Tom Brady

Tom Brady Announces Retirement

Exactly a year from the date he initially announced he would retire, Tom Brady again informed the Buccaneers he will walk away from the game. The legendary quarterback said Wednesday morning he will call it quits after 23 seasons (video link).

Although Brady backtracked on his Feb. 1, 2022 decision, he said recently another retirement call would be final. The 45-year-old superstar had already been linked to a few teams as a free agent, but it does not appear he was planning to leave Tampa. For months, Brady had indicated to confidants he would either play a fourth season with the Bucs or walk away, Jeff Darlington of reports (on Twitter). Brady informed Bucs brass at 6am Wednesday he would take the retirement route.

Family considerations will drive Brady’s second retirement decision, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Brady had long set an age-45 season as a goal, and while even that seemed a difficult milestone to hit, the former sixth-round Patriots draft choice got there and did so without displaying a significant decline. While the decision to unretire in March 2022 produced a wave of headlines and preceded an 8-9 Bucs season — one that ended with a blowout wild-card loss to the Cowboys — Brady still broke his own single-season NFL record for completions. The enduring great has just about every other passing standard on his resume, one that will be difficult for future quarterbacks to eclipse.

Last year’s retirement decision did not emerge from Brady himself, but rather from reports indicating he was departing after two Bucs seasons. Brady subsequently made a retirement announcement. Given Brady’s unmatched career and relentless desire to succeed on the field, even this exit cannot completely be labeled his definitive NFL walk-off. But the seven-time Super Bowl champion did add “for good” to his brief address this time.

I’m retiring for good. I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first,” Brady said. “So I won’t be long-winded. I think you only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year.”

A recent Darlington report (video link) indicated two teams were looking into Brady as a free agent. He was set to hit the market for a second time in March. A Josh McDaniels reunion with the Raiders came up weeks ago, and speculation of Brady wrapping his career with his hometown 49ers intensified following Brock Purdy‘s UCL tear. The fact that teams were investigating Brady to be their starter in what would have been an age-46 season illustrates the staggering endurance the former Patriots cornerstone showed. The Michigan alum’s place as the greatest NFL player ever can be debated, but he displayed preposterous longevity that allowed for considerable distance to form between he and his peers in the record book.

Brady’s 89,214 career passing yards lead the field by more than 8,000; his 649 touchdown passes are 78 more than Drew Brees‘ second-place total. Playing in an astonishing 48 playoff games, Brady threw 88 postseason TD passes as well. He finished his career as a three-time MVP and five-time Super Bowl MVP. The last of those Super Bowl honors came for the Bucs two seasons ago, when his two-year, $50MM contract produced an immediate turnaround in Tampa. Brady then signed an extension, adding the 2022 season to his deal. Rather than attempt to walk away on a higher note, Brady following a tumultuous season with another retirement announcement will prompt a second Bucs quarterback search in two years.

Following Brady’s unretirement, the Bucs attempted to reload again. Prior to Brady’s third Tampa Bay season, however, steady reports of Miami connections emerged. The NFL then sanctioned the Dolphins for tampering for their effort to try and secure a Brady-Sean Payton alliance. The Dolphins are without a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 third-rounder as a result. Bruce Arians surprised most with his latest retirement — a March move many connected to a Brady power play — days after the Bucs learned their quarterback was staying. While Arians shot down that notion on multiple occasions, Brady headlines kept coming. Several weeks after Brady’s divorce from wife Gisele Bundchen became official, Darlington revealed the ageless signal-caller played the 2022 season down 15 pounds from his usual playing weight.

Brady left Bucs training camp, staying away from the team for more than a week. While he returned to the team and powered the Bucs to another NFC South title, this Tampa Bay edition fell from second to 25th offensively and rarely found the form it displayed during the previous two seasons. Todd Bowles fired offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich last month, after both Bowles and Brady voiced issues about the state of the offense, and the team continues to search for the four-year play-caller’s successor.

Like Peyton Manning‘s Broncos stay, Brady’s Bucs years tacked on considerable legacy points. But Brady will obviously be best remembered for his Patriots stay. After Drew Bledsoe’s injury in Week 2 of the 2001 season thrust Brady into action, he remained in place as New England’s starter through the 2019 season. Brady led the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles and formed an unrivaled partnership with Bill Belichick. While the future Hall of Fame coach’s defenses drove the first batch of Pats titles, Brady was in place as the team’s centerpiece for the next six Super Bowls for which it qualified.

