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Tom Brady Rumors: Raiders Expected to Explore Signing QB 'In Due Time'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2023

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 25:  Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Having considered the possibility once before, the Las Vegas Raiders are expected to "explore the Tom Brady option in due time," according to CBS Sports HQ's Josina Anderson.

With longtime starter Derek Carr widely expected to move on from the Raiders, Anderson reported the team has yet to identify its preferred course of action at quarterback in 2023.

Last August, UFC President Dana White said he was involved in dealings between the Raiders and Brady in 2020. Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski would've headed to Las Vegas if everything worked out.

However, then-Raiders head coach Jon Gruden scuttled the proposed deal, and Brady and Gronkowski wound up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Las Vegas has another shot to land the future Hall of Famer this offseason. Brady is a free agent, and the Raiders will be an attractive destination since he can reunite with former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

CBSSports.com's Jonathan Jones reported on Jan. 15 that the Raiders "plan to be very aggressive in their pursuit" of Brady.

The question is whether this partnership would be coming three years too late.

Brady remained prolific in 2022, throwing for 4,694 yards and 25 touchdowns, but there are signs that he finally might be declining. He had a career-low 3.4 percent touchdown rate, and his 6.5 adjusted yards per attempt were his fewest since 2002, per Pro Football Reference. He finished 18th in QBR (52.5), though he did rank third in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) among quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts, per Football Outsiders.

Brady is already in uncharted territory as the oldest starting quarterback in NFL history. The older he gets, the more a team will be rolling the dice by signing him. His unparalleled longevity may not spare him the rapid decline that has affected other legendary quarterbacks over the years.

Peyton Manning closed out his career with a second Super Bowl title, but he was a shell of his old self by 2015. Brett Favre helped take the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC title game in 2009 and fell off a cliff in 2010 before hanging up his cleats. Drew Brees likewise failed to fend off Father Time.

The upside of signing Brady is obvious. He guided the Bucs to a Super Bowl title in his first season with the team and then led the NFL in passing yards the following year.

The downside is that he may not be the same quarterback anymore. If he takes another step backward, the Raiders could miss the postseason again. Next offseason, they would be right back where they started, having wasted another year of star wideout Davante Adams' prime.

Bringing in Brady would be a straightforward solution at quarterback for the Raiders, but it isn't without a level of risk.