Heading into the offseason, Tom Brady appeared to be atop the Las Vegas Raiders’ wish list. The legendary quarterback was entering free agency and it looked like things with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had soured. The Raiders were the most logical landing spot for him due to his previous time working with head coach Josh McDaniels.
Brady has said this is the last time he’s retiring and won’t be coming back. He retired last year but that didn’t last long before he revealed plans to come back. He may not love the optics of doing that a second time but there’s a chance he won’t be able to resist the allure of playing more football. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe believes that Brady is setting himself up for a possible return if he changes his mind about retirement.
“Tom Brady announced his retirement for a second time this month, and even filed retirement papers with the NFL,” Volin wrote. “Except the retirement papers are a symbolic gesture that mean nothing. And every other action by Brady suggests he is keeping his options open to play in 2023.
“First came the news from Brady that he won’t begin his broadcasting career at Fox until 2024. Then came what Brady didn’t do: sign a new contract with the Buccaneers to give them relief from the $35.1 million dead salary-cap hit he leaves for 2023. Brady could easily help out the Buccaneers by signing a contract worth the minimum salary, waiting to retire until after June 1, and spreading out the $35 million over multiple years.”
What Brady Coming out of Retirement Could Mean for Raiders
Brady and McDaniels maintain a close relationship. If the quarterback is thinking about coming back and joining the Raiders, McDaniels will be one of the first to know. This would be great news for Las Vegas as all signs pointed to them wanting to add the quarterback when they benched Derek Carr. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated went so far as to say that it was a “fact” that the Raiders were going to go after Brady.
The team wants to build long-term stability and signing a 45-year-old quarterback won’t exactly bring that. However, the Raiders wouldn’t have to trade for him and can sign him outright. Signing Brady changes the timeline for Las Vegas as he’s only joining the team if he believes they can win immediately. Owner Mark Davis would likely be very supportive of the move. The Raiders could still look to add a high-upside quarterback later in the draft that can learn behind Brady.
Will Brady Actually Come out of Retirement?
Brady is going to be 46 when next season starts and has already retired once before. The idea of coming out of retirement twice might not sit well with him. Brady has defied the odds by being able to play at a high level for this long. He’s already widely considered the greatest quarterback of all time. There’s nothing left for him to prove.
The Raiders have major issues on defense so they may not be an appealing enough team to convince Brady to come out of retirement. Never say never with the quarterback but it appears that he’s actually done with football this time.