Tom Brady’s retirement is the first domino to fall in the 2023 NFL quarterback carousel
Tom Brady is finally riding off into the sunset, per a report from none other than Tom himself.
Truly grateful on this day. Thank you 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/j2s2sezvSS
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2023
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Brady was expected to be one of the most coveted quarterbacks on the market if he chose to play another season. His retirement sets the quarterback carousel in motion.
The New York Jets are one of the most prominent players in the quarterback market at the moment. How does Brady’s retirement affect them?
Well, firstly, it removes Brady as a potential free agent target for the Jets. This was extremely unlikely, anyway. But it eliminates the slim possibility.
There was, however, a much more realistic chance that Brady would join a team on the Jets’ 2023 schedule: the Las Vegas Raiders.
Las Vegas was widely expected to be one of the most aggressive pursuers of Brady if he decided to play, due largely to Brady’s familiarity with Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. The Jets will travel to Las Vegas for a battle with the Raiders in 2023, so the Jets could have gotten one last duel with their longtime nemesis. That’s now off the table.
With Brady no longer an option, we now know the Raiders will be in the market for other quarterbacks that may be of interest to the Jets, most notably Aaron Rodgers. The Raiders have been mentioned as a possible suitor for Rodgers, which is mostly thanks to the presence of Rodgers’ former No. 1 receiver, Davante Adams.
However, the Raiders are still considered a longshot to land Rodgers. Per odds from DraftKings (as of Jan. 31), the Raiders have the third-best odds of being Rodgers’ 2023 team, but those odds are way down at +750, putting them far behind the top-ranked Packers (-110) and second-ranked Jets (+110).
Speaking of Rodgers, it’s fair to wonder if Brady’s retirement will affect Rodgers’ decision on whether to play football in 2023. We know Rodgers has a fairly large ego. Would Rodgers really want to be overshadowed by Brady in his retirement and in his Hall of Fame class? My money is on “no”, but that’s mere speculation. Still, considering what we know about Rodgers’ personality, there seems to be a decent chance that Brady’s retirement could push Rodgers toward playing another year or two.
On Tuesday, Rodgers stated he should make a decision fairly soon, stating, “I feel confident that in a couple weeks, I’ll feel definitely more strongly about one of two decisions.” Brady’s decision will be fresh on Rodgers’ mind as he comes to his conclusion within the next few weeks.
Brady’s retirement also confirms the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will join the long list of quarterback-needy teams, creating even more competition for the Jets.
However, the Bucs’ cap situation could make it difficult for them to lure in big-ticket names like Rodgers, Derek Carr, or Lamar Jackson. According to Spotrac, the Bucs are projected to be $55.7 million over the cap in 2023, placing them 31st in the league. In fact, the Bucs’ cap situation is so bleak, they are $23.4 million behind the 30th-ranked Jaguars (-$32.3M in projected 2023 cap space).
Fitting an expensive quarterback onto their cap sheet could be an impossible task for the Bucs, but we have seen NFL teams work magic with the cap plenty of times before.
The NFL’s 2023 quarterback sweepstakes are officially underway. Brady’s retirement is the first domino to fall, triggering what should be a thrilling offseason at the signal-caller position.
These next couple of weeks will be critical. Derek Carr will be released or traded by February 15. Aaron Rodgers says he will make his decision on whether he’ll play in 2023 within the next few weeks. Both quarterbacks’ futures could be affected by Brady’s decision to call it a career.
If we can get Carr by Feb 15. Ill take that over the Rodgers drama. We would at least know who the QB is for the entire offseason and can build around that. Also would be more cap friendly. Carr is younger. He’s a true pro and a great leader. Jets would be lucky to have him. Don’t get me wrong though, if bringing in Carr doesn’t workout somehow, would like to see Rodgers in Gotham Green for a year or two.
After being tortured by Marino for what seemed an eternity, Brady stepped in and created an even deeper ring of hell. That said, it’s Belicheat that makes the Pats so detestable, and after having watched “The Man in the Arena” I have nothing but respect for Tom.
Mo Lewis is free at last.