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You Won’t Be Rid Of Tom Brady That Easily

10:48 AM EDT on May 28, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 31: Tom Brady attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “80 For Brady” presented by Smirnoff ICE at the Regency Village Theatre on January 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

You are forgiven for suspecting more vehemently than ever that Tom Brady is going to unretire from football yet again, and your heart is thus forgiven for falling into your stomach. Your conspiratorial Spidey Sense is hissing like an old microwave, and you realize that even if Brady's decision to retire from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, sign a nine-figure yap-flappers' contract with Fox's NFL package, and work his way into a piece of the ownership of the Las Vegas Raiders is all just serendipitous, nothing with Brady is ever viewed as merely happy coincidence.

Friday's reveal that Jimmy Garoppolo's papier-mache foot was operated upon back in March rendered him eternally day-to-day as the Raiders' quarterback, followed by Saturday's other shoe that Garoppolo's contract with the Raiders has multiple voidable outs based on the results of that surgery. In other words, if he is as damaged a set of goods as his X-rays say he could be, well, yeah, that vulture on the roof of the training camp headquarters is indeed Brady, and that's not his beak holding some desperately writhing animal, it's his lipless maniacal smile. Fox? Those goofs will wait. Ownership? Quarterback rooms are more fun and involve more interesting people, though are more poorly catered. Besides, he'll always have that share of the team anyway.

See, Brady is one of those annoyingly fortunate bastards who always wins, even if we aren't always sure what the game is. He is fortunate because he has the insider knowledge that nobody can say no to him no matter what he asks for, demands, or has thrust upon him because in a culture inordinately driven by imagery, he's the only Brady there is. And let's be honest here: The Raiders need Brady in whatever way they can get him, especially in his original role.

So as we learn more Garoppolo's pending turn as a potential pirate impersonator, we are drawn to the irresistible one-plus-one-equals-whatever-the-hell-we-want-it-to-be conclusion that Brady has been brought to spiff up either the ownership suite or the locker room, and maybe both. Yes, there is the added complication that the other 24 owners must approve Brady's ownership stake, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Vincent Bonsignore, and there are complications involved with him being approved and then greenlighted to play again. After all, Mark Davis is the cash-poorest owner in the league and his 31 financial superiors owe him nothing, let alone owe him a Hall of Fame quarterback in the latter half of his forties.

But let's just play along anyway, because it's Brady, the photo of Dorian Gray that keeps turning up over the mantelpiece no matter how many times you put it back in the garage. He's coming back, not because it's logical, sensible, or even feasible, but because you can't make up a decent rumor this offseason without him. He is the needle nobody wants to take to the exchange, and the Raiders are still the likeliest looking vein.

Or maybe you'd rather have Brian Hoyer, Chase Garbers, or Aidan O'Connell. The choice, no matter how fantastically absurd, is yours. Or, to be honest, Brady's. It's always Brady's.

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