Tom Brady says he doesn’t want to retire. The 42-year-old quarterback may have won six Super Bowls and played 285 games in the NFL dating to 2000, but he’s not ready to stop playing football.
So, of course, NFL analysts are speculating where he may land if the Patriots decide to move on without him. The Raiders are one franchise that keeps being mentioned as a possible landing spot.
This week, after the Patriots were bounced out of the playoffs in the wild-card round, Brady said he’s not sure where he’ll play in 2020.
"I’ll explore those opportunities wherever they are," he told Peter King of NBC Sports. "If it’s the Patriots, great. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know. I just don’t know. I love playing football. I still want to play football. I think I still can play at a championship level. I’ve just got to do it. I’m motivated to get back to work and training."
The Raiders have Derek Carr at quarterback, of course, but the annual rumors of Carr being traded already are circulating. If that were to happen, would Raiders head coach Jon Gruden want to bring in Brady for a season or two to kick off the franchise’s new start in Las Vegas?
It may be far-fetched, but it’s not impossible. Great quarterbacks in the past – Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath and Joe Montana, for instance – have played their final seasons away from the teams where they made their Hall of Fame careers. So why not Brady?
As Will Brinson of CBS Sports noted this week, Brady would be a big draw in Vegas, and Gruden loves veteran QBs. Brinson says it’s "not that hard to imagine Brady in the silver and black."
But a more logical landing spot might be another AFC West team, the Chargers, who move into the Rams’ new Los Angeles stadium in 2020 – and also need a ticket draw – and appear to moving on from veteran Philip Rivers. In a city where they must contend for attention with the more popular Rams, the Chargers need a reason for people to pay attention to them, and Brady would fit that bill.
Wrote Brinson: "It’s not out of the realm of possibility he (Brady) would become the top local football draw."