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Odds emerge for Tom Brady's next team

Cue the wHy aRE YoU tALkiNg AbOUt tOm BrADy? crowd.

Folks who are sick of hearing about players like Brady and Aaron Rodgers refuse to acknowledge that, when they make news, the news must be covered — along with its aftermath.

For Brady, the news is that he dropped a turd in the NFL's punchbowl this week, suggesting he'd be willing to unretire to join a contending team that needs a quarterback late in the 2024 season. He specifically mentioned the Raiders and the Patriots.

His comments have sparked the generation of betting odds, via Covers.com, linking him to specific teams.

The first question, whether he returns at all, is a +1000 proposition. Odds of 10-1 seem right. Given the number of quarterback injuries last year and his overt interest in getting a phone call when it happens again in 2024, a Brady return suddenly isn't a crazy idea.

There also are odds premised on Brady returning. If he does, the favorites are the Raiders, at +125. Next are the Patriots at +300, the Bucs at +500, the 49ers at +900, the Dolphins at +1200, the Jets at +2000, and any other team at +500.

The Raiders and Patriots are low in large part because he mentioned them. They also check two potential boxes — during the 2024 and, possibly, before the 2024 season. That angle, as recently mentioned, can't be ignored. It's possible that he mentioned returning during the 2024 season as a roundabout invitation for any quarterback-needy teams to call him now.

That should get the Broncos on the board as well, given the clear link between Brady and Denver coach Sean Payton. They tried to finagle a path to the Dolphins in 2022, and Miami lost a first-round pick for tampering with them. Now, Brady is a free agent — and the Broncos' QB1 is Jarrett Stidham.

The Vikings also are a possibility, if they don't get a quarterback in round one of the draft. The Giants should be mentioned as well, given the seemingly shaky ground that Daniel Jones occupies.

For the Bucs, 49ers, Dolphins, and Jets, those teams become options only if/when their starters suffer season-ending injuries. Although San Francisco wanted Brady last year, Brock Purdy was recovering from serious elbow surgery. It would be much harder to get Purdy to happily sit down for a season while Brady pursues his eighth ring.

Ultimately, that's what he'll want. With Patrick Mahomes up to three, Brady might want to extend his lead by one more, if he can. The 49ers would give him the best chance to do it. Still, it would be shocking if the 49ers show interest as long as Purdy is healthy.

The whole thing is a little shocking. Brady turns 47 in August. And he's now openly musing about playing again. He will now be the first name that comes up whenever any quarterback is injured.

And it will be extra awkward if that injury happens during a game Brady is calling for Fox.

If he ever does. If someone calls soon and if he accepts an offer to return to the game now, Brady's broadcasting career will be delayed for at least another year.