Since the end of the 2019 season, the chatter around the league has centered on star quarterback Tom Brady‘s long-term future with the New England Patriots. For the first time in his career, Brady has the chance to explore his options in free agency, which has seen the Las Vegas Raiders being rumored among the top free-agency options for the future Hall of Famer. However, the Raiders may have their focus shifted in another direction towards another quarterback that will hit the open market in the coming days.
Raiders’ interest in Tom Brady
Since the chatter around Brady has shifted towards him taking a real interest in his free agency options, it has thrust the Raiders into the picture.
Las Vegas currently has former Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr at the helm, but the team has struggled to experience substantial success in the last two seasons under head coach Jon Gruden. That notion was further backed by general manager Mike Mayock voicing at the Scouting Combine last week that the team will look to upgrade every position, including at the quarterback spot.
The Raiders have been pigeon-holed as being a serious contender for Brady alongside the likes of the Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and Los Angeles Chargers aside from the Patriots. They present a unique landing spot with the opening of their new stadium in the 2020 season and a roster filled with some promising talent.
That may be the case, but Las Vegas may have interest elsewhere eyeballing another quarterback in free agency.
Raiders may be eyeing Marcus Mariota
It has become quite clear that the Raiders possess a keen interest in improving their play at the quarterback position.
Las Vegas has continued to be linked to having a keen desire to acquire Brady in free agency, but there is another quarterback that they may have their eyes on more than the future Hall of Famer. According to Mike Garofolo of the NFL Network, Raiders will have an interest in adding former soon-to-be-former Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The fact that Mayock gave Mariota the top grade in the 2015 NFL Draft shows that he holds him in high regard. Much has changed since then, but it wouldn’t be surprising to bring the Oregon product in to compete for the starting job to get his career back on track.
Through his first four years, Mariota has had struggles with inconsistency and injuries, which led to Ryan Tannehill grabbing ahold of the starting job last season. He has shown some promise such as his second campaign where he had a career-best 26 touchdown passes and 3,426 passing yards along with
What will the Raiders do?
The Raiders may have some keen interest in Mariota, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make a push towards signing Brady.
The franchise wants to get their inaugural season in Las Vegas off on the right foot, and adding the six-time Super Bowl champion to the mix could be a significant step in the right direction. The Raiders should be able to gather an indication of where 42-year-old stands with them as a landing spot.
Beyond that, it’s quite clear that Carr’s time with the franchise moving closer to an end. He still has three years left on his five-year, $125 million deal. If Mariota is brought in, he will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job, but if Brady decides to join Las Vegas, that should see him on the move this offseason.
Nonetheless, this adds yet another wrinkle to the conversation that could see the Raiders make some notable changes under center in the coming weeks.