The No. 199 overall pick in 2000, Brady is without question the greatest draft choice in NFL history. The Pats were able to extend their dynasty for nearly two decades, reloading around Brady for a second run of Super Bowl titles midway through the 2010s. That period peaked with a 25-point comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, which gave Brady more championships than any other passer in the Super Bowl era.

After Belichick and Robert Kraft‘s reported disagreement on Jimmy Garoppolo led to the then-backup’s 2017 move to San Francisco at the trade deadline, Brady continued to move the boundaries at his position. He quarterbacked the Pats to two more Super Bowls, winning the latter, before a final contract agreement in 2019. That pact prevented the team from franchise-tagging its quarterback, and rather than Brady agreeing to a ninth contract with the team, he hit free agency. Numerous teams showed interest in 2020, but Brady decided on the Bucs over the Chargers that year. Tampa Bay voyaged to its second Super Bowl — a 31-9 romp over Kansas City — after Brady paired with a strong Bucs defensive nucleus to provide an upgrade on Jameis Winston to elevate his new team.

The Bucs’ next QB search figures to be a less flashy process. The team is more than $55MM over the $224.8MM salary cap, and the bills from the void years it utilized to bolster the roster during the Brady run are coming. Brady can help the team by re-signing for procedural purposes; that would allow the Bucs to spread out a $35.1MM dead-money hit over two years and create $24MM in cap space for 2023. Of course, Brady doing that, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, would affect his ability to unretire and sign elsewhere. Brady was connected to other teams during his brief 2022 retirement, but the then-Arians-led Bucs refused to trade his rights during that period.

Bowles already informed Bucs coaches the team was unlikely to be especially active on the market, but the team will now need to replace its quarterback. Entering the mid-February Derek Carr market may now become a consideration, while pursuing Garoppolo — which would make for an apt Brady succession strategy — would also make sense.

Dolphins Not Eyeing Tom Brady Addition?

One of several names set to dominate the QB storylines of the 2023 offseason is Tom Brady. The all-time great is a pending free agent who faces a number of possible options should he choose to continue his playing career.

One of those could be a move to Miami, something which has come close to taking place in the past. The Dolphins were involved in a tampering scandal in an unsuccessful attempt to land both he and head coach Sean Payton. That led to a number of punishments being handed down by the league, including the team forfeiting its first-round pick in the upcoming draft. Despite that, the Dolphins were said to be a potential suitor for him in 2023.

Momentum for a Brady-to-Miami contract does not appear to exist at this point, however. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Dolphins “are not expected to pursue” the 45-year-old in the event he hits the open market for the second time in his career. Brady helped the Buccaneers make the playoffs for the third straight year in his tenure there, but signs have pointed since their Wild-Card loss to him not returning to Tampa Bay.

While that certainly leaves the door open to a second retirement decision (one which the seven-time Super Bowl winner has said would be final, unlike his last one), it could also lead him elsewhere in free agency. The Raiders have quickly emerged as a logical landing spot for him, given the presence of Josh McDaniels and the team’s apparent desire to move on from Derek Carr. Earlier this month, it was reported that Vegas is doing their homework on Brady, amongst other QB options.

Miami has given Tua Tagovailoa a vote of confidence heading into the 2023 season, so it would come as little surprise if the team avoided making a big splash on the QB market. A veteran insurance policy is expected as a backup, given his concussion issues that arose this year, but the former top-five pick showed considerable improvement when healthy this season. Even if Miami is out of the running, Brady is likely to sill have multiple suitors in the coming weeks.

Latest On Buccaneers’ Staff Changes, Free Agency Plans

The Buccaneers are on the lookout for a new offensive coordinator, with Byron Leftwich being the highest-profile coach the team moved on from amid a spree of dismissals and retirements last week. Both Todd Bowles and Tom Brady voiced concerns about Leftwich last season.

Bowles and Brady complained about the offense’s predictability, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud, who adds the team’s lack of commitment to the run game was one of the issues. Bowles believed teams had caught onto Leftwich’s offense, which tumbled off its elite perch of previous years, and Brady problems with the offense emerged back in December.

