Report: Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Almost Joined the Raiders in 2020

UFC's Dana White says he put the deal together

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady looks for an open receiver during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp.
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tom Brady’s departure from the New England Patriots for Tampa Bay in 2020 felt like a seismic shift in the NFL’s power dynamics. The idea of Brady going anywhere else seemed virtually unthinkable; that Brady used the opportunity to reconnect with several of his former teammates, including Rob Gronkowski — who unretired for the occasion.

But to hear UFC President Dana White tell it, Brady and Gronkowski almost ended up heading to a very different pirate-themed NFL team — the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mike Florio at ProFootballTall has more details on White’s claim, which took place on a “GronkCast” event prior to last night’s UFC event. White said that he worked to put the deal together, but it ended up falling apart after then-Raiders coach Jon Gruden nixed the plan. (White’s specific phrasing was that Gruden “blew the deal up.”)

“All hell broke loose,” White said of the aftermath of the deal. “Brady was looking at houses.”

Gronkowski appeared to confirm the details of White’s story, saying, “That’s exactly what happened.” He went on to say that he was glad, in retrospect, that the planned move to Las Vegas hadn’t gone through, given how his and Brady’s move to Tampa Bay had gone.

It does make you wonder what might have been, though. Given how Gruden’s time with the Raiders ended, however, the way things played out in reality were probably the best outcome for Brady and Gronkowski.

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