With Derek Carr in New Orleans, the Raiders plan to have former Patriot and 49er Jimmy Garoppolo playing quarterback in Week 1 for Las Vegas. However, it was revealed last week that oft-injured Garoppolo is still recovering from foot surgery and there’s no guarantee he will be ready for the start of the upcoming season. Garoppolo’s health (or lack thereof) has led to speculation that the Raiders and head coach Josh McDaniels, the former offensive coordinator for New England, will turn to a familiar face at quarterback: Tom Brady.
Speaking to TMZ, Troy Aikman only added to that speculation. “I don’t want to speak for but I wouldn’t rule anything out,” he said. “I would bet that just nothing is off the table as far as what may occur during the season or what Tom’s role may be.”
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Brady’s role with the Raiders, at least at this point, is to be a minority owner of the team, and there are millions of reasons to think that is still the plan. There are also at least 31 reasons to believe Brady will remain on the sidelines once he becomes an owner in Vegas, as all 32 NFL owners would have to approve the 45-year-old QB getting back on the field once he joins their ranks. While Raiders owner Mark Davis would clearly give Brady the green light to function as both a player and owner, there’s no reason to think the other 31 owners in the league would sign off on that plan.
“The problem, as one or more teams likely will see it if Brady ever tries to play, is that Brady’s status as an owner makes him essentially an extra member of the roster in waiting,” according to ProFootballTalk. “Someone who could be signed on an emergency basis who has been attending meetings and practices and knows the offense and the systems and can get quickly up to speed. So if Brady is approved and if a unanimous vote would be required to let him play, don’t expect the vote to be unanimous.”
If Brady, who has already un-retired once, is really done playing football, then he should purchase his small chunk of the Raiders without a second thought. But if Brady — who is signed to work for Fox as an analyst but has yet to go anywhere near the broadcast booth — has any desire at all to get back on the football field, he should keep his checkbook closed and his options open.