Tom Brady awaits the NFL owners’ vote that will allow him to become the newest minority stakeholder in the Las Vegas Raiders, but there is one unofficial box he’ll need to check.
At least Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels thinks so.
The “Tuck Rule” originated on an infamous play during an AFC divisional-round game Jan. 19, 2002, between Brady’s New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.
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McDaniels suggested Brady must admit it was a fumble before officially owning part of the franchise.
“One hundred percent. No question,” McDaniels said via Pro Football Talk.
Raiders legend Charles Woodson sacked Brady in that game, forcing Brady to fumble, and it was recovered by Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert. With the Raiders up 13-10 in the snowy game, it was all but sealed they would be facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game.
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However, NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2, which has since been called the “Tuck Rule,” changed everything. It stated that any intentional forward movement of the arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it toward the body.
That’s the key here. Brady was attempting to tuck the ball as his arm was moving forward, recognizing that Woodson was about to hit him. If he tucked the ball to the body cleanly, and then Woodson knocked it out, it would’ve been a fumble.
Instead, the Patriots maintained possession and tied the game with a field goal to force overtime. Brady ended up charging his team down the field in overtime, and Adam Vinatieri kicked a game-winning field goal to advance the Patriots and end the Raiders’ Super Bowl hopes.
The Patriots won the Super Bowl that year and the Brady-Bill Belichick dynasty officially began, though the Raiders faithful never forgot what they believed should have been a fumble.
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The “Tuck Rule” is no longer in the NFL. Teams voted 29-1 in 2013 to abolish it. The Steelers were the only team to vote against the abolition of the rule.
McDaniels was a beneficiary of Brady’s excellence during his time as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. He’s excited Brady has shown interest to be a stakeholder in the Raiders.
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“I think everybody knows how I feel about Tom the person,” McDaniels explained. “So, if that comes to fruition, obviously I’ll be incredibly excited about just him being somebody that’s in Raider Nation and has a vested interest in us doing as well as we can do in trying to bring a championship football team here to Vegas.”