NFL rumors: Why Tom Brady chose Buccaneers over Raiders, Chargers

NFL rumors: Why Tom Brady chose Buccaneers over Raiders, Chargers

In the end, Tom Brady wanted to end his career on his own terms, away from the New England Patriots and all he has known in his NFL career. 

The six-time Super Bowl champion informed the world yesterday he would not be returning to the Patriots. With several teams already ruled out, it appeared Brady was choosing between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins with the Raiders still having an outside shot. 

The soon-to-be 43-year reportedly plans to agree to sign with the Bucs, moving to Florida to play for Bruce Arians and an offensive arsenal that includes Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. 

Brady's decision to head to Tampa instead of Vegas or LA reportedly was due to one thing in particular -- location. 

"One team jumped out, and that was Tampa," ESPN's Adam Schefter said Tuesday night on "SportsCenter." "I think Tampa had a geographic advantage that no other team could really offer. The Chargers are out West. The Raiders are out West. That was something that I think gave Tampa a slight edge. You combine that with a coach who has coached great quarterbacks through time like Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has a history of working with top-flight quarterbacks. I'm sure that was appealing to Tom Brady." 

The Raiders always seemed like a long-shot to sign Brady. The legendary quarterback is in win-now mode and the Raiders currently still are in Phase 1 of a rebuild. The Raiders also don't have the offensive weapons Tampa Bay does, and Brady surely didn't want a repeat of his final year in New England where he struggled to move the ball. 

Still, the move to the Bucs is not a sure thing. The NFC South is one of the toughest divisions in football, and the Bucs will need to shape up their offensive line and leaky defense if they truly plan to make a run at the Super Bowl with Brady.

[RELATED: Brady, AB might be with Bucs when they visit Raiders]

The Raiders, meanwhile, have been wheeling and dealing in free agency. The Silver and Black agreed to terms with several players including, Cory Littleton, Marcus Mariota, Maliek Collins and Carl Nassib. 

Expect more moves out of the Raiders this offseason, but Brady won't be one of them. No. 12 is headed to Tampa Bay. It's still weird to write that. 

Raiders shut out of Pro Football Focus' top 50 NFL player rankings

Raiders shut out of Pro Football Focus' top 50 NFL player rankings

The Raiders challenged for the playoffs last season, but if the data-driven Pro Football Focus player rankings are to be believed, Las Vegas’ new NFL team may struggle to do that again.

No Raiders made PFF’s top 50, but nine players from their three AFC West rivals were ranked.

Five of those were from the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs — quarterback Patrick Mahomes at No. 2, defensive tackle Chris Jones at No. 16, tight end Travis Kelce at No. 19, wide receiver Tyreek Hill at No. 22 and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz at No. 23.

Read more on Las Vegas Review-Journal

Raiders' iconic Al Davis Memorial Torch debuts at Allegiant Stadium

Raiders' iconic Al Davis Memorial Torch debuts at Allegiant Stadium

It’s an old tradition that will carry on in the Raiders’ new Las Vegas location.

The Al Davis Memorial Torch will continue to be lit in honor of the late long-time team owner. It was debuted on Wednesday through the massive retractable lanai doors in the backdrop at Allegiant Stadium:

It’s a more updated version of the original torch, but the message remains the same. According to, that vision is “the fire that burns brightest in the Raiders’ organization is the will to win.” That was a quote by the late Davis and before every home game, fans pay tribute to him with a flick of the flame.  

Former Raiders and celebrities have created the flame including Bay Area-native rapper MC Hammer, former Super Bowl-winning head coach John Madden, Marshawn Lynch and many, many more.

[RELATED: Raiders moving training facility from Napa to Nevada]

Current owner Mark Davis admitted he was sweating a little bit on the construction of the 65,000-foot, $2 billion stadium amid the July 31 deadline.

But for now, at least a part of Al Davis will be there. 

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]