The Las Vegas Raiders will reportedly pursue former NFL MVP Tom Brady this offseason. We examine the pros and cons of this potential addition.
While the Patriots are also reportedly willing to make a sizable offer to retain the best player in their franchise’s illustrious history, many fans and analysts have questioned whether the perceived tension between Brady and head coach Bill Belichick has eroded the quarterback’s relationship with the team.
If Brady and New England are indeed destined for a split, the Raiders will be one of many teams expected to join the pool of possible suitors. The Los Angeles Chargers are another specific team mentioned in reports.
However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Raiders do have a legitimate chance at adding the superstar signal-caller. Here are the biggest pros and cons of a union between Brady and Las Vegas.
The New City
The Raiders will face a unique challenge during the 2020 NFL season. Not only will the team be forced to compete with on-field foes like Patrick Mahomes and the rival Kansas City Chiefs, but they will also be fighting off-field battles as they acclimate to their new city.
While the franchise will bring several solid players to their new home, the Raiders have a noticeable lack of superstar talent. Their most recognizable name, quarterback Derek Carr, appears to be a bigger part of the past than the future.
The city of Las Vegas will naturally be excited to have their first NFL team. However, adding a player like Tom Brady would be an immediate jolt to the fan base.
Jon Gruden and company could potentially build a better rapport with fans in one signing than they could over multiple seasons of football.
If the Raiders were able to couple an acquisition of Brady with their two first-round draft picks, the franchise could take a massive step toward postseason contention.
While the 14-time Pro Bowler saw his counting stats dip during the 2019 season, he was still able to lead his Patriots to yet another playoff berth.
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Brady’s incomparable experience in big games (he has 41 playoff games on his resume) would give Raider Nation good reason to get excited about the upcoming year.
While the boost from adding a player like Brady would be a great benefit in the short-term, it could simultaneously have a negative effect on the long-term state of the franchise.
Brady would almost assuredly keep Las Vegas from the bottom of the league standings. He may also give the team a legitimate chance at Super Bowl contention. However, his presence would prevent the Raiders from a top draft pick and an opportunity to add an elite rookie quarterback.
The front office would have to seriously consider whether a season or two of Brady is worth mortgaging a chance to add a young option to build the franchise around over the next decade.
There’s no hiding the fact that Brady is in uncharted waters. The soon-to-be 43-year-old has performed at a high level for longer than anyone else at his position. It is understood that his career can not continue forever.
While Brady is still a competent NFL quarterback, his number did take a noticeable dip last season. He finished the year with 24 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and 4,057 yards on 60.8 percent completion percentage. He also seemed to slow down as the season progressed.
While some of these issues are likely the result of losing future Hall-on-Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement, his advanced age may have been another factor. It is important to remember that this is not the MVP version of Brady.
At the end of the day, the Raiders are in a new area. They are also seeking their first playoff victory since the 2002 season.
If the Raiders indeed have a chance to add a player with Tom Brady’s resume, they should shake off any long-term concerns in their pursuit of short-term relevance.