Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were almost Raiders: Dana White

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Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Almost Were Las Vegas Raiders?

Yes, that’s what UFC President Dana White said Saturday night on “UFC 278 with the Gronks” in an interview with Gronkowski, who, of course, eventually ended up with Brady in Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers in 2021.

Gronkowski introduced the topic to the show, saying that White gave Brady a recruiting pitch when he was a free agent and then asked the head honcho of the UFC “what went wrong” and why Brady didn’t sign with Vegas.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski almost landed with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Getty Images
UFC President Dana White recalled the deal during an interview with Rob Gronkowski on
UFC President Dana White recalled the deal during an interview with Rob Gronkowski on “UFC 278 with the Gronks.”
Zuffa LLC

White seemed reluctant to tell the story: “Am I really telling this story, Rob?” asked White. “Do you want me to tell this story?”

Gronkowski said yes, adding that he “could have been in Vegas for the past three years” with White.

“You would have been,” White said emphatically, and Gronkowski agreed with that assessment.

White said there was one person who blew up the deal: Jon Gruden.

“I’ve been working on getting that deal for Brady and Gronk to come to the Raiders,” said White, who is not affiliated with the Raiders in any official capacity. “It was almost a foregone conclusion. At the last minute, Gruden blew up the deal, saying he didn’t want them.

“All hell broke loose, man. It was crazy,” White said. “Brady was already looking at houses and there was no mention of Gronk coming. So Las Vegas would have had Brady and Gronk the year the Bucs won the Super Bowl, except Gruden blew up the deal. There is so much story that goes with this behind the scenes. … I never intended to tell that story until Gronk just said it.”

Gronkowski backed White’s account, saying this is “exactly what happened”.

Gruden — who resigned from the Raiders last October after it was revealed that he used homophobic and misogynistic language in a series of emails over the course of seven years — and then-general manager Mike Mayock was responsible for all personnel decisions at the time.

Las Vegas fired Mayock in January after three rocky seasons with the team, which compiled a 25-24 record and one playoff appearance. The Raiders are now coached by Josh McDaniels, the Patriots’ longtime offensive coordinator, and their new GM is Dave Ziegler, who was also in the New England organization.

After White told the story, Gronkowski said he was happy how things turned out.

“I’m glad it didn’t go through,” Gronkowski said during the show. “It all worked out, man. I’m glad we went to Tampa, man. It just worked. I like that place.”

Former Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden "blown up" the Brady/Gronkowski deal.
Former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden “blew up” the Brady/Gronkowski deal.
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Seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady, now in his third season with Tampa Bay, signed the Patriots in 2020 after 20 years and six Super Bowl runs with the Buccaneers with coach Bill Belichick. Brady is on organization-approved leave from the Buccaneers to deal with an undisclosed personal matter.

Gronkowski, who had retired for one season, reunited with Brady and won his fourth Super Bowl, all with the surefire Hall of Fame signalman. The tight end announced his retirement for the second time in June.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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