Teams in the NFL fit into two categories: those with a franchise quarterback and those trying to find one. For the past two decades, the New England Patriots have sat firmly in the former category; this offseason, however, things could be quite different. Tom Brady is set to become a free agent, and the Las Vegas Raiders are apparently interested in his services.
New England might be home for the quarterback, but Mark Davis is apparently willing to cut a $60 million check. Could that be enough to bring Tom Brady to the desert?
Tom Brady’s time in New England could be done
When Tom Brady first arrived in New England, no one could have expected great things from the young quarterback. Over the years, though, he developed into the Patriots’ unquestioned leader.
This season, however, things looked different. For two decades, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady found success regardless of any personnel turnover; in 2019, they couldn’t overcome a weak offensive line and receiving corps. Without someone like Rob Gronkowski on the roster, opposing defenses could key in on Julian Edelman, leaving Brady frustrated and unable to play up to his usual standard.
That reality, combined with some off-field clues, has led to speculation that Tom Brady is ready to leave New England. Both the quarterback and his trainer have put their Massachusetts homes up for sale; in Gillette Stadium, Brady and Gisele Bundchen’s family suite has reportedly been cleared out. Right now, we know that Tom Brady wants to keep playing winning football. It’s unclear whether or not he feels like the Patriots will give him another crack at the Lombardi Trophy before he calls it a career.
The Las Vegas Raiders are willing to shell out the big bucks
While Tom Brady has proven himself as one of football’s greatest quarterbacks, he hasn’t always been paid in the league’s highest bracket. The Las Vegas Raiders, however, are willing to change that.
According to Larry Fitzgerald, Sr., the Las Vegas Raiders are willing to give the veteran quarterback a two year, $60 million contract. Jon Gruden has previously said that he’s still haunted by losing to Brady in the Tuck Rule Game; if the head coach can’t beat him, he’s apparently ready to join him.
While $60 million over two years might not seem like a massive salary by NFL standards—Patrick Mahomes, for example, is expected to ink a contract extension worth at least $300 million—it would be a raise for Tom Brady. The quarterback has frequently accepted below-market deals for the betterment of the Patriots; last season, for example, he earned a $1.75 million salary, albeit with a $20.25 million signing bonus.
Is money enough to make Tom Brady move on from the Patriots?
While extra money would be a bonus, it probably won’t be enough to make Tom Brady change teams. As far as we can tell, the veteran quarterback is more concerned about landing in a good situation than anything else.
Brady wants to get back to the Super Bowl; no matter what team he joins, they’ll need to have enough weapons to help the quarterback feel comfortable under center. The Raiders have plenty of nice pieces, like Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow, but that’s not a world-beating collection of stars. Moving to the AFC West would also mean two meetings with Patrick Mahomes each season; even if the Raiders make the playoffs, it’s never ideal starting out as a Wild Card team.
At the end of the day, Tom Brady is still favored to stay with the New England Patriots. Mark Davis and his checkbook, however, won’t go down without a fight.