Mon. Feb 6th, 2023

With Tom Brady returning to practice on Monday after 11 days off, you’d think that’s the Brady story that everyone would be talking about this week, but instead, there’s actually a crazier one and it involves the seven-time Super Bowl winner almost signing with the Raiders. 

UFC president Dana White dropped a bombshell over the weekend when he revealed that Brady to the Raiders was nearly a done deal in 2020 before Jon Gruden ultimately decided to nix things at the last second. 

If anyone should know about how close this deal came to happening, it’s Raiders owner Mark Davis, who would have had to sign off on it. Davis was asked about the Brady speculation over the weekend and he basically did his best to duck the question. 

“I heard about (White’s comments),” Davis said, via 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.”

If the Raiders didn’t go after Brady, you’d think Davis would simply say “NO, we didn’t go after Brady,” but since he didn’t say that, it feels like White’s story almost certainly has some truth to it. Davis had a chance to deny everything, but instead, he danced around the question. 

According to Pro Football Talk, Davis definitely knew that the Raiders were talking to Brady, so apparently, he just decided to play dumb when he was asked about it. After watching the Dolphins get penalized for tampering, it makes sense for Davis to pretend like he had no idea what was going on, especially if the Raiders started talking to Brady before he was officially a free agent. 

As for White, he revealed the details of the Brady situation when he joined Rob Gronkowski for an interview during the first ever UFC GronkCast on Saturday (Gronk and his family will apparently now be GronkCasting during certain UFC fights, so be on the lookout for that). 

“It was almost a done deal, and at the last minute, Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn’t want him, and all hell broke loose,” White said. ‘It was crazy. Brady was already looking at houses. 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.” 

As Davis said, White “has the stories,” so if White was the only source for this crazy story, most people would probably have a tough time believing it, but Gronk actually confirmed the details. 

“That is exactly what happened,” Gronk said after White finished telling the story. 

After the UFC fight was finished, White was once again asked about the Brady thing and he explained that he never planned to tell the story, but that Gronk was able to coax it out of him on the GronkCast .

“I didn’t want to talk about that, but (Gronkowski) sort of sucked me into it on live TV,” White said. “It’s true. I talked Brady into playing for the Raiders, and Gronk was coming with him. They were negotiating the deal, and they were really close to getting it done. Then Gruden pulled the deal, and Brady was not happy about it. Neither was I. And that’s that. I own a box (at Allegiant Stadium). I wanted Brady to play there, you know? But, yeah, it’s true. And I thought I would never tell that story publicly, but I don’t know what the hell Gronk was doing tonight that he brought that up.”

The craziest part of all this is that it now seems like the Buccaneers were Brady’s FOURTH OPTION during his free agency tour in 2020. Based on reporting over the past two years, it seems that Brady was eyeing the Dolphins, Raiders and 49ers before he eventually signed with Tampa Bay. 

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