Tom Brady retired for the second time on Feb. 1, announcing he was walking away from football for good. Months into his post-football career, there remains a lingering belief that he could return at some point in 2023.
Brady was expected to have a limited market this offseason, with the Las Vegas Raiders viewed as his likeliest landing spot. The organization wanted to reunite Brady with coach Josh McDaniels, bringing stability and leadership to the organization.
- Tom Brady career stats: 89, 214 passing yards, 649-212 TD-INT, 97.2 QB rating
Instead, following Brady’s decision, Las Vegas pivoted to Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady’s former backup and later the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback signed a multi-year deal in Las Vegas. The Raiders intend to start him in 2023, relying on his familiarity with McDaniels’ system and his winning track record.
Garoppolo will likely also be asked to mentor a rookie quarterback. Las Vegas is expected to spend either its first-round pick or a second-round selection on a young passer to develop in 2023. Given Garoppolo’s injury history, though, one NFL insider believes the door might be left open to the seven-time Super Bowl champion if he decides to return.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated wrote that he thinks it’s possible Brady could come back and resume his NFL career with the Raiders, but it isn’t in Brady’s plans right now.
The connections between the Raiders and Brady are evident. He just purchase a partial ownership stake in the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, the team owned by Raiders’ Mark Davis. He also holds a close relationship with McDaniels and has a connection to the West Coast.
Prior to the 2023 NFL Draft, Garoppolo and Chase Garbers are the only quarterbacks on the Raiders’ depth chart. Even after a rookie is brought in, Las Vegas would be in a dire position as a contender if Garoppolo suffers a long-term injury.
For the time being, Brady has made it clear that he is finished with football and wants to spend time with his family. However, it seems plausible he could return midway through the 2023 season if the right opportunity arises.