Here’s a fun scenario to think about. What if Tom Brady signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, and Bill Belichick replaced him with Teddy Bridgewater as the New England Patriots starting quarterback?
The NFL off-season is always interesting, and the rumors and predictions that get thrown around keeps us fully engaged. With Tom Brady set to become a free agent on March 18, the theories and predictions have been coming in hot and heavy. Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic made some bold predictions yesterday, but nothing more bold than saying: Tom Brady signs with the Raiders, and the Patriots replace him with Teddy Bridgewater.
Kapadia did say that his predictions are bold, and probably long shots. He believes that the most likely of scenarios is that Brady ends up back with the Patriots.
"The most likely scenario is that Brady remains with the Patriots. They can sell him on having a great defense and a coaching staff he’s familiar with. With an upgrade in offensive talent, they’ll be competing for another Lombardi Trophy. And two, every report about Brady heading elsewhere should be viewed as a leverage play. That’s the way things work this time of year.”
Just because Kapadia believes the most likely scenario is Brady returning to New England, he still thinks that there is a very legitimate chance that Brady could head to Las Vegas and finish his career with the Raiders. When you first think about Brady signing with the Raiders it’s hard to imagine. But, when you read what Kapadia writes, it sadly makes some sense. The Raiders offensive line, running back, tight ends, and receivers, could be very appealing to Brady. Also, John Gruden is an old school football coach, and his style and work ethic may be the best match for Brady outside of New England and Bill Belichick.
"I think there’s a legit scenario in which the Raiders could make sense." - "The Raiders have an offensive line that produced the sixth-lowest sack rate last year. They’ve got a stud running back who can make plays in the passing game in Josh Jacobs and a dynamic tight end in Darren Waller. Hunter Renfrow had a promising rookie season in the slot. And the Raiders have the resources to add a dynamic wide receiver to pair with Tyrell Williams on the outside."
If the worst case scenario were to happen and Tom Brady signed with the Raiders, the Patriots would obviously have to find his replacement. The book is still out on Jarrett Stidham, and Patriots former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis doesn’t believe that Belichick will hand the starting role to Stidham. There has also been rumors that Belichick would prefer to sign Andy Dalton if he can’t re-sign Brady. But, Kapadia is predicting that Belichick may look at the New Orlean Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater who’s set to hit free agency in March.
"In Bridgewater, the Patriots could land a starting option who would not break the bank. Bridgewater has the intangibles in terms of leadership and work ethic that Belichick may find appealing. - In five starts with the Saints last season, Bridgewater posted a 1.0 percent interception rate and he fumbled just once."
Bridgewater looked pretty impressive when Drew Brees was injured early in the 2019 season, and showed that he’s capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL. One of the issues that Bridgewater will have, a lot of teams either have their established quarterback already, or there are options in the draft. There are also other free agent quarterback like Andy Dalton, and Phillip Rivers who are looking for teams.
"Bridgewater is hitting free agency in a year when teams have a lot of quarterback options. New England could be one of his best chances to start."
Obviously none of what Kapadia is saying is a report, it’s just his prediction, and though he makes some really good points for both, it just seems very improbable right now that this scenario could happen. That being said, we’ve seen crazier things happen in the National Football League, and it’s another fun scenario to think about.