The Las Vegas Raiders have many holes to fill this offseason but none of them will matter if they can’t find a quarterback. And multiple reports indicate the Raiders are seriously exploring Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB and soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Tom Brady as their next star.
On the January 6 “Dan Patrick Show” podcast, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said it’s “a fact” that the Raiders are “doing their research” about acquiring Brady. Breer’s colleague at Sports Illustrated and Raiders beat writer Hondo Carpenter ranked Brady as the likeliest starting quarterback for the team in the 2023 season.
“I will say this: If Tom Brady wants to be a Raider, the odds are 100 percent,” Carpenter wrote.
Derek Carr may not be back next season, though sources told ESPN it’s still a possibility, and the team can’t afford to downgrade at the position. Taking a swing in the draft is possible with the Raiders having the No. 7 overall draft pick. But is head coach Josh McDaniels ready to put his career on the line for an unproven rookie?
Perhaps, if he’d had a better first season in Las Vegas, but he needs to show improvement next season or his job may be at risk.
Luckily for McDaniels, the perfect quarterback to run his system may be available this offseason.
Is Mark Davis Pushing for Brady?
Mark Davis can’t be thrilled with how McDaniels’ first season in Las Vegas went down. The Raiders were in the playoffs last season but fell to 6-11 in 2022. The season included a record-setting five losses by a team that had a double-digit lead at halftime. Davis rolled with Carr for nine years, but if Carr is cut, Davis could want the team to go for a big swing.
“Mark now wants to make a statement,” an NFL executive told Carpenter. “Right or wrong, his dad wanted to make statements and wasn’t against big name guys at the end of their career. Some worked out, and some didn’t, but there is a reason Brady is called the GOAT.”
According to Carpenter’s report, bringing in Brady is a move that could buy McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler some time.
“I know that Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels like and respect Tom Brady,” an NFC general manager told Carpenter. “But the addition of Tom Brady buys them something no other quarterback option does. They have to win in 2023 to be back in 2024, and they can look at Mark Davis if Brady fails and tell him that he was the quarterback he wanted.”
Why Would Brady Want to Join Raiders?
There are several reasons Brady could be interested in going to Las Vegas. He’d get to play with Josh Jacobs, Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller while getting to work in an offense that he’s won multiple Super Bowls in. However, the Raiders’ defense is a mess and needs a complete rebuild. Brady has always had the luxury of playing with a great defense. And the relationship between McDaniels and the quarterback — who worked together when McDaniels was Brady’s offensive coach with the Patriots for more than a decade — may be a bit more complicated behind the scenes.
That said, the Raiders have enough great pieces on offense to overcome an average defense. If the team can just get the defense to average, it would be more appealing to Brady. It’s going to be difficult to show him how they plan to do that though. There will be teams closer to winning a championship than the Raiders that need a quarterback. What it will come down to is whether Brady wants to spend his last NFL years in Las Vegas.