The Athletic's Vic Tafur reported Friday that the Raiders never made an official offer to Brady, but league sources confirmed they were "sniffing around" as late as this week, and had at some point informed Brady of a general ballpark number for a potential contract. However, according to Tafur, that ballpark number never approached what Brady ultimately received from Tampa Bay.
"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," Tafur wrote. "The game film the last two years just didn’t warrant that in the Raiders’ minds."
From the sounds of it, it appears Brady had concerns beyond what he would be getting paid.
"But my understanding is that it was more about fit than money for Brady," Tafur continued, "and the Raiders never got that nod from Brady that they were a serious finalist. If they had, they would have started shopping [Derek] Carr, who even his critics should agree is a top-16 quarterback with a very friendly pay-as-you-go contract for the next three years."
With Brady now signed, sealed and delivered to Tampa Bay, Tafur believes the only lingering question about the Raiders' quarterback position has been answered.
"There shouldn’t be any real fallout," he stated. "Basically, the Raiders 'might' have replaced Carr with a top-five player in the history of the NFL -- otherwise they were good. They didn’t want Philip Rivers or Teddy Bridgewater. They are not going to suddenly pursue Jameis Winston or Cam Newton or trade up to draft Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.
"There really weren’t any other options considered, other than Brady. And if you don’t consider adding Tom Brady when you’re coming off 4-12 and 7-9 seasons, then something is very wrong."
Tafur considers Carr the "unquestioned starting quarterback" and newly-acquired Marcus Mariota to be his backup. Mariota is by far the most skilled QB Carr has ever had playing behind him at the NFL level, and the Raiders' hope surely is that they will push each other, resulting in better production from the position.
It appears Carr has avoided being replaced by the only other available QB the Raiders reportedly would have considered swapping him out for. That said, while Carr is the Raiders' unquestioned starter for now, he might have to fend off another challenger throughout the Silver and Black's first season in Las Vegas.