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Raiders will sign Tom Brady if he's interested, source says

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josh mcdaniels mark davis


Josh McDaniels with Mark Davis.

The Las Vegas Raiders have a lot of holes to fill this offseason, but none of them will matter if they can’t find a quarterback. And multiple reports indicate that the Raiders are seriously exploring Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB and future unrestricted free agent Tom Brady as their next star.

On the Jan. 6 “Dan Patrick Show” podcast, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said it’s “a fact” that the Raiders are “doing their research” on the Brady acquisition. Breer’s Sports Illustrated colleague and Raiders hit writer Hondo Carpenter ranked Brady as the most likely starting quarterback for the team in the 2023 season.

“I’ll say this: if Tom Brady wants to be a Raider, chances are 100%,” Carpenter wrote.

Derek Carr may not return next season, though sources tell ESPN that’s still a possibility, and the team can’t afford to relegate the position. Turning the draft around is possible with the Raiders holding the 7th overall pick in the draft. But is coach Josh McDaniels ready to put his career on the line for an unproven rookie?

Maybe if he had a better first season in Las Vegas, but he needs to improve next season or his job could be in jeopardy.

Fortunately for McDaniels, the perfect quarterback to run his system might 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. The Raiders were in the playoffs last season, but have fallen to 6-11 in 2022. The season included a record five losses for a team that held a double-digit lead at halftime. Davis rolled with Carr for nine years, but if Carr is cut, Davis might want the team to make a big move.

“Mark now wants to make a statement,” an NFL executive told Carpenter. “Right or wrong, his father wanted to make statements and he wasn’t against big names at the end of their careers. Some worked and some didn’t, but there’s 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 gives them something no other quarterback option does. They have to win in 2023 to come back in 2024, and they might look to Mark Davis if Brady fails and tell him he was the quarterback he wanted.

Why does Brady want to join the Raiders?

There are several reasons why Brady might be interested in heading to Las Vegas. He would play with Josh Jacobs, Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller as he worked on an offense where he won multiple Super Bowls. However, the Raiders’ defense is a mess and in need of a complete rebuild. Brady has always had the luxury of playing with 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 — can be a little more complicated behind the scenes.

That said, the Raiders have enough excellent pieces on offense to overcome an average defense. If the team can only get the defense up to average, it would be more attractive to Brady. It’s going to be hard to show him how they plan to do this. There will be teams closer to winning a championship than the Raiders in need of a quarterback. What will happen is if Brady wants to spend his final years in the NFL in Las Vegas.