Even the casual football fan can confirm this: the quarterback position is the most important on the roster. Many teams live or die with their quarterback, and the Las Vegas Raiders have been on the wrong side of that too often in recent memory. With the departure of Derek Carr looming, the Raiders now must replace that very position. With viable options via the draft and free agency, or even the trade market, how should the Raiders go about finding their next quarterback? What if their ideal plan turns out to be a duo of Tom Brady and Anthony Richardson?
Raiders Free Agency: Sign Tom Brady
The free agent market at the quarterback position this offseason is largely a wasteland. Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and Teddy Bridgewater are the only familiar names aside from Tom Brady. If the Raiders want to stay away from the draft and free agency, the trade market might be a lucrative option. The only issue with that is the fact that the Raiders would have to give up assets, which is something they’re certainly not in a position to do.
Now, why Brady? We all know by now about Brady’s interest in the Raiders a couple years ago. Las Vegas decided to stick with Carr at that point. Brady went on to win a Super Bowl in Tampa, while the Raiders have yet to win a playoff game and have played in just one.
Now, there’s some familiarity between the two. Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden wouldn’t pull the trigger to get Brady, but Tom is very familiar and has a good rapport with Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. With Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs, and Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas isn’t too shabby of a destination for any free agent quarterback. It’s even more attractive for Brady with his old buddy McDaniels calling plays.
Tom Brady is not the long-term answer for Sin City. He is a very good bridge quarterback who would immediately make the team better as well as attract talent to the Raiders. He would also be a wonderful mentor for the next guy…
Raiders Draft: Anthony Richardson
Brady is in his mid-40s, so he’s obviously not the QB of the future in the desert. That’s where Anthony Richardson comes in.
Richardson has a boatload of talent and has had a very impressive collegiate career at Florida. His arm is essentially a rocket launcher, and he’s able to toss the ball around the field with ease. His deep ball is especially impressive, which would be vital to the Raiders’ offensive system.
50-yard dime from Anthony Richardson vs. Cover-2 man (pls correct if I’m wrong). High-level throw with elite placement. pic.twitter.com/7D2mALIfq0
— Jared Feinberg (@JRodNFLDraft) January 15, 2023
Outside of the pocket, Richardson is highly athletic and is able to extend plays very well. He’s very hard to sack, and his size will make it more difficult for NFL defenders to bring him down compared to a typical rookie. He’s a good runner as well, which adds an entire new dimension to the playbook. With that said, Richardson is a bit of a project. While Anthony can throw the deep ball well, he does struggle in the intermediate passing game, with a tendency to let the ball sail. His decision-making will need to improve as well. Richardson made some bad reads in college, and those reads will only get more difficult at the next level.
One source of concern is Richardson’s lack of game experience, with only 19 appearances in the last two seasons. This means he’s very inexperienced, but he still showed a lot of promise. The typical strategy for a young guy like Richardson would be to let him sit for a year or two, giving him time to develop before he’s thrown into the fire.
Is there a better possible mentor than Tom Brady? Brady excels at every skill that Richardson appears to struggle with. By signing Brady, the Raiders will immediately improve themselves for a year or two. Combine that with selecting Richardson and letting him learn behind Brady? All of a sudden, the Raiders have their next franchise quarterback.