Brady has faced many questions for years regarding the famed “Tuck Rule” play in a 2001 AFC playoff game against the then-Oakland Raiders. As a pending part-owner of the Raiders now, Brady might have to change his tune.
That’s how Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels sees it in the wake of Brady’s move with the franchise this week. McDaniels had to do the same in Las Vegas once after years with the Patriots because of the play that launched Brady’s career and the Patriots’ dynasty.
“One hundred percent. No question,” McDaniels said via Pro Football Talk about whether or not Brady will have to admit the Raiders’ side of the story.
Debate has raged since that Patriots overtime win over the Raiders on whether or not Brady fumbled the ball. Instead, a little-known rule known as the “Tuck Rule” spared Brady and the Patriots as attempted to tuck the ball amid a hit by then-Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson.
“I think everybody knows how I feel about Tom the person,” McDaniels said. “So, if that comes to fruition, obviously I’ll be incredibly excited about just him being somebody that’s in Raider Nation and has a vested interest in us doing as well as we can do in trying to bring a championship football team here to Vegas.”
“So I don’t know exactly where all that stands. I think that’s a question that’s way above my pay grade in terms of that stuff,” McDaniels added. “But, obviously, [I] had a great history with the player and an even better one with the person. So it’ll obviously be a tremendous honor to partner up with him again.”
McDaniels and Brady worked together in New England from 2001 to 2008 and 2012 to 2019. Brady left the Patriots in 2020 as a free agent to join the Bucs, and McDaniels left New England for the Raiders in 2022.
In Brady’s early comments about the “Tuck Rule”, he backs the referees’ call of no fumble. Brady once dodged answering in a video with Woodson, who notably was his former college teammate at Michigan.
The NFL rule book stated, regarding the “Tuck Rule”, that a quarterback can tuck the ball amid a throw to prevent a fumble. In 2013, the league ceased the “Tuck Rule”, which was in rule 3, section 33, article 2, note 2 of the rulebook at the time of the Brady-Woodson incident.
The “Tuck Rule” Impacted the Bucs Directly
Sporting News’ Bill Bender noted how the “Tuck Rule” impacted Brady’s second team — the Bucs. Former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden got traded to the Bucs in the offseason after that loss, and he led the Bucs to a Super Bowl win over the Raiders in the 2002 season.
Brady joined the Bucs 18 years later after the franchise went 13 years without a playoff berth, a drought that began in Gruden’s final season in Tampa as Bender noted.
Tom Brady Could Play for the Raiders With a Catch or Two
Whether or not Brady unretires and plays for a third team in Las Vegas remains to be seen.
The door appeared to open a little more this week as news came out that Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn’t participate in organized team activities due to foot surgery. In addition Brady claimed he retired “for good” on February 1, but he hasn’t slammed the door directly in public comments since that time.
However, Brady can’t just suit up for the Raiders because all 32 owners would need to approve in a vote. Brady could sell his portion of the Raiders instead though if he chooses to come back.
It may never get that far according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore. He reported that a source informed him that the owners want a commitment from Brady to be done playing before he acquires part ownership of the Raiders.