Prior to Tom Brady signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, there were rumors galore of where he might end up. The Las Vegas Raiders were among the teams linked to the quarterback prior to the signing. He was seen chatting with owner Mark Davis at a UFC event and was even rumored to have purchased a home in Las Vegas.
Despite all the smoke surrounding Brady and the Raiders, the team didn’t end up making him an offer and stuck with Derek Carr. Considering Carr was handed a three-year contract extension this offseason, the team doesn’t appear upset with their decision. However, the team could look quite different right now.
UFC president Dana White has talked quite a bit about how he wanted Brady on the Raiders. The lifelong New England Patriots fan has his roots in Las Vegas now and would’ve loved to see his favorite quarterback playing in his city. According to White during UFC 278’s broadcast, Brady actually had a deal done to sign with the Raiders. Not only that, but five-time Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski was going to come with him. Brady was even in the process of searching for a new house, per White. The UFC president saws that former head coach Jon Gruden was responsible for blowing up the deal.
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Is What White Saying True?
This is some bombshell information for White to drop during a UFC event. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Brady did like the Raiders and would’ve considered signing with them in 2020. It’s not a huge stretch to suggest that there may have been some mutual interest. Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and has proven he still has plenty left in the tank.
What White is saying is certainly believable. Gruden was very hot and cold with Carr and the idea of coaching Brady had to be appealing. It certainly would’ve sped up the Raiders’ rebuild. Partnering Gronkowski with Darren Waller would’ve given the Raiders the best tight end duo in the NFL. Though the team ultimately decided to stick with Carr, it’s looking like there were some flirtations with Brady.
Could Brady Still Be a Raider?
Brady is 45 now and already retired once this offseason. He’s clearly getting towards the end of his career but he’s yet to show signs of slowing down on the field. It appears the mental side of the game is catching up with him. This could be his last year with the Buccaneers regardless of if he continues playing.
If Brady decides to test free agency again next offseason, things could get interesting. The Raiders hired his longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels this offseason. The two are close friends. Las Vegas could easily trade Carr this offseason if they decide they want Brady. It’s a highly unlikely scenario considering Brady will be 46 but wilder things have happened. It’s certainly a situation to watch.