UFC president Dana White decided to randomly drop a bombshell news story when he revealed that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were ready to join the Las Vegas Raiders before Jon Gruden pulled the deal. It wasn’t the first time the legendary quarterback was linked to the Raiders but it was the first time anything was confirmed. We’ll likely never get Gruden’s side of the story but it’s certainly a fascinating “what-if” situation.
Las Vegas has committed to Derek Carr with a new contract this offseason and he appears to be the quarterback going forward. Though Brady won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s fair to question if he would’ve had the same success with the Raiders. Owner Mark Davis has been seen hanging out with Brady at events in las Vegas in the past which only added to the speculation.
He had a chance to address the rumor that White dropped and played coy.
“I heard about (White’s comments),” Davis told Ed Graney and Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “That was what — two to three years ago or something? I don’t know, man. Talk to Dana. I remember that Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay. That’s basically what I remember.
“I have no idea. Dana has the stories. I love Dana. He is a great, great promoter. Why would this make me upset? I was busy watching (the Raiders beat Miami 15-13) and the basketball game (Saturday).”
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How Much Truth Is There to White’s Claim?
It’s pretty safe to say that there’s a lot of truth to White’s claim about Brady and Gronkowski. The whole conversation was spearheaded by the star tight end. If anybody would know what’s true, it would be Gronkowski. However, it remains to be seen how interested the Raiders truly were.
It sounds like Brady was sold on joining the team but the fact that Gruden pulled out is telling. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic in a report from 2020, the Raiders were interested in Brady but didn’t want to pay him $25 million a year. Money could simply be the reason why Gruden didn’t want the future Hall of Famer.
Did Gruden Make a Mistake?
If the scenario is that had the Raiders signed Brady, they would’ve won a Super Bowl in 2020, then they clearly made a mistake. Derek Carr is a very good quarterback but the team hasn’t come close to a Super Bowl in a long time. However, it’s a stretch to suggest that Brady was the only missing ingredient for a Super Bowl team.
Heading into 2020, the Raiders had a mediocre wide receiver group and their defense was one of the worst in the NFL. The Buccaneers’ roster was much further along. If Brady came to the Raiders and they didn’t win a Super Bowl, they would’ve moved off a much younger quarterback in Carr just for a couple of years of Brady. While many will say Gruden dropped the ball by not bringing in the legendary quarterback, there is an argument to make that it was the right call in the long run.
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