Did the Raiders Really Think Tom Brady Was Too Risky to Sign?

In the wake of Tom Brady deciding to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, there has been much to come out in the way of the entire process. It has shed light on how the situation transpired for other teams that were reportedly interested in bringing the future Hall of Famer aboard. Among those was the Las Vegas Raiders, who were long rumored to be in on Brady. However, it has been divulged that Las Vegas didn’t make a strong push to acquire the star quarterback because of what they deemed to be a risky move.

Raiders’ interest in Tom Brady

Over the last few months, there had been some lingering interest from Las Vegas about the potential of adding Brady to the mix.

Around the time that all the uncertainty began to flare up around the 42-year-old’s long-term future with the New England Patriots, the conversation started to turn toward other possible landing spots. Las Vegas became a more prevalent destination in the discussion, which spiked with Brady being seen speaking to team owner Mark Davis at a UFC event back in January.

There were also the vague comments made by general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden that left the door to the team going in another direction away from Derek Carr at the quarterback position. All of this seemingly painted the picture that the Raiders would be well in the mix to make a strong push to acquire Brady to the fold.

However, it appears that there was one deciding factor that pushed them away from going all out to land him.

Why the Raiders hesitated to go after Tom Brady

With the expectation Brady was going to explore his options, it presented an opportunity for the Raiders to dive into the mix.

That didn’t wind up being the case as Las Vegas did express to their interest to a certain degree. According to Vic Tafur of the Athletic, the Raiders never presented Brady with an offer and weren’t venturing near the fully guaranteed two-year, $50 million deal due to mainly to what they saw on game film from the 42-year-old the last two years.

The Raiders were indeed sniffing around Brady as late as this week, according to league sources, and while it is true they never made him an offer, some ballpark numbers were made known to him at some point. The Raiders weren’t going to go as high as the guaranteed $25 million per year for two years that the Bucs gave the 42-year-old quarterback — the game film the last two years just didn’t warrant that in the Raiders’ minds. 

Brady’s production may have taken a slight dip over the last two seasons, but that was impacted by the lack of significant offensive weapons around him, especially in the 2019 campaign. Meanwhile, it also shows that they have more confidence in either Carr or Marcus Mariota being a more effective option under center.

Will the Raiders regret not pursuing Tom Brady?

Given what is known now about Brady’s decision-making process, the Raiders may not have had a real chance at landing him. However, a whole-hearted attempt at landing him could have at least given them a real opportunity to secure his services.

It’s also likely that they knew early on that there was no definitive chance that they could land Brady, which could have led to them bringing aboard Mariota. The Raiders are heading into a new era, which puts a great deal of importance on their performance at the quarterback position.

The Raiders may voice public confidence in Carr; the pressure is certainly on him to step up his play with Mariota now in tow. If not, it could see a changing of the guard in Las Vegas under center.