Tampa Bay finished 25th in scoring, and although it ranked 15th in total offense, a last-place ground attack dragged down the latter number. The Bucs ranked 32nd across the board on the ground, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry and totaling just five rushing touchdowns. The Bucs went from 61 TDs in 2021 to 31 this season. Leonard Fournette‘s three-year, $21MM deal produced just 668 rushing yards (3.5 per tote) in 16 games. Much of these woes can be attributed to the changes to Tampa Bay’s interior offensive line, which lost all three of its previous starters — Ryan Jensen (injury), Ali Marpet (retirement), Alex Cappa (free agency) — to lead to lesser replacements creating problems for Brady and the run game. Brady showing signs of decline did not help matters for Leftwich, either.

But Leftwich and other Bruce Arians-hired staffers took the fall. Arians is not pleased with what happened last week, Stroud said during a WDAE Radio interview (via The three-year Bucs HC, who gave the keys to Bowles in a surprising move last March, is “disappointed” and “hurt” his successor canned several of his staffers. Those assistants, some of whom having additional years on their contracts, had been told they would be there as long as Bowles was, per Stroud. Of course, NFL teams’ plans change rapidly. And an 8-9 season was not exactly where the Bucs thought they would be given their performances in 2020 and ’21. Bowles figures to enter the 2023 season on the hot seat. Arians spent the season as a senior advisor to Jason Licht, though he admitted late in the season he missed coaching.

As Bowles gathered his staff for a postmortem Thursday morning — prior to informing Leftwich and Co. they were being fired — he mentioned the team would have a difficult time signing free agents, per Stroud. The Bucs are nearly in Saints territory in terms of cap space, ranking ahead of only their restructure-happy rivals around the league. As of Wednesday, Tampa Bay sits $54MM-plus over the projected 2023 cap. The Bucs have been active in free agency over the past two years, mostly via re-signings. But the team had brought back a number of its top free agents — from Jensen to Carlton Davis in 2022 to Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David and Rob Gronkowski in 2021 — during Brady’s stay.

Following that meeting, Bowles called select assistants into his office to inform them of the dismissals. Despite the persistent run-game struggles, Bowles kept Arians hires Harold Goodwin (run-game coordinator) and Joe Gilbert (O-line coach). The team had discussions with Bill O’Brien as a Leftwich contingency plan last year, in the event the latter landed the Jacksonville HC job. O’Brien was Brady’s OC (or de facto OC, as the Patriots sometimes do not do coordinator titles) for three seasons, but he is now back with the Pats.

The Bucs have begun their OC search, with a few candidates surfacing Tuesday. While Leftwich’s ouster may influence Brady in free agency, the early word coming out of Tampa is the 45-year-old superstar will explore other options if he is to play a 24th season.

Latest On Tom Brady’s Future With The Buccaneers

It remains to be seen where (or if) Tom Brady will play in 2023. However, several Buccaneers players believe the quarterback definitely won’t be back in Tampa Bay. Speaking to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Bucs players said their “final interactions” with Brady this season led them to believe that the signal-caller won’t be back in Tampa next year.

[RELATED: Buccaneers To Fire OC Byron Leftwich]

One player told Rapoport that he’d be “surprised if [Brady’s] back,” while another said the QB “sounded like a person saying goodbye for good.” Brady also seemed to bid farewell to the media during his final press conference, another indication that he’d likely be heading elsewhere.

Sources tell Rapoport that Brady is going “to head into his few weeks of decision-making time with an open mind.” The future Hall of Famer will spend time with family while he considers all of his options. While re-signing with Tampa Bay has to be included on the list of options, it’s sounding increasingly more likely that Brady will either sign elsewhere or hang up his cleats (at which time he has a lucrative deal with Fox Sports waiting for him).

Brady went as far as to announce his retirement last offseason before reversing course and returning for another campaign. Some thought Brady’s initial retirement was an attempt to force his way out of Tampa Bay, but whether it was a change of heart of the Buccaneers’ unwillingness to budge, the QB ended up returning for a third season with the organization. It was a tough year for the Buccaneers offense, leading to offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich‘s ouster following the team’s opening-round playoff loss.

A number of teams have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Brady. The Dolphins could make another run at the QB after the organization was punished for their previous pursuit. Brady could look to reunite with former OC Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas or with former teammate Mike Vrabel in Tennessee, and rumors of a move back home to San Francisco will continue to persist.

Dolphins A Potential Suitor For Tom Brady?

Tom Brady-to-Miami is back on the table. A source “with general knowledge of the various dynamics regarding all things Brady” told Mike Florio of that a move to the Dolphins is “definitely on the table.”

