NFL Insider: Tom Brady Replacing Derek Carr for Raiders 'Makes Far Too Much Sense'

Adam WellsDecember 29, 2022

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 25: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drops back to pass during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Buccaneers defeated the Cardinals 19-16 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders may have put themselves in a position to sign Tom Brady after deciding to bench Derek Carr for the rest of the season.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic wrote a detailed breakdown of why it "makes all the sense in the world" the Raiders' future plan at quarterback starts with Brady.

Head coach Josh McDaniels announced on Wednesday that Jarrett Stidham would start the Raiders' final two games against the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Carr will be away from the team after the two sides agreed it would be best for all involved to avoid the "obvious distractions" of him being on the bench with Stidham playing.

Even though McDaniels said the decision to start Stidham is about evaluating him for the future, Carr's contract status likely played a huge role in the move.

The Raiders gave Carr a three-year, $121.5 million extension in April, but it was a deal that gave them an easy out after this season if things didn't work out. They will save $29.3 million against the cap in 2023 if he is released or traded.

Carr's $32.9 million base salary for next season is fully guaranteed if he's on the roster three days after the Super Bowl (Feb. 15), so the Raiders will have to make a quick decision when the season ends.

They also gave him a full no-trade clause in the deal, which does give Carr a lot of say in where he ends up if the Raiders try to move him to bring back assets instead of releasing him outright.

Brady would certainly be an attractive option for the Raiders if they move on from Carr. He is arguably the biggest-name star in the NFL and would make it easier for them to sell tickets.

Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in October that 2023 season-ticket prices at Allegiant Stadium will range from $700 to $4,500. The top three price ranges aren't increasing, but the low and middle tiers will increase from $650 per seat to $700 and $1,650 per seat to either $1,780 if paid in full or $1,815 with a payment plan.

For a Raiders team that could end this season with a 6-11 record with losses in the next two weeks, bringing in a marquee superstar at quarterback could make it easier to attract season-ticket buyers in a market where there is no shortage of entertainment options available.

There's also the obvious connection between Brady and McDaniels. They were together for 16 seasons with the New England Patriots, with McDaniels serving as offensive coordinator for 11 of those seasons.

There were reports after Brady left the Patriots to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that his decision was influenced in part by a strained relationship with McDaniels.

Brady refuted the rumors in a post on Instagram: "Please stop this nonsense! Please be more responsible with reporting, 19 years together and brothers for life."

Another potentially appealing aspect of Brady joining the Raiders would be playing with a good group of skill-position players. Davante Adams, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow are an excellent trio of pass-catchers when healthy.

Josh Jacobs, who will become a free agent in March, leads the NFL with 1,539 rushing yards and 1,908 yards from scrimmage this season.

The Raiders do need to shore up their offensive line, especially if they want to bring in a quarterback like Brady who is completely stationary at this point in his career.

It's not clear at this point if Brady is going to play in 2023. He will turn 46 in August and has had a rough time with the Bucs this season.

There's nothing left for Brady to prove 23 years into his career, but you can never dismiss the possibility of him wanting to keep testing the laws of time if he believes he can still play at a high level.