Making the case for Tom Brady to join Las Vegas Raiders
With Tom Brady becoming a free agent for just the second time in his 5,000-year career, it's time to seriously consider what the quarterback might do in 2023. That is, provided the quarterback who will turn 46 years old this summer decides to continue his fight against Father Time by playing in his 24th NFL season. Each day, we'll explore one possible option for Brady, starting with the Las Vegas Raiders today.
BOSTON -- It almost makes too much sense. Tom Brady. Josh McDaniels. Las Vegas Raiders.
From a business perspective, from a flair perspective, and from a football perspective, there's plenty of reason to believe that Las Vegas is the ideal destination for Tom Brady to continue his playing career.
The Case For
Start with the head coach.
While some of us on the outside might have renewed doubts about Josh McDaniels' capabilities as a head coach in the NFL, Tom Brady is unlikely to harbor such doubts.
Brady and McDaniels spent 13 years together in New England, with McDaniels working as the quarterbacks coach/de facto offensive coordinator in 2004 and 2005 before getting the official OC title in 2006. Together they have experienced all the highs and lows imaginable in the NFL, winning Super Bowls, losing Super Bowls, earning MVPs, setting records and -- above all -- winning a lot of football games.
Having just come from a Bruce Arians-Todd Bowles-Byron Leftwich triumvirate, Brady's going to be upgrading no matter where he goes. And it's hard to envision a coach he trusts more than McDaniels.
Think back to Super Bowl XLIX. Patriots-Seahawks. Brady hadn't won a Super Bowl in a decade. DeflateGate was becoming a thing. The Seattle defense was historic. A whole lot was at stake. And when Brady delivered what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass to Julian Edelman in the fourth quarter, his first reaction was to point at Josh McDaniels on the sideline as a way to show his appreciation for calling the play that both Brady and McDaniels knew would work.
"After the [previous] drive, I went to the sidelines and told Josh, 'Josh, come back to that call. Please come back to that call.' I knew even before the call came in what it was going to be," Brady said after that Super Bowl win. "I knew how it was going to play out."
When it comes to established trust in a coach, it's hard to get better than that.
From a football perspective, the team obviously moved on from Derek Carr and has a gaping hole at the most important position on the field. All-Pro Davante Adams is under contract, as is Hunter Renfrow, as is Darren Waller. Running back Josh Jacobs could be back on the franchise tag, and he probably wouldn't be overly upset about that if Tom Brady was his quarterback. Some bolstering of the offensive line, and Brady would feel very comfortable slinging deep balls in the Death Star next season.
Outside of that, there's a business advantage to both the player and the team. Owner Mark Davis expressed frustration that his stadium seemed to be filled with visiting fans most of the time ... which honestly would have been expected by anybody not named Mark Davis after moving a team to LAS VEGAS. Nevertheless, bringing on Brady would add a certain heft and significance to the franchise, and would help establish the team in its still-new home.
Meanwhile, Brady already is opening a TB12 business in the Wynn Las Vegas, as his business tentacles continue to grow. What better way to establish that TB12 experience as a destination to add to tourists' to-do lists than to remind everyone at all times that TB12 = Las Vegas?
From most every angle, Vegas would and should be considered the favorites to appeal to Brady.
The Case Against
The first bit of consternation for this marriage is the obvious one: Do the Raiders want to put their eggs in the basket of a 46-year-old quarterback? Brady has obviously defied the space-time continuum for the past several years, but that has to end at some point ... doesn't it? Regardless, with the Raiders having moved on from Carr, the clock is ticking on securing their next franchise quarterback. Spending a year riding the Brady train could distract from that mission.
But with Jarrett Stidham and Chase Garbers as the only QBs on the roster, they may not be opposed to a short-term fix.
For Brady, location may be an issue. When he was choosing a team in 2020, he reportedly didn't want to play in Los Angeles, because it would have put him too far away from his son in New York. Now with the whole divorce element, who's to say where Brady wants to live and play? It's possible that Las Vegas is simply unfeasible in that regard.
This may be a silly thing, but there's also this: Raiders fans are still sore about the tuck rule. Mark Davis made Josh McDaniels state into a microphone at his introductory press conference that it was a fumble. Could Raiders fans fully embrace Brady, despite (irrationally) believing that A) the tuck rule prevented a Raiders championship and B) Brady is somehow responsible for that rule having existed.
But Brady came across as pretty likeable in his 30 For 30 with Charles Woodson on the historic football moment, so it may be easy enough to smooth over.
While we don't know the personal desires of Brady in terms of a new home ... this one makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. The Raiders are the betting favorite to land TB12 -- and he could wear No. 12 there, because the Raiders don't retire numbers -- and that should certainly be the case.
for more features.