The stars appear to be aligning for Tom Brady to come out once again and play for the Las Vegas Raiders. The future Hall of Fame quarterback is technically retired but Raiders owner Mark Davis recently announced that he has agreed to a deal for Brady to come on as a part owner of the team pending league approval. That has led to speculation that he could want to become the first player-owner in NFL history and suit up for Las Vegas.
As of right now, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Brady has previously said that he’s retired for good and hasn’t backed down. He has had to come out again and make it clear that he’s done playing football.
“I’m certain I’m not playing again, so I’ve tried to make that clear and I hate to continue to profess that, cause I’ve already told people that lots of times,” Brady told Sports Illustrated.
Nobody is going to fully believe Brady until games start being played and he’s not suited up. It seems odd to expect a quarterback who is going to be 46 to keep playing but he may be a victim of his own success. He was still playing at a high-level last season and it’s easy to see him having success in Las Vegas.
Is Brady Being Honest?
Brady wouldn’t be the first athlete to lie about being retired before making a triumphant return. However, things are a bit different in this situation. Brady has a brand to protect and people still make fun of Brett Favre for his multiple fake retirements. It’s unlikely Brady wants to be lumped in with Favre in that discussion.
He’s also going to be 46 when the season starts. Just because he has been able to avoid injury and play at a high level doesn’t mean he’ll be able to do it forever. At a certain point, his play is going to fall off. It makes sense for him to retire before he starts to look like a shell of himself. That said, Peyton Manning hung on until he couldn’t throw the ball anymore and ended up getting another Super Bowl out of it.
What Would It Take to Get Brady to Change Mind?
The only way Brady is going to change his mind is if he sees a path to a potential Super Bowl. The fact that he’s going to be a part owner in the Raiders likely means he’d only play for them if he returns. The problem is that Las Vegas doesn’t appear to have a Super Bowl roster. They have some great pieces on offense. Playing with Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs would have to be enticing to the legendary quarterback but Brady has had the luxury of playing with some elite defenses over the years.
The Raiders haven’t had a great defense in two decades. He would need to run a flawless offense if he’s going to somehow compete with Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow in the AFC. A Brady return could make sense if he was going to a team like the San Francisco 49ers but the Raiders are not far enough along to be a viable option for the quarterback. Now, Las Vegas can add a couple of more pieces, and Jimmy Garoppolo is hurt, then Brady might be swayed but it’s hard to see this scenario coming to fruition.