This obviously isn’t the first time that Brady has been connected to the organization. Miami’s previous pursuit of the quarterback led to a tampering scandal that resulted in significant penalties for the organization and their owner, Stephen Ross. Either way, the Dolphins clearly had Brady’s ear as they looked to team the future Hall of Famer with head coach Sean Payton. Thanks in part to Brian Flores’ discrimination lawsuit against the Dolphins, that plan was scrapped, and following a brief retirement, Brady ended back in Tampa Bay.

The 45-year-old will hit free agency this offseason, providing no barriers to him joining the Dolphins. As opposed to his last trip to free agency, Brady should have more than a couple of teams competing for his services. It remains to be seen if Brady would still be interested in moving to Miami, but among the hypothetical suitors, they’d make sense from a roster standpoint.

Another major part of this story revolves around current Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. If the Dolphins do land Brady, Florio said it’s uncertain if the Dolphins would move on from Tua or if they’d keep him as a backup. If the organization can find another team that would “assume the concussion risks,” then the incumbent QB would be a natural trade candidate. His $4.7MM financial commitment in 2023 certainly isn’t a concern for the Dolphins or any trade suitors, so either route wouldn’t be overly surprising.

Brady’s third season in Tampa Bay saw him complete 66.8 percent of his passes for 4,694 yards, 25 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Despite an 8-9 record, the Buccaneers qualified for the postseason. Tagovailoa, meanwhile, guided the Dolphins to an 8-5 record in 13 starts, tossing a career-high 25 touchdowns vs. only eight interceptions. He won’t start their Wild Card matchup against the Bills as he continues to sit in concussion protocol.

Raiders Looking Into Tom Brady Addition

Tom Brady still has at least one more game to play for the Buccaneers, but that hasn’t stopped pundits (and, potentially, other NFL teams) from considering where he could play next season. During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show (Twitter link), Albert Breer of TheMMQB said the Raiders are “unequivocally” looking into the possibility of adding the future Hall of Famer.

The Brady/Raiders comment was preceded by a question about Jimmy Garoppolo, with Breer noting that the Raiders are also doing their due diligince on the 49ers QB. In fact, Breer believes Derek Carr was thrown into a de facto competition with the two impending free agents, with Josh McDaniels, Dave Ziegler, and co. ultimately deciding they could squeeze more out of the quarterback position from someone else.

As Breer explains, when the current regime initially signed Carr to an extension, they thought they were locking in their equivalent of Alex Smith in Kansas City. In other words, the Raiders thought their veteran QB would be able to guide them to postseason performances while the front office identified their play-caller of the future. At 31, Jimmy G could allow the Raiders to continue with that plan, while Brady would obviously force the organization to go in a completely different direction as they load up for temporary contention.

With McDaniels and Ziegler having both worked alongside Brady and Garoppolo in New England, the connections are obvious, and it really wouldn’t be surprising if one of these QBs reunites with their former coach in Las Vegas. At the moment, the big question is which of these two quarterbacks is atop the Raiders’ wish list.

Elsewhere in Raiders QB news, the organization is set to meet with Carr soon. As Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal explains, the QB and the Raiders agreed to meet after the season to “discuss the situation and all the various options.”

Tom Brady Could Return To Buccaneers In 2023

Recent reports have indicated that quarterback Tom Brady will not return to the Bucs in 2023, but Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times says that is not necessarily the case. Assuming Brady wants to continue his playing career, a fourth year in Tampa should not be ruled out.

After all, the future Hall-of-Famer continues to enjoy a strong relationship with team ownership and with GM Jason Licht, and the team has proven throughout Brady’s tenure that it will do whatever it takes to build a contender around him, even if its maneuvers create future salary cap headaches. Plus, the fact that the Bucs clinched the NFC South and qualified for the postseason could encourage Brady to return (although the weakness of the division obviously played a major role in the team’s playoff berth).

Stroud does note that Brady’s preference would be to play for Sean Payton, the former Saints head coach who is presently working as a FOX analyst but who appears ready to return to the sidelines in 2023. At present, only the Broncos have obtained permission to interview Payton, and Denver would be unable to add Brady due to its commitment to Russell Wilson. Of course, Payton and Brady appeared ready to join forces on the Dolphins in 2022, though it is now unclear whether Miami would be willing to make current HC Mike McDaniel a one-and-done just to facilitate a brief Brady-Payton partnership.

