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The Latest on the State of the Las Vegas Raiders

With the electricity that this off-season is sure to have around the Las Vegas Raiders, we bring you the latest information on what is happening.

HENDERSON, Nev.--The Las Vegas Raiders are a team in transition, and I have the latest on your beloved Silver and Black for you.

· I previously reported my second set of odds at who will be the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders as follows:

  1. 55 percent--Tom Brady
  2. 30 percent--Jimmy Garoppolo
  3. 10 percent--Aaron Rodgers
  4. 5 percent--Mac Jones

· Here is how I have them ranked as of today:

  1. 80 percent--Tom Brady
  2. 10 percent--Mac Jones
  3. 9 percent--Jimmy Garoppolo
  4. 1 percent--Aaron Rodgers
  • On the subject of Tom Brady, one NFL executive told me: "Mark (Davis) isn't his dad, but don't think he doesn't have some of his father's attributes. Al loved to make a splash, to win the news conference, to get the conversation. Mark wants that."
  • According to that executive: "Mark was in love with Tom Brady before, but Gruden wanted Derek Carr. Mark was always had great respect for Derek Carr the man, but was not a big fan of his play. So when Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler saw Carr as a positive reason to come to the Raiders, he was fine with it."
  • He added: "Mark now wants to make a statement. Right or wrong, his dad wanted to make statements and wasn't against big name guys at the end of their career. Some worked out, and some didn't, bit there is a reason Brady is called the GOAT."
  • For this article, one NFC general manager told me: "I know that Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels like and respect Tom Brady. But the addition of Tom Brady buys them something no other quarterback option does. They have to win in 2023 to be back in 2024, and they can look at Mark Davis if Brady fails and tell him that he was the quarterback he wanted."
  • He added: "A Tom Brady signing almost assuredly tells you they are back in 2024."
  • One thing that nearly every person I spoke with in and outside the Raiders keeps referencing is this: "It is no secret the Raiders want Tom. But, does Tom want the Raiders? I think that is the bigger question. Josh and Dave know how Brady thinks, so when they finally talk to him, they will lay out a plan."
  • I will say this: If Tom Brady wants to be a Raider, the odds are 100 percent.
  • Tom Brady selected Tampa Bay for many reasons, but two big ones: the two biggest non-football reasons were climate and a grass field. Both of those the Raiders have, and the New Orleans Saints don't.
  • The odds for Jimmy Garoppolo have plummeted. I have now heard from three people that Jimmy G. will proceed to the New York Jets. One NFL Scout told me: "Jimmy has relationships with the people at the Jets, and his style fits their MO of don't make mistakes, run the ball, and play great defense. That might be the most expected thing in the NFL.”
  • Multiple NFL people have expressed nearly the same observation as me regarding Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo. One assistant general manager said: "They are close to being the same guy. Derek fell off in a big way this year, but no one takes into account the offense. I know if Derek Carr couldn't run the Raiders offense the way Josh wanted, neither will a constantly injured Jimmy."
  • Mac Jones remains a viable option, but would the New England Patriots trade him away?
  • The Raiders hope to get something for Derek Carr (I'll address that later), but even if they don't, they have plenty of cap and a Tom Brady signing comes with no loss of NFL Draft resources.
  • One NFL executive told me: "Josh loves Mac, and Mac loves Josh. Call it a father son type relationship, I call it more of brothers, but there is no secret they are fond of each other. Both had a shi**y 2022 season apart from one another, and both had super 2021s. I don't see the Raiders overpaying, but perhaps a high pick in another NFL Draft, or something later this year, but I could see that."
  • They added: "Bill Belichick competes at everything. Not sure he would want to help Josh with a good deal for Mac, but you never know, it is for sure real."
  • One name that is out there but is dwindling the more I talk with people in the know is Aaron Rodgers.
  • One organization member told me: "Aaron would come at a huge cost, both in salary ($50 million) and trade resources, and the price you pay for organizational culture."
  • They went on to say: "Tom Brady does what he wants, but you know and he adheres to the standards of the Patriots … I mean Raiders way. Rodgers does whatever he wants, whenever he wants and then just blames everyone else. He comes with a high cost, and I don't think he fits here."
  • As far as a rookie quarterback, here are the sentiments there.
  • This Raiders' regime will not get 2024 with a repeat of 2022 in 2023. Ziegler and McDaniels have their best player in Davante Adams, who didn't come here and take less money to play for a rebuilding team.
  • Is there a rookie quarterback that Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler are willing to risk their future in the NFL Draft that they can select and play in 2023?
  • They can’t pick a first-round quarterback and bench him to develop behind a free-agent veteran like Brady. That would be career suicide; you bring in Brady to win now and use that No. 1 pick on an immediate impact player, like anyone on defense.
  • I have reported that I expect them to pick a quarterback in the later rounds to develop, but on a team that needs immediate defense and offensive line help, would they spend a first-round pick on a player they are not sold on?
  • What happens if they fall in love with a potential first-round pick during the process?
  • Can they get the support of Davante Adams that he is proven enough to get him the ball? Can they convince Mark Davis of that?
  • Everyone I have spoken with is doubtful, if not downright convinced there is no quarterback for the Raiders in the first round. As the evaluation process plays out, we will watch it closely.
  • But as one executive said: "Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler aren't dumb. They are solid evaluators and they might like a guy, but they are risk averse, and a first-round pick at quarterback for them at this time, is a major risk."
  • I was told this late on Saturday evening while speaking with someone within the Raiders organization.
  • "Mark (Davis) is angry. Not at the fans, but at the product on the field, and he senses the apathy and frustration of the fans. He is embarrassed, his fuse is going to be real short next year. He wants a splash, and some tangible results."
  • I have reported for weeks that the Raiders want Josh Jacobs back, and he wants to be back.
  • Both parties have publicly shared that sentiment since I broke that.
  • I was told by one high-ranking member of the organization when I asked the percentage chance that Josh Jacobs would be back in Silver and Black next season, and said: "100."
  • The Raiders organization is very optimistic that they will be able to trade Derek Carr rather than release him. Carr has something to gain here in that he has a very favorable contract, and a trade would guarantee that.
  • If, and that is a big if, Carr wanted to play hardball with the Raiders, he certainly could.
  • But at this point (and it can change), all signs point to trade from the Raiders' perspective.
  • But, from the NFL perspective, it is very different. One team executive interested in Carr told me: “Why? Why would anyone pay the Raiders for Carr when you know they have to cut him? I think the market has gone down.”
  • I was the first to report I expect to see Derek Carr in Indianapolis next year. I still do. But one caveat stands out; the Colts are getting a new coach. Will he want Carr?
  • I reported in previous years that multiple teams had made significant offers for Carr.
  • The Colts, as mentioned earlier, who I wrote, offered two first-round picks.
  • Because teams know that the Raiders have to trade Carr or get nothing in exchange, the cost to get Derek Carr has dropped significantly, but that isn’t a sign of Carr’s value, it is a symbol of the place the Raiders have put themselves.

The NFL Scouting Combine is Feb. 28-March 6, 2023, held at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind. March 7, 2023, before 4 p.m. EST is the club's deadline to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 13-15 is the free agent negotiation period. During the time starting at 12 p.m. EST on March 13 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. EST on March 15, clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2022 Player Contracts at 4 p.m. EST on March 15.

The 2023 NFL Year and Free Agency period begins at 4 p.m. EST on March 15. The Raiders are expected to be significant players in the free agent market this season.

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