Patriots

Raiders' Derek Carr knows Tom Brady represents a threat in free agency

Raiders' Derek Carr knows Tom Brady represents a threat in free agency

Derek Carr wins!

On Wednesday, the Las Vegas (it’s official now) Raiders quarterback became the first quarterback to get publicly tender about Tom Brady.

Brady’s much-discussed confab with Raiders owner Mark Davis at the McGregor-Cerrone fight last weekend and subsequent spitballing about Brady as a Raider had Carr sounding huffing with indignation.

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"I mean, there was a lot of quarterbacks at that fight," Carr said to ESPN. "And there was a lot of football players at that fight that are free agents. And it's like, every time, with my job, it's always a story. No matter what. And knowing some people that were around, I even know what the conversation was [between Davis and Brady], and it's like, 'C'mon, man, when's it going to end?'"

Brady’s first foray into free agency creeps closer. There are no concrete indications yet from the Patriots that they will keep him off the market. Brady’s signaled he’s down for whatever.

Almost every team can and will be considered a landing spot for the 43-year-old legend. And that means more quarterbacks will — like Carr — kick against the prick of insecurity that comes with hearing Brady mentioned as an option.

Some may want a verbal commitment ring. Some teams might offer up a vow of fidelity all on their own to protect the fragile, eggshell mind of their still-developing quarterback.

That’s what Buffalo GM Brandon Beane did last month when Tim Graham of The Athletic asked about Brady as a Bill. Beane gingerly praised, sidestepped, avoided all appearance of tampering then added, “I don’t think he wants to be a backup.”

That was no off-handed knock at Brady. It was Beane protecting his third-year quarterback Josh Allen from feeling threatened.

It’s going to be fascinating to find out what Brady’s market really looks like. For example, there’s no debate he’d be better than Allen in 2020. Anyone who witnessed Allen’s scatterbrained effort to “win” that playoff game in Houston would realize that.

But what about 2021 or 2022 when Brady is 44 and 45? What about the investment made so far by the Bills and their coaching staff, not to mention the draft pick spent?  Does it do a team like Buffalo — based in decidedly non-cosmopolitan Western New York — any good to make an overture to Brady if it has no shot at landing him given it could leave Allen shaken?

Dynamics similar to Buffalo exist with the Giants, Jets, Ravens, Browns, Cardinals, Bears, Eagles, Redskins, and Rams. All those teams have a first-round quarterback who's never won a playoff game.

Is it wise for the Redskins and Giants to tiptoe around the feelings of Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones or pursue a couple of years of Brady and all that comes with him in terms of marketing, ticket sales and overwhelming coverage?

Leave Brady and his preferences out of it for a moment. If you own a team, don’t you want your GM active and conversant on every player in the league, especially one as iconic and talented as Brady?

I mean, if Brady signs with the Bengals and Jacksonville GM Dave Caldwell never even made a call to Brady’s agent Don Yee, Caldwell should start packing his bags.

An explanation from Caldwell that he didn’t want to undercut Gardner Minshew wouldn’t really fly.

Brady’s looming availability is a case study for prospective owners, coaches and GMs in determining "what’s best for the football team." Football-wise. Business-wise. Relative to the salary cap. Relative to sales and marketing. For the locker room. For the community.

And especially for the guy who’s in place at the position that Brady’s played better than anyone who’s ever lived.

“(You’d think) everyone would be like, 'Yes, we're going the right way. Everything's getting better ... '" lamented Carr. “You would think that that would be the story. But that's not how it works. And I understand that now," Carr said.

"Especially when people are seen with certain people. It's like, 'Oh, gosh. Well, I was at dinner with [Davis] last night. Does that count for anything?' Golly. It's just funny. But I'm used to it now. But I'll say it this way: I look forward to taking the first snap in that stadium, and I look forward to taking every snap from here on out — until I'm done."

So mark Derek Carr down as the first one to lift his leg and pee on his territory relative to Tom Brady. Who’s next? Teams can't make direct contact with Brady until March 16.

How many will feel compelled to say they don't want the GOAT?

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Terry Bradshaw doesn't think Tom Brady is the 'GOAT,' cites 3 better QBs

Terry Bradshaw doesn't think Tom Brady is the 'GOAT,' cites 3 better QBs

Well, we can't say we're surprised with Terry Bradshaw's latest comments regarding former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The Pittsburgh Steelers legend doesn't believe Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, which is fine, but he cited three surprising QBs who he believes are better... and, well, see for yourself. 

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"I don't think he's the greatest quarterback of all-time," Bradshaw said during an interview with 93.7 The Fan, as transcribed by Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports. "It's hard to say. He may be the best quarterback we've had in the last 30 years. Is he better than [Roger] Staubach? No. Is he better than Dan Fouts? No. Dan Marino? No. I'm talking talent-wise when you're putting all of it together. 

"Does he have more Super Bowls than anybody? Yes. Therefore, he's the best. I absolutely have no problem saying it. If you've got the most Super Bowls, you can be in there, but I don't put anybody as the greatest of all-time. Is he better than Montana? Not in my opinion. Is he better than Drew Brees? Yeah, maybe."

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The six-time Super Bowl champion has received plenty of media coverage and attention since leaving the Patriots after 20 years and Bradshaw continued to say that he's sick of it, according to DeArdo.

This isn't the first time Bradshaw has taken a shot at Brady either. The NFL on FOX analyst couldn't believe Brady left New England high and dry last month to go to the Buccaneers saying "I don’t know what the hell Tom’s doing."

Obviously the debate about who the "GOAT" is will never end, but when we're discussing the career that Brady has had, he's definitely up there with the likes of Marino, Staubach and Montana.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Stephen Gostkowski names best kick of his Patriots career

Patriots Talk Podcast: Stephen Gostkowski names best kick of his Patriots career

Between the regular season and playoffs, Stephen Gostkowski played in 232 games with the New England Patriots from 2006-19. He converted 418 field goal attempts over that span.

But which of those 418 kicks stands out to Gostkowski above the rest?

The ex-Pats kicker, who was released by the team last month after spending most of the 2019 season on injured reserve, answered that question in a recent episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast.

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Gostkowski didn't hesitate with his answer. The 36-year-old says his 41-yarder to seal the deal in Super Bowl 53 vs. the Los Angeles Rams is the most memorable of his Patriots career.

"Definitely the one to finish off the Rams," Gostkowski answered. "I mean, that was the most meaningful for me just because, you know, it wasn't the game-winner but it definitely sealed the game. Having missed a kick in a few Super Bowls, you kind of start to feel like 'aw man, am I ever going to get a chance?'

A great choice, especially since Gostkowski bounced back that game after missing his first field goal attempt.

Gostkowski explained how kicks at the beginning of games have been more difficult for him than attempts in the middle or at the end of games.

"The hardest part of kicking is trying to find that impactful kick in a season or a game, and it's so much out of your control. The more that you can focus on just trying to make every kick, the easier it is," Gostkowski said. "I always felt the most comfortable at the end of the games. Especially tight ones because you're in the game, you're in the flow of the game. Sometimes the hardest kicks for me were maybe the first kick of the game where I haven't played yet or I haven't been out there."

Gostkowski also discussed what he's been up to while quarantining, what his future holds, Tom Brady's departure from the Patriots, and much more. Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or on YouTube.