Payton could elect to return to the Saints, and New Orleans boasts enough offensive talent to entice Brady to join him there. However, as Stroud notes in a separate piece, joining the Bucs’ division rival would be difficult for Tampa Bay ownership to stomach, and Brady may not want to “stick it” to the Glazers in that way.

Brady will likely have suitors that are interested in only him and not in Payton. The 49ers, Raiders, and Jets could all be in play, and none of those teams appear as if they will be parting with their current head coaches (plus, if Brady elects to sign with Las Vegas, he would be reuniting with longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, which could appeal to him). The upshot here is that all options, including a new deal with the Bucs, remain on the table.

On a related note, it seems that a Brady return to Tampa would lead to a dismissal of OC Byron Leftwich, especially in light of the reported friction between the two men. If that happens, then Stroud expects current Alabama offensive coordinator and former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien — who was on the Patriots’ staff for five of Brady’s years in Foxborough — to be in the mix as a possible replacement. Indeed, O’Brien and Licht have a close relationship, and the Bucs were interested in O’Brien’s services last year, when it appeared as if Leftwich would leave Tampa to become the Jaguars’ head coach.

The Patriots are also said to be interested in a reunion with O’Brien.

Latest On Raiders, Derek Carr

The Raiders will start Jarrett Stidham today in what will be his first NFL regular season start and the unofficial beginning of the post-Derek Carr era at quarterback. Vegas made headlines this week when they benched the latter for the remainder of the season.

That has led to the widespread expectation that Carr will be traded during the coming offseason. The 31-year-old has stepped away from the team as they begin the transition away from him, and, presumably, the process of finding a suitable destination to send him in the near future. Carr has a no-trade clause, so the possibility remains that a release allowing him to become a free agent will be the ultimate outcome of this situation.

On that point, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network confirms that Vegas is “expected to explore trade options” for the three-time Pro Bowler. That comes as little surprise, given the organization’s commitment to replacing him – one which was reportedly driven by owner Mark Davis – along with the market which could materialize for a signal-caller of his experience and with his contract situation. Carr’s three-year extension signed last spring will see his $41.9MM 2023 salary become guaranteed on February 15, creating the narrow window in which a deal is expected to officially take place.

However, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets that both Carr and the Raiders could agree to push back that deadline as a means of making the trade process smoother. Much is still to be determined between now and the onset of the offseason, in any event, which also raises the possibility that the two sides could decide against a separation. The 49ers granting Jimmy Garoppolo permission to seek a trade, then later retaining him, represents a recent example of such a development.

The fact that Carr previously made public his intention of only ever playing for the Raiders is not expected to be a factor in this case, Rapoport notes. The former second-rounder has no intention of retiring at the end of the year, and is reportedly of the belief that “he has his best football ahead of him.” While his 2022 performance – along with that of the Raiders as a whole – strongly suggests otherwise, Carr will nevertheless likely be a key player in the coming offseason QB market.

His expected departure will also, of course, leave Vegas in need of at least a short-term Carr replacement. Among the bridge candidates are Garoppolo, but also Tom Brady. The latter has guided the Buccaneers to another NFC South title, but is not expected to return to Tampa this spring. That – coupled with the recent Carr developments – has led to many speculating that Brady could reunite with Josh McDaniels by joining the Raiders, as he came close to doing in 2020. As the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin writes, a Brady-to-Vegas contract could also accompany another un-retirement from tight end Rob Gronkowski (something which nearly took place in time for this season).

Stidham will use the final two contests of the campaign, one in which the Raiders are all-but eliminated from playoff contention, to audition for playing time in 2023, but regardless of his performances, Vegas will be a team to watch as the QB landscape takes shape in the coming months.

Bruce Arians Discusses Coaching Future

Bruce Arians moved from the sideline to the front office this past offseason, with the 70-year-old now serving as the Buccaneers’ senior advisor to general manager Jason Licht. While Arians sounds appreciative of his current gig, he recently made it clear that he’d jump at the opportunity to return to coaching.

“Would I love to be coaching? Yeah,” Arians told Rick Stroud of “It’s what you do. It kills me to go upstairs. I’m on the sideline in pregame and it kills me to have to go upstairs and just sit there. It kills me. It’s hard. It’s what I do. I’ve done it my whole life. I’m smart enough to know it’s over.

“It’s not the same. That daily interaction with the players and the coaches, the relationship I’m in. I sat and talked to Mike (Evans) and Vita (Vea) for an hour. The new guys are told, ‘That’s the old coach. You don’t want him cussing you out.’ I just (cussed out) a couple of them for the hell of it.”

