There’s been a lot of speculation that the Las Vegas Raiders are very interested in signing quarterback Tom Brady this offseason. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated went so far as to say it’s a “fact” that the team is going to pursue him. While the Raiders appear interested in him, it remains to be seen if the interest is mutual.
Brady should have a number of suitors this offseason, including his current team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many believe it’s just a matter of time before Brady leaves the team but there’s no doubt they’ve built a good team around him. Tampa Bay also fired offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and will almost certainly try to hire somebody who would be appealing to the quarterback. He’s got a tough decision to make and retirement will be on the table.
Former star tight end and longtime Brady teammate Rob Gronkowski is as close with the quarterback as anybody. He believes that if the quarterback’s only two options were the Raiders or the Buccaneers, he would stay in Tampa Bay.
“He’s been there now for three years,” Gronkowski said in a January 26 appearance on NSPN Champa Bay TV when asked if Brady had a better shot to play for the Raiders or Buccaneers. “It’s just such a great organization. They’ve got such great people in the front office. So if I were to take a guess right now over those two I would have to say Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
Why These Comments From Gronkowski Are Notable
There’s been talk of Brady being unhappy in Tampa Bay this year. The team went 8-9 and got blown out by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs. Brady will be 46 next year and doesn’t want to keep playing just to lose in playoff games. He wants to win Super Bowls. Gronkowski is very close with Brady but likely doesn’t know what the quarterback going to do. However, his comments are still notable.
Gronkowski knows how Brady thinks and he’s familiar with how the Buccaneers run their operation. If he thinks the quarterback is going to stay put over going to Las Vegas, there has to be a chance it happens. The Buccaneers had a down year but they were still better than the 6-11 Raiders. Las Vegas does have Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller but the offensive line is below average and the defense is a mess. If the Buccaneers can nail the offensive coordinator hire and tweak some things, they could be back in Super Bowl contention next year with Brady at the helm.
Why Would Brady Choose Raiders Over Bucs?
The biggest selling point for Brady to leave the Buccaneers in favor of the Raiders is coaching. Josh McDaniels and the quarterback won multiple Super Bowls together. Todd Bowles is a respected defensive mind but is 34-50 as a head coach. McDaniels hasn’t been any better as a head coach but he knows offense and he knows Brady.
The Raiders are trying to build a culture that is similar to what Brady was seeing with the New England Patriots. It’s a culture that values hard work and focusing on the details. Brady could miss being in that environment but doesn’t want to return to New England. The Raiders would be a logical fit in that situation. He’d also be close to his hometown of San Mateo, California.