Patriots

Did Tom Brady choose Bucs over Patriots? We're phrasing this all wrong

Did Tom Brady choose Bucs over Patriots? We're phrasing this all wrong

After deciding to leave the Patriots, Tom Brady chose the Buccaneers in free agency. 

All true things, but, like ... c'mahn. Ya know? Just... c'mahnn.

You know saying it that way is a little disingenuous. know saying it that way is a little disingenuous. 

From all accounts, the Patriots didn't make Brady a real offer. When they had all the time in the world to negotiate and save money if they signed Brady before today, they didn't.

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And when Brady had the opportunity to talk turkey with the Titans, Raiders and any other number of teams that had been linked to him, they didn't give him the time of day, either. The Titans had already chosen Ryan Tannehill over Brady. The Raiders acted quickly to agree with Marcus Mariota. 

Multiple teams reportedly bid for Teddy Bridgewater instead of Brady. Multiple teams tried trading for Nick Foles instead of signing Brady. The Colts, deciding to load up for a Super Bowl bid, signed Philip Rivers to a one-year deal. 

So that "any number of teams" ended up being this number: Two. Two teams offered Tom Brady a contract: the Bucs and the Chargers. 

I don't get it. I've caught flack every time I've mentioned over the last two seasons that Brady, while still great, wasn't as good as he used to be (this really is indisputable, by the way). Yet I'm fully aware that Brady is better than all those players listed above. It's wild that those teams would rather pay those players good quarterback money instead of paying Brady great quarterback money. 

[Speaking of which, an anecdote: Feeling quite proud of myself, I told my colleague Tom Curran in the newsroom the other day that maybe teams agreed with me. In a Sorkin-esque moment of perfect repartee, he flatly replied that NFL decision-makers lose their jobs every couple years for being stupid. Fair.]

So why only two teams? This doesn't necessarily answer it, but for a non-Boston perspective on Brady, check out this summary of him from NFL.com's ranking of free agents, which listed Brady 17th: 

Brady is a short-term solution who won't fit in most situations, hence this ranking. He also can still play at a league-average-starter level (or better) with protection, which has tremendous value. Hence this ranking.

Oof. 

About "choosing" the Bucs: He ... had two choices, so he chose one of them. Maybe if there were a list of 10 teams, the Bucs would have still been his choice. But there was a list of two teams, which means he couldn't even narrow it down. Narrowing it down meant making his choice.

So tweets like this...

... should read like this: 

So why do we say Brady "left" the Pats and "chose" the Bucs? Is it because Robert Kraft went on a virtual media tour Tuesday morning and told everyone it was Brady's decision? Or is it because we have the utmost respect for Brady and don't want to admit that [whispers] teams didn't want him

We can say teams are stupid for not trying to sign him. We call all these teams stupid year-round anyway. Acknowledging that there wasn't a market for Brady isn't acknowledging that Brady's bad. It's simply acknowledging that teams didn't want him. 

The Patriots didn't lose out to the Bucs. If the Pats wanted him, they could have had him. But they didn't. They were one of 30 teams that felt that way.

Raiders QB Derek Carr to face Patriots early in what could be bounce-back season

Raiders QB Derek Carr to face Patriots early in what could be bounce-back season

Editor’s note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today’s team: The Las Vegas Raiders with Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area.

The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly were among the teams with some level of interest in signing Tom Brady in NFL free agency, but the Silver and Black ultimately decided to stick with Derek Carr as its starting quarterback.

Carr shouldn't be too comfortable, though.

Despite making the most of a tough situation in 2019 during which the Raiders lacked skill and depth at many offensive positions, Carr's job doesn't appear to be safe. For example, the Raiders signed veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota in free agency, and he has several seasons of starting experience.

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NBC Sports Bay Area's Raiders insider Scott Bair recently spoke to our Patriots insider Phil Perry, and one of the topics centered around Carr's future and if he can once again perform at the level of a top-tier quarterback.

"Actions speak louder than words, and (head coach) Jon Gruden and (general manager) Mike Mayock at the combine and all these different places, they say the right things -- Derek Carr is their guy," Bair said. "But then, they're constantly flirting with Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins, and they sign Marcus Mariota to a deal that could evolve into paying him starter money should he take over that job. Those actions don't say (Carr is their guy).

"I've seen every professional snap that Derek Carr has ever taken. I've seen every practice rep that I've been allowed to see, and I may be in the minority, but this is a guy I believe can be an upper-tier NFL quarterback. He can make every throw, and if you go back to 2016 when he had a loaded offensive line and lots of good skill players, he finished third in MVP voting despite the fact he broke his leg in Week 16. I know that's in there. Now, Raiders fans don't believe me, the national media doesn't believe me, but I think the stage is set for him to have a career year and find that 2016 form yet again, that most fans think is lost forever."

One defense Carr will go up against in 2020 is the New England Patriots.

The Raiders are scheduled to visit Gillette Stadium on Sept. 27 for a Week 3 matchup, and they currently are underdogs by almost a touchdown, according to oddsmakers. Bair thinks the matchup is closer than the betting lines would suggest.

"I would definitely hammer the Raiders pretty hard right there," Bair said. "I just think they're going to have a lot of explosive firepower, and when there's uncertainty at quarterback, (the more explosive team) seems to be a safer bet. Maybe you know better than I do exactly how (the Patriots') quarterback situation is shaping up, but if there are major questions marks there, I would go with the more established quarterback, the more established offense. Again, (the Raiders) are going to be able to score in bunches, and I think they're going to be pretty excited to come to Foxboro and finally get a win, even if Brady isn't there."

The Raiders and Patriots both face a bit of uncertainty at quarterback entering the 2020 season, and whichever coach is able to surround his young QB with the best system and the right talent will put his team in a strong position to reach the playoffs. The Patriots haven't missed the postseason since 2008, while the Raiders have made only one appearance since 2002.

If Brian Hoyer starts for Patriots in Week 1, that's absolutely crazy

If Brian Hoyer starts for Patriots in Week 1, that's absolutely crazy

Rob Ninkovich sounded drunkovich when he spoke of Brian Hoyer starting Week 1 for the Patriots.

Get that man a breathalyzer. Stat.

And if Nink turns out to be right, get Bill Belichick one too. 

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I have said this before — and I will say it again: I will not watch one down of Brian Hoyer under center for the Patriots.

And you shouldn’t either!

Don’t be a sucker. Really, you’re going to waste your time watching a guy who has started 25 games in 11 seasons in the NFL?

He may be a nice guy, good at carrying a clipboard and ridding Tom Brady of his insecurities, but he is a lousy quarterback. Patriot fans deserve better.

Going from Tom Brady to Brian Hoyer is cold turkey to the extreme. I can feel the cotton mouth, cold sweats and shakes coming on already. 

Does Bill Belichick expect you to accept Brian Hoyer as a starter? If he does, it should piss you off. 

If Hoyer does get the call you can still watch some of the game. I plan to. When the Patriots are on offense I will switch to the other game or Red Zone, and when I see on my phone that the Pats are back on defense, I will switch back over and watch Gilmore, Hightower and the McCourtys do their thing. 

That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.