Arians’ tenure in Tampa Bay spanned three years, including a 31-18 record and the franchise’s second Super Bowl title. He seemed prepared for a fourth season at the helm but plans changed with the uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady‘s future. Working under the impression that his franchise QB was going to hang up his cleats, Arians weighed the possibility of an unproven QB room against his desire to see defensive coordinator Todd Bowles succeed him.

By ultimately stepping aside, Arians allowed the organization to retain both Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, with the now-former head coach continually asserting that he wanted to set up the Buccaneers organization with a solid succession plan. Still, despite Arians willingly giving up his gig, it sounds like he would have stuck around had he had more clarity on Tampa Bay’s outlook for the 2022-23 season.

Mark Davis Drove Raiders’ Derek Carr Call?

The Raiders’ Derek Carr decision has become this week’s top NFL storyline, and it sets up an interesting trade market for a player who has been loosely involved in trade rumors for years. It may not have been Josh McDaniels‘ decision to move in this direction. At least, not right now.

McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler met Monday and Tuesday nights discussing their quarterback plan, and while a benching was mentioned as a possibility, Vic Tafur of The Athletic views it as likely McDaniels and Ziegler were planning to keep Carr as the team’s starter to close out the season. Mark Davis looks to have played a role in the decision that led to Jarrett Stidham being announced the starter and Carr leaving the team for the time being, Tafur adds (subscription required).

[RELATED: Where Will Carr Play Next Season?]

Carr has played for four six Raiders HCs, counting interims Tony Sparano and Rich Bisaccia, over his nine-year career. The GM that drafted Carr, Reggie McKenzie, extended him at $25MM per year during the 2017 offseason. While the Jon Gruden period brought steady trade rumors, the Raiders hung onto their starter. Carr became the longest-tenured starting QB in Raiders history and now owns the team’s all-time passing records — by a substantial margin.

McDaniels and Ziegler extended him this year, albeit with the much-discussed February escape hatch, but interviews with the ex-Patriots duo and other GMs this offseason curiously did not feature the Raider interviewers discussing Carr in a positive light. Coaching and GM candidates were surprised to hear Raiders officials’ Carr assessments during the job interviews, according to Tafur, who adds Davis has been lukewarm on the starter for a long time. Davis and former Raiders VP of player personnel Ken Herock led the coach-GM search this year, and the owner ended up letting McDaniels and Ziegler make the call on Carr.

The new Raiders power brokers settled on the half-measure extension — a three-year, $121.4MM deal that includes the out three days after Super Bowl LVII — and it looks like the parties will aim to capitalize on the narrow trade window. They will explore doing so despite Davante Adams seeking a trade to Las Vegas to reunite with Carr. If Carr goes, it will be interesting to see how Adams’ Vegas future unfolds.

The Raiders taking the opportunity to make the $40.4MM bonus — Carr’s full 2023 base salary and $7.5MM of his 2024 base pay — another team’s responsibility would cost them barely $5MM in dead money. That is quite the low sum associated with dealing a quality starter less than a year after the extension ink dried, but Carr agreed to the terms and landed a no-trade clause. That will protect the three-time Pro Bowler, who should have options once trade talks commence.

Davis was in place as the team’s owner when McKenzie drafted Carr 36th overall in 2014, and after several post-Rich Gannon misfires by the organization, Carr offered stability — albeit without giving his team a top-tier option under center — and durability. He has only missed two career regular-season games, but it looks like the owner is ready to move on. Carr’s inability to lead a game-tying drive against the Bengals in the wild-card round last season gnawed at Davis, per Tafur, despite the quarterback piloting four straight wins to help Bisaccia become the rare interim coach to lead his team to the playoffs. Bisaccia received consideration for the full-time gig, but Davis passed, leading the longtime special teams coach to Green Bay.

Carr remains a Raider partially because Gruden backed out of the Tom Brady pursuit two years ago, leading to some colorful Brady language re: Carr. Gruden viewed Brady as too old at that point, Tafur adds. Brady was preparing for his age-43 season at that point, and although the Raiders joined other teams in being connected to the legendary signal-caller, he ended up deciding between the Buccaneers and the Chargers. It is not certain the Raiders would have beaten out the Bucs for Brady’s services, but with McDaniels now running the show, look for Brady — ahead of an age-46 season he is not a lock to pursue — to be connected to the Raiders again.