Raiders, 49ers Among Top Destinations
It is a topic that is bound to dominate the news cycle in the next NFL offseason – where will Tom Brady play next provided he doesn’t retire? There is no shortage of answers to that question – from staying with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to returning to the New England Patriots to heading west to play for his childhood team, the San Francisco 49ers. The odds are all over the place, with some speculating that the New York Jets have a strong chance of landing the quarterback.
When looking at the NFL betting lines, there are plenty of plays to consider when projecting Brady’s future. NFL free agency officially begins on March 15 of next year.
Any Other (+2200)
There are 24 teams in this group, so Is the Meadowlands a possibility? There are two options there – the Jets and the Giants. Brady is on record as saying he hates the Jets and the mere thought of him playing for Gang Green is laughable. Never happens.
The Giants look like they might be a quarterback and a few other pieces away from contending for a Super Bowl and Brady’s son resides in New York. There is the issue of two Super Bowl losses to the Giants, one of which ruined the Patriots’ perfect season, but that may not be enough to keep him from playing there. A future ownership stake could seal the deal.
Music City (+700)
The Tennessee Titans have a solid overall team that could use an upgrade at quarterback from Ryan Tannehill to get them over the playoff hump. One of Brady’s teammates from his early years with the Patriots, Mike Vrabel, is the head coach of the Titans. Playing with a workhorse running back in Derrick Henry could prove an attractive option for the aging Brady.
Foxboro Forever (+800)
The relationship between Brady and his former mentor, Bill Belichick, has thawed over the last couple of years, with each saying nice things about each other in the media, but it doesn’t appear the Patriots are any closer to winning the Super Bowl than they were in Brady’s last season. The Patriots are expected to have plenty of cap space next season, but it still seems to be an unlikely option, particularly with the people currently filling the offensive coaching roles.
Tampa Bay (-180)
Brady is familiar with the players and the coaches and the offense, but unless they make a dramatic turnaround in the second half of the season and contend for the Super Bowl, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for Brady to return to an aging team whose Super Bowl window is closing fast. Two of Brady’s children reside in Florida so that must be considered a factor.
Viva Las Vegas (+200)
The Las Vegas Raiders have a quarterback in Derek Carr who is signed for three more years, but they can get out of the contract after this season with less than $6 million in dead money on their salary cap. The Raiders have one of the top receivers in football in Davante Adams and a head coach in Josh McDaniels who was Brady’s former offensive coordinator in New England.
Homeward Bound (+250)
The 49ers would be attractive to Brady for a couple of reasons. The first is that he was raised in the Bay Area and his parents and extended family still reside there.
The second is the offensive system employed by head coach Kyle Shanahan, which turned Matt Ryan into the NFL Most Valuable Player when both were with the Atlanta Falcons. San Francisco has its quarterback for the future in Trey Lance, but a case could be made for having him sit for another season while learning from Brady, who offers a better chance of ending the franchise’s Super Bowl drought, which is closing in on 30 seasons.
And, Finally …
After a trying season in Tampa Bay that could end without a trip to the playoffs, Brady opts to retire.
The Pick: Retirement (-260).