDaniels, who landed the head coaching job in Las Vegas this offseason. The two have a great relationship and won six Super Bowls together. Former NFL head coach Eric Mangini worked with both Brady and McDaniels during his time in New England. He believes that reuniting with McDaniels is one of the few options for the quarterback if he decides to unretire.
“I always go back to the idea of whether it’s Josh McDaniels, whether it’s the New England Patriots … going to a place where he can step in immediately and be effective in the system that he knows. That’s his best opportunity to continue to be successful,” Mangini said on First Things First.
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Any Chance This Actually Happens?
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport previously reported that Brady was very interested in joining the Raiders in 2020 and thought he could win there. Now that his close friend in McDaniels is there, the interest could be even stronger for Brady.
If Brady does come out of retirement, the Raiders might be the most logical landing spot. Mangini mentioned the Patriots but it’s hard to imagine he’d really want to go back. With the Raiders, he gets to be coached by a man that he trusts and gets to go back to the west coast. Las Vegas is a great market for him to be in and there would be almost no learning curve.
Would It Be Worth It for Raiders to Pursue Brady?
While there’s almost no doubt Brady would be interested in joining the Raiders, the feeling may not be mutual. The quarterback will be 45 in August and it’s just a matter of time before his athleticism starts to decline. He hasn’t shown signs yet but they will come eventually.
At best, the Raiders would get two years of an elite quarterback. Now, that could be worth it. He led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl championship in just one season. Raiders owner Mark Davis would sacrifice a lot just to bring a single Lombardi Trophy back to Las Vegas. The team has a quarterback they like in Carr and he could lead the franchise for the next decade.
However, McDaniels might see Brady as a chance to win a Super Bowl much quicker. It would be a lot for the team to think about. The first thing that needs to happen is Brady coming out of retirement and that is far from a guarantee.