Tom Brady to Sin City?
After the New England Patriots' 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC wild-card game Saturday night, the six-time Super Bowl champ and impending free agent gave a wishy-washy answer on his future.
"I would say it's pretty unlikely," Brady said when asked if he plans to retire. "Hopefully unlikely.
"Who knows what the future holds? We'll leave it at that."
With Brady set to turn 43 before the 2021 NFL season opens, the Patriots might be looking to move on and find a younger option (sorry, Jimmy Garoppolo likely isn't available). But if Brady doesn't want to retire, that means he'll have to find a new home.
That combination immediately started speculation about a possible partnership with Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Raiders currently employ Derek Carr, but Gruden didn't exactly guarantee that Carr would be his quarterback next season.
"He played good. I'm not going to get all the next-year scenarios,” Gruden told reporters a day after the Raiders' season-ending loss to the Broncos. “I’m just going to say that 7-9 is a step forward. Statistically, we took a step forward. We have to get a lot of guys healthy, and we have a lot of things to look at and to evaluate before we start making any assumptions."
Carr is set to make $18.9 million in base salary in 2020, but if the Raiders trade or release him before June 1, they will save $16.5 million and take a cap hit of $5 million, according to Spotrac. The numbers get better for the Raiders if they trade or release Carr after June 1. Their cap savings would increase to $19 million and the $5 million in dead money would be split evenly over the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
So it's not out of the realm of possibility for Gruden to move on from Carr.
Now, back to Brady. Though they aren't official sportsbooks, a few pundits have laid down odds on where Brady will play next season, and the Raiders have decent odds.
Brady isn't retiring .. just said "it's pretty unlikely" he will walk away ... so now the betting starts on his next team.— Matt Perrault (@sportstalkmatt) January 5, 2020
I'm going to say:
Other - +500
By my count, there are ~10 teams w/ greater than 0% chance to march out Tom Brady as 2020 week 1 starter— Matt Papson (@RealitySportsMP) January 5, 2020
1. Patriots (~51%)
2. Chargers (~15%)
3. Raiders (~11%)
4. Rams (~10%)
5. Bears (~5%)
6. Buccaneers (4%)
7. Panthers (~1%)
8. Dolphins (~1%)
9. Titans (~1%)
10. Jaguars (~1%)
Yes, the Raiders appear to be a good fit for Brady, but there is another team in the AFC West that might be a better fit: The Los Angeles Chargers.
Philip Rivers' time with the Chargers looks to have come to an end, and a move to Los Angeles would fit with Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen's glamorous lifestyle.
There are a few other things that could stand in the way of Brady signing with Las Vegas. The Raiders travel to Foxboro to take on the Patriots during the 2020 season. Would Brady really want to go back to Gillette Stadium in another uniform? That would be a tough thing to do.
The last reason? Antonio Brown. Of course it's Antonio Brown. This wouldn't be a Raiders story without an AB reference.
After the Patriots lost Saturday night, the former Raiders wide receiver tweeted that he only wants to play with Brady in 2020.
2020 Only Want To Play With @TomBrady Or No Play— AB (@AB84) January 5, 2020
Call Me 🤙🏾 https://t.co/gGNfFfJl4p— AB (@AB84) January 5, 2020
If that's the case, then Brady isn't joining the Raiders. But Brown has said a lot of ridiculous things, so we won't hold him to this comment.
[RELATED: Why Gruden should draft Herbert]
Regardless of Brown's involvement, a marriage between Brady and the Raiders seems far-fetched. But crazier things have happened in the NFL.
Just ask the Raiders and Brown.