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It’s inevitable anytime a team suffers a void at quarterback in 2023, and that team has a halfway decent chance to compete for a postseason spot, Tom Brady must be the quarterback first on the priority call list.
So here we are with the Tom Brady and Las Vegas Raiders rumors.
The idea Brady, 46 in August, may come out of retirement a second time to play for the Raiders in 2023 is everywhere now because, well, clicks. Google it.
The Raiders may need a starting QB because presumptive starter Jimmy Garoppolo’s status is uncertain due to a left foot injury/surgery.
Brady retired in February but since he also retired in February of 2022 and came back, what the heck, he might do it again. Right?
Maybe. But he’s not preparing for that.
Tom Brady Not Prepping For 2023 Season
Sources have told OutKick that Brady has recently said or done nothing that hints he’s currently contemplating a return to the NFL.
He’s not suggested to partners he’s putting his business plans on hold. He’s not asked former teammates about organizing serious throwing sessions.
He is working out because that’s who he is, one source said. But another source added there are no industry whispers of him training to the level he typically would for a late July opening of training camp.
“He’s 45 years old and no one that age, not even Tom Brady, can just flip a switch before training camp and be ready,” the source said. “It takes a lot of work and diligence to get ready because he expects to be the best player on the field. And based on what I’ve heard, he hasn’t been doing that level of work.”
So barring Brady using some serious misdirection to hide his intentions, this puts a bit of a damper on the return tour thing.
Brady Said This Retirement Was ‘For Good’
None of it means it’s 100 percent Brady will never play football again. But taking him at his word, he said he was retiring “for good,” when he announced his career was over in February.
Also, Brady would have to begin preparing almost immediately if he wanted to try coming back for the 2023 season. And that wasn’t happening as of late last week.
So why all the drama? Betonline has established Brady’s odds of being the Raiders starter — if it’s not Garoppolo — at 2/1. That’s better odds than Brian Hoyer at 5/2, even though Hoyer is actually on the team.
The reason the speculation about Brady surrounds the Raiders is because there are obvious ties. He did seriously consider playing for Las Vegas when he left the New England Patriots after the 2019 season. Then Raiders coach Jon Gruden reportedly wasn’t keen on the idea.
Brady’s Ties With Josh McDaniels Are Strong
He does have ties to coach Josh McDaniels, who was Brady’s quarterback coach or offensive coordinator for 13 seasons in New England. Brady and Raiders owner Mark Davis have also agreed the seven-time Super Bowl winner will join the Raiders ownership as a minority owner.
(That deal would have to be put on hold if Brady wanted to actually play for the Raiders).
And then there’s the Jimmy G uncertainty.
Garoppolo signed with the Raiders in March. But the contract reportedly has an addendum that relieved the injury riddled quarterback from having to pass a physical.
Garoppolo would not have passed that physical because of an injured left foot that ultimately required surgery.
“In the absence of this waiver, [Garoppolo] would not pass the club’s physical examination because of a preexisting medial and middle cuneiform and a fracture of the base of the second metatarsal in the player’s left foot,” the addendum reads, as first reported by Pro Football Talk and then NFL Network.
The Jimmy G Injury Uncertainty
The clause is a waiver but also a release. It absolves the Raiders, NFL, and others from responsibility for future conditions a further injury to the foot might cause. Those include “Permanent disability, loss of motion and other problems related to the his left foot.”
The legalese makes it obvious Garoppolo’s days as the Raiders starting quarterback are uncertain. But the Raiders are acting like there’s nothing to see here.
Garoppolo actually denied the foot issue delayed his free agent signing with the Raiders even though it did. McDaniels, meanwhile, has pointed to training camp as the timetable for getting the Jimmy G on the field — which sounds no alarms for a veteran quarterback familiar with the head coach’s system.
“It’s just, I think the most important time of the year is going to happen when we get to training camp so that we’re ready to go and we can do the work we need to do in August,” McDaniels said.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. But the idea Brady is ready to come out of retirement is a stretch at the moment.