Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is coming off his worst ever loss in the playoffs as his Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Wild Card Playoffs by the score of 31-14.
Brady, 45, looked like a shell of his former self. He missed on 31 of his 66 pass attempts, several of them not even having a chance to be completed. Sure the quarterback finished with 351 yards and two touchdowns. But he seems to have hit that proverbial wall we’ve seen other all-time greats such as Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees hit.
Despite this, there’s talk of Brady returning for a 24th season in the NFL. Right now, it’s not known whether that will be with the Buccaneers as Brady prepares to hit free agency. He could also opt to retire.
If Brady does indeed return, one team is favored to land him. In what can’t be considered too much of a surprise, said team is the Las Vegas Raiders.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Vegas is second behind Tampa Bay with +250 odds to land the future Hall of Famer. Here’s a look at the four teams with the shortest betting odds to sign Brady once March comes calling.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +200
- Las Vegas Raiders: +250
- San Francisco 49ers: +350
- New England Patriots: +750
Vegas makes sense for several reasons. In fact, the team almost signed Brady after he left New England following the 2019 season. Former head coach Jon Gruden apparently nixed the signing.
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In addition to almost signing Brady back in 2020, Vegas’ brass has a built-in relationship with the quarterback. Head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were with the Pats for most of Brady’s tenure.
In particular, Brady is an expert within the confines of McDaniels’ offensive system. The Raiders could also entice Brady by re-signing reigning NFL rushing champion Josh Jacobs. One of the issues for this season’s iteration of the Buccaneers was a league-worst rushing attack.
It also must be noted that the Raiders are about to move on from longtime starting quarterback Derek Carr after benching him late during a disastrous 2022 season for the team. In short, they are in need of a quarterback.
As for the 49ers, the same thing can’t be said. Rookie seventh-round pick Brock Purdy is coming off a record-breaking NFL Playoff debut as San Francisco blew out the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs. The team looks like the favorite to come out of the NFC heading into this weekend’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. San Francisco also boasts former top pick Trey Lance on the roster.
Sure Brady would love to close out his career with his childhood team. Playing close to his parents wouldn’t hurt, either. It just doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
- Tom Brady stats (2022): 66.8% completion, 4,694 yards, 25 TD, 9 INT
As you can see above, Tampa Bay is actually favored to re-sign Brady. The team has made it clear that it would like to bring him back for a fourth season. For his part, Brady opened up a can of worms in his post-game presser following Monday night’s loss to the Cowboys. He didn’t commit to the Buccaneers and seemed to talk about his tenure with the team in the past tense.
“Hopefully, you know, I love this organization. It’s a great place to be and thank you everybody for welcoming me,” Tom Brady to reporters.
You’ll also notice that Brady’s former Patriots team is on the list. It actually makes some sense after the struggles we saw from second-year quarterback Mac Jones in 2022. He led a team that missed out on the playoffs for the second time in three seasons since Tom Brady’s departure. Head coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t commit to Jones following the season, either.
As for the opinion of this one scribe, I sure the heck hope Brady opts to hang them up. He’s the greatest quarterback of all-time. No one wants to witness a full season of performances like we saw Monday night against Dallas.