Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski were about to come to Raiders before Jon Gruden nixed it, UFC’s Dana White says


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Tom Brady’s decision to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after building a dynasty with the New England Patriots in 2020 shocked the football world.

Brady was rumored to have drawn interest from the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints while he was a free agent but ended up joining the Buccaneers. The Raiders had Derek Carr as their starting quarterback and the Saints had Drew Brees, who was about to play one final season.

UFC president Dana White revealed Saturday there were plans to bring Brady and Rob Gronkowski to the Raiders.

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Tom Brady poses for a photo with UFC president Dana White during the UFC 246 event at T-Mobile Arena on Jan. 18, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After UFC 278, White joined ESPN’s “GronkCast” and revealed the talks. He said former head coach Jon Gruden nixed the plan.

“I worked to put that deal together for Brady and Gronk to come to the Raiders. And it was almost a done deal. And at the last minute, Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn’t want [Brady],” White said. “And all hell broke loose, man. It was crazy and Brady was already looking at houses, and it wasn’t being said yet that Gronk was coming. So Las Vegas would have had Brady and Gronk the year that the Bucs won the Super Bowl, except Gruden blew the deal up.”

Quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws against the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on Oct. 25, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws against the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on Oct. 25, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

White said more happened behind the scenes, but he had no plans of telling the story until Gronkowski mentioned it.

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Gronkowski said he was happy it didn’t work out and was happy to get traded to the Buccaneers from the Patriots and come out of retirement.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during warmups before the Raiders game on Oct. 25, 2020, in Las Vegas.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during warmups before the Raiders game on Oct. 25, 2020, in Las Vegas.
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in 2020. Gruden resigned from the Raiders after emails were leaked showing the coach used homophobic and misogynistic language in 2011.

The Miami Dolphins also had plans to pursue Brady and Saints coach Sean Payton. The NFL found Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross had “impermissible communications” with Brady and Payton.

The Boston Globe and Pro Football Talk reported earlier this year there was a master plan to make Brady a high-ranking team executive when he stepped away from the Buccaneers in February and pursue his contractual rights from Tampa Bay and later lure him out of retirement. The team also had plans to make Payton their head coach when he stepped away from the Saints, according to the reports.

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But the plan was seemingly shut down as Brian Flores launched his lawsuit against the Dolphins on the same day Brady’s announcement came out. Brady would return in March.



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