The Las Vegas Raiders had some questions at the quarterback position this offseason as while Derek Carr is still under control, the team kicked the tires on signing Tom Brady.
Brady was seen talking to Raiders owner Mark Davis at a UFC event in Las Vegas in January, causing a number of rumors that the team would explore signing him if he wanted to leave the New England Patriots.
When free agency began, however, the rumors quickly silenced and although Brady ended up leaving New England, it was to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, not the Raiders.
Carr commented on the Brady rumors for the first time in an interview with Vic Tafur of The Athletic, believing that they wouldn’t have happened if the Raiders had a better season in 2019:
I was like, “Oh, here we go. Here is the next thing on the list.” What happens … and I am going to be politically correct one more time … nah, I won’t. What happens if the ref doesn’t blow the call against the Jags and what happens if the defensive lineman at the end of the game rushes instead of bats the ball down against the Broncos? We’re 9-7 instead of 7-9 with what we were able to produce on offense. The conversations are completely different.
Everything we’re talking about is completely different. We would be talking about the growth in Year 2 and how we can’t wait for Year 3. But instead, there is widespread panic, never mind that I was fairly confident in what I put on film last season.
While Carr is happy to still be the starting quarterback of the Raiders, he believes the organization would have been crazy to not at least explore the option of signing Brady:
Yeah, let’s be honest, the dude has won six Super Bowls. You have to be crazy to not watch his film and talk about it when he is a free agent. Right? You’re going to watch film of Tom Brady. Like, where’s he at?
He even went as far as to say that the Brady rumors were a compliment to him:
That’s not a bad thing, right? (Laughs) Everybody wants to make it into a bad thing. Either way, whatever happened, Raiders fans were going to be in good hands. We’re going to be good. We’re going to be efficient either way, Raiders fans.
At the end of the day, you know, you can have 32 GMs watch the film and 16 may say this and 16 may say that. Obviously, our GM and coach made their decision. I know we live in a world of hot takes, and we gotta make some controversy, but the guy won six Super Bowls and every team in the league popped in his film when he became a free agent. I will just say that I’m glad to be our quarterback and I was very, very confident that I would be the whole time.
While Carr remains the starting quarterback of the Raiders, he will have a lot of pressure to perform in 2020. Las Vegas has had a very solid offseason in which they improved in all facets of the game, most importantly giving Carr capable weapons to work with, which wasn’t the case in 2019.
The Raiders may not have signed Brady, but they did bring in a capable backup in Marcus Mariota, which should put even more pressure on Carr to get the job done and get his team back to the playoffs before being replaced.
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