Tom Brady isn’t just the greatest quarterback in NFL history. He also remains one of the most popular athletes in American professional sports, making him even more enticing to franchises looking to make a splash in free agency this offseason.
The Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland (soon-to-be Las Vegas) Raiders are among the teams who’ve been tossed around in speculation regarding Brady, who is set to become a free agent for the first time in his NFL career after spending the last 20 seasons with the New England Patriots.
Both organizations would have serious incentive — beyond Brady’s potential on-field impact — to pursue the six-time Super Bowl champion, which NFL insider Jay Glazer explained Friday as part of his mailbag for The Athletic.
A reader asked Glazer about the chances Brady joins Jon Gruden and the Raiders. Here’s what Glazer wrote:
A lot of people think that he?s going to go back to the Patriots and it would certainly fit but I think they have to pay him. If I?m a team like the Raiders or the Chargers and I need to fill up my stadium and my fanbase, I am absolutely, without a doubt, going to go and say, ?Mr. Brady, here?s the offense. You tell us what the offense is. You help devise it and Mr. Brady, here?s our checkbook. You fill it out?.
I know it?s going to be hard for Jon Gruden to do that but he?s the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, the most marketable guy there is. He?s a gamechanger for a franchise. Season tickets. Marketing. I would open up my checkbook for him if I was a team like the Chargers or the Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas, and especially if I want him to teach a young quarterback how to be a quarterback. I think it?s a no-brainer — you pay the man.
This isn’t the first time Glazer has mentioned the Chargers as a possible landing spot for Brady. The Raiders likewise would be a fascinating destination for No. 12. It sure would be weird to see Brady in a different uniform, though, and it’d be very interesting to see who the Patriots peg as their next starting quarterback should he take his talents elsewhere.
Andy Dalton, perhaps? What about Teddy Bridgewater? Or maybe the Patriots will roll with current backup Jarrett Stidham, hoping he can become a viable successor to the most accomplished player the league has ever seen?
Whatever the case, this offseason could get weird. And Brady, despite showing signs of regression in 2019, figures to be a desirable free-agent target for teams in need of a quarterback, especially when those needs coincide with a strong desire to generate serious buzz.