The Raiders are the flavor of the week when it comes to Brady rumors. All of the talk lately has been about Tom's in-depth, 25-minute conversation with Las Vegas owner Mark Davis at the Conor McGregor UFC fight a few weekends ago. Somehow I guess that signals that Brady has an interest in joining the team re-locating from Oakland? It seems like a stretch to me. However, there's more smoke here as Brady recently bought a property just outside Vegas according to "sources." All in all, these reports seem shaky at best and I still can't help but laugh at that thought of Brady trading in Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick for Davis and Jon Gruden.
Are the Raiders a marquee franchise? They used to be. Will they throw gobs of money at him and commit to 2 years? You bet. Other than that though, I just don't see the draw. It would be a total money grab for Brady and he'd basically be making a lateral move at best. Sure the Raiders have Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller to help him out on offense. They have draft picks galore and can use those in trades or add a bunch of young talent. It just seems too goofy to me. Going to a city with no real fans (I guess you could argue he'll still have Oakland and parts of LA behind him) and retiring in the black and silver? What a sad ending that would be for the GOAT.
LEVEL OF CONCERN: (On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being "ya no shot" and 10 being "red alert") I've got the Raiders at a 6.
Los Angeles Chargers
This is the team that everyone in the media seems to be pointing towards and again, I find it funny. The Chargers have all but cut ties with Phil Rivers and will make a strong push for Brady. They'll give him the contract he wants, the power and they have talent all over their roster. As a football move, this one might actually make some sense. It's everything else about it that is holding me back from being worried about them.
Do we know if the coaching staff is any good? We aren't sure yet, as Anthony Lynn and company have had some success and some total failure in their short stint. Does LA care about the Chargers? No, not at all. They barely care about the Rams, who just made a Super Bowl appearance last year and have prior history in the city. The Chargers will always be a stranger in their own home as long as they remain in LA.
The other thing is, and this pertains to the Raiders too actually, Brady would have to play in a division that he'd probably have the toughest time winning. I love Tom and I think the news of his downfall is greatly exaggerated, but Patrick Mahomes isn't going anywhere. The Chiefs own the AFC West and Brady doesn't need to put himself in a position to be playing for a Wild Card at this stage.
LEVEL OF CONCERN: 6.5
It's probably time that I don't scoff at one of these teams vying for Brady, right? Well, here's the one. I'm scared that Brady is going to the Tennessee Titans, I really am. It doesn't even have to do with the unconfirmed reports of Gisele and the Brady children visiting Nashville schools yesterday either. It simply has to do with the fact that this place probably offers the most continuity for Tom.
There are New England ties all over the Tennessee organization that will make the transition smoother for Brady. He can go play for his buddy Mike Vrabel, who knows him well and will let him do his thing. Jon Robinson, the Titans general manager, will listen to Tom call the shots for two years and will know what type of talent to keep around him. Of lesser importance, but still, nothing that can hurt, are the teammates he'd reunite with such as Dion Lewis, Logan Ryan, and Malcolm Butler.
Add in that Tennessee has Derrick Henry in the backfield, a young talented wideout in AJ Brown and a safety valve slot receiver named Adam Humphries and I think the roster looks more than capable. They'll throw the deal he wants at him and they compete in a division that is very winnable. This feels like a real threat and I'm officially nervous.
LEVEL OF CONCERN: 8.5
This is where we start to delve into the teams that would need to make a decent leap of faith to go with Brady as their starting QB for the next two years. Dallas has a guy named Dak Prescott last I checked. Prescott is young, talented and familiar. The safe choice for the Cowboys would be to stick with him, even if he's flawed and may not ever actually get them a Super Bowl. The wildcard here in this equation is Jerry Jones. Jerry is not a guy that plays it safe and he is the only reason I even am bothering to write a paragraph about the Cowboys as a Brady suitor.
Ultimately, I don't think this happens but I'd be surprised if Jerry didn't entertain the idea for a hot second. It would be the ultimate storyline and the ultimate ratings grab and no one loves that more than Jones. I can just see it now. Tom Brady jogs out to the sideline in a Dallas Cowboys jersey during the Super Bowl and the whole NFL still hates him because he went from one villainous team to the other. One thing is for sure, that would not be boring.
LEVEL OF CONCERN: 3
Quick Hitting Thoughts On Other Suitors That Don't Deserve a Full Breakdown
New Orleans Saints - Interesting if Brees retires. Great coach. Great talent. Dome team in a very winnable division.
Miami Dolphins - The most ridiculous destination that has been legitimately floated by industry experts. What's the upside? The city would be good to expand TB12 to? That's not gonna cut it.
Los Angeles Rams - Morph the Cowboys and Chargers together. They have a young, safe QB to stay with and they also play in a city where football doesn't matter.
Indianapolis Colts - Yea, he's going to the team that started DeflateGate. Sure.
New York Jets or New York Giants - Stop it.
Washington Redskins - I said, stop it.