NFL insider Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated explained for a piece published Friday afternoon how former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wanting to become a limited partner of the Las Vegas Raiders could result in the Raiders hiring former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel as their new head coach this winter.
“Brady and Vrabel were very close over eight years as teammates and have maintained a relationship since,” Breer noted. “Brady’s respect for Vrabel would likely put him at the top of any list he’d give (Raiders owner Mark Davis). And the Raiders, of course, could offer Vrabel a roster that got to 8–9 despite all the tumult this season…”
Vrabel earned three Super Bowl rings playing for the Patriots from 2001 through the 2008 season and was repeatedly mentioned as a possible replacement for Bill Belichick before Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft announced on Thursday that they had mutually agreed to part ways. After the Patriots officially promoted linebackers coach Jerod Mayo to the role of head coach on Friday, Breer wrote that he doesn’t “think it was a sure thing that New England would have been (Vrabel’s) first choice for a variety of reasons,” specifically that “there is something tying Vrabel to another job—a tie that’s probably stronger than any he has left in Foxborough.”
For what it’s worth, Raiders players such as All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby have publicly campaigned for Davis to name interim head coach Antonio Pierce the team’s full-time head coach. Davis seems in no rush to make that call and Pierce is taking interviews elsewhere.
Breer suggested that Brady will have Davis’ ear regarding football matters such as the hiring of a coach assuming owners eventually approve TB12 buying a minority interest in the Raiders. Vrabel went 54-45 across six regular seasons with the Titans and won the Associated Press Coach of the Year Award for the 2021 season.
“The Brady-Vrabel link is definitely worth keeping an eye on,” Breer concluded.