By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
If and when New England Patriots quarterback and pending unrestricted free agent Tom Brady truly hits the open market for the first time in his illustrious career, the Las Vegas Raiders will be the first to rush to the nearest phone.
From ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
One of the teams expected to be leading the way if Brady gets to free agency is the Raiders, whose coach, Jon Gruden, is a long-time admirer of the three-time MVP and six-time Super Bowl champion. The two have a good relationship, and league sources believe that Gruden, who is known to be a highly effective recruiter, wants Brady on the Raiders.
Nothing about this should surprise you.
And the Raiders will most definitely not be the only team trying to persuade Brady to come to their city.
Honestly, half the league — maybe even more — could absolutely use a player of Brady’s caliber under center.
But the Raiders could emerge as an intriguing option should Brady decide to truly entertain offers outside Patriot Place.
A move to Las Vegas would not only see Brady become the face of the franchise, and in a new city and football market at that. Brady would also find himself reunited with former teammate and Super Bowl champion Trent Brown (the Raiders’ offensive line as a whole was dramatically improved in 2019). Outside of their line, the Raiders also have a future star in running back Josh Jacobs, and their receiving group helped Derek Carr established career-highs in several categories in 2019.
There’s also multiple reports that have indicated that Brady, who can afford to build a house in every city if he really wants to, either recently looked into purchasing property or has purchased property in Sin City.
Unlike some of the other teams mentioned so far, however, the Raiders already have a high-priced quarterback on their books for 2020 in the 28-year-old Carr. Entering the third year of a five-year, $125 million deal signed in 2017, it’s worth mentioning that the Raiders are in a perfect position to get out of Carr’s contract (especially if it’s to replace him with Brady) this offseason, as Carr could be released or traded following a move for Brady and only cost account for $5 million in dead cap.
Carr, meanwhile, has seemingly grown a little tired of the rumors of his (lack of) job security.
“It’s like, every time, with my job, it’s always a story,” Carr said a few weeks ago when pictures of Brady and Raiders owner Mark Davis having a conversation at a UFC event popped up. “No matter what. And knowing some people that were around, I even know what the conversation was [between Davis and Brady], and it’s like, ‘C’mon, man, when’s it going to end?‘
“It’s like, ‘Oh, gosh. Well, I was at dinner with [Davis] last night. Does that count for anything?’ Golly. It’s just funny. But I’m used to it now. But I’ll say it this way: I look forward to taking the first snap in that stadium, and I look forward to taking every snap from here on out — until I’m done.”
(If Gruden has to decide between Carr and Brady, I gotta admit… I don’t love Carr’s chances.)
But the Patriots are expected to do everything in their power to avoid Brady having to entertain offers from the bright lights of Vegas, and are reportedly willing to make Brady one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league this offseason.