With interest in Raiders yet to be finalized, Tom Brady could still play (theoretically)

No, Tom Brady’s deal to acquire part of the Raiders hasn’t been finalized yet. Yes, until then, Brady can return and play.

NFL media make this obvious within week 2 Songkran Sunday! thing. It’s not clear why this is pointed out, when in fact it is obvious. Maybe it’s because he’s Tom Brady. Maybe it’s because things are moving a little slowly today. Maybe it’s because Brady is thinking about playing. (There’s no reason to think he is.) Maybe it’s because the Jets are looking for a quarterback. (There’s no reason to think they’ll want Brady, as they appear to be fully committed to Zach Wilson, at least for now.)

This is an obvious fact because: (1) the proposed acquisition has not yet been approved by the owners; (2) Brady can sign with any team at any time as a free agent until then.

The question not addressed by the NFL.com article is whether a deal with the Raiders will be finalized. The league’s recent move to block equity transfers to employees (players and non-players) prompted a complaint from Raiders owner Mark Davis. He is believed to have hoped to hire Brady and make Brady a shareholder. The new rules are likely to force planning back to square one.

If so, there’s no reason to think Brady’s efforts to become part owner of the Raiders will be finalized at the upcoming ownership meeting in October or December. It might just quietly not happen at all.

This means Brady could indeed return at any time and play for any team. No one has his rights. He is free to play again if he wishes.

Again, there is currently no reason to think he would be willing to do so. In the latest episode of his SiriusXM show, let’s go!Brady sounds more successful than ever.

“The advice I give to different people is . . . “Just make sure you leave everything in there,” Brady said. “Because you never want to have a drop left and think, ‘Oh, everybody’s playing down there, And I sit here and I still feel like I can do it. ‘” I don’t think so. I feel like I’m very happy with my decision and very happy with my life now.”

Things weren’t supposed to be like this. Brady said in 2021 that he doesn’t want to say at the end of a game, “These guys are terrible.” He doesn’t want to think he’s still better than other players. In 2014, he said that when he wasn’t performing well, he would retire. Apparently he’s not going to be terrible in 2022.

To justify the 180, Brady said earlier this year that he believes it when he says it.

He can still play if he wants to. He’ll be in the top half of all quarterbacks in the league. Therefore, during the second full day of the 2023 regular season, Songkran Sunday! Can he? The reality is that he won’t.

Unless and until he finally says it again, he believes what he said before.

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