Raiders will pursue Tom Brady if he doesn’t re-sign with Patriots, per ESPN

Signing Tom Brady in free agency would mean cutting ties with Derek Carr — who fully expects to play in Las Vegas

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady calls signals at the line of scrimmage in the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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It’s Super Bowl Sunday — just in time to float what could be the biggest story of the off-season.

How does Tom Brady to the Raiders strike you? His career got a jump start by virtue of the Tuck Rule against the Raiders after the 2001 season, and now according to an ESPN report could be targeted to end his career with the franchise as it relocates to Las Vegas.

The report came courtesy of Adam Schefter, a guy with a pretty solid track record, and had its share of “ifs” and “buts.”

A Raiders source was skeptical about the report and its timing but made no comment.

For instance, Brady, 42, could well return to the New England Patriots, where owner Robert Kraft wants to keep him. NFL Media reported Sunday the Patriots would pay up to $30 million for Brady to stay put.  Free agency doesn’t begin until March 16.

There is also the matter of Brady wanting a “supporting cast,” presumably meaning receivers. That was an issue in New England. Right now the only sure things in terms of targets on the Raiders roster are tight end Darren Waller and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow.

The Raiders could address the position with one of their two draft picks at Nos. 12 or 19 in the first round, but that wouldn’t take place until after free agency.

As for Derek Carr, Brady’s arrival would mean his departure.

Surely if the Raiders are willing to cut a check of some $30 million for Brady, then they’ll be either trading or releasing Carr. Carr has a $21.5 million cap number in 2020 and can be released with $5 million in dead money, a net savings of $16.5 million. The Raiders have more than $54 million in cap space according to spotrac.com.

Brady stoked the fires on his future on Thursday with a tweet that showed him either walking in or walking out of a stadium without any comment. Turns out it was for a “Hulu” commercial which aired during the Super Bowl.

Carr was adamant following the season he would be joining the Raiders in Las Vegas, hinting that he’d been told as much after meetings with coaches. He said it was “time for some fresh air” after being booed in the regular-season finale in Oakland.

Coach Jon Gruden has been consistent in his evaluation of Carr’s play, but tight-lipped about his status beyond this season.

While Gruden was linked with quarterbacks in the draft last year and will again this year, he has long preferred a veteran as the starter.

Running back Josh Jacobs, according to ESPN, had this to say about a potential Brady-for-Carr switch while in Miami at the Super Bowl:

“I think that Derek is an amazing quarterback. I think that he’s actually one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met. I mean, whatever they decide to do, we’ll be in good hands. You can’t ever really compare another quarterback to Tom Brady. But, I think that whatever they decide to do we’ll be in good hands.”

Brady and Raiders owner Mark Davis were photographed together at a UFC fight in Las Vegas last month.

 

 

 

 

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