As part of its UFC 278 coverage, ESPN+ has an alternate stream that features Rob Gronkowski. One guest on the alternate cast just revealed some shocking information about both Gronkowski and longtime teammate Tom Brady.
UFC President Dana White joined the cast, where he revealed that both Brady and Gronkowski almost ended up going to the Las Vegas Raiders instead of ultimately joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.
“I worked to put a deal together for (Tom) Brady and (Rob) Gronkowski to come to the Raiders,” said White. “It was almost a done deal, and at the last minute (Jon) Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn’t want them. Brady was already looking at houses and it wasn’t being said yet that Gronkowski was coming. The Raiders would have had Brady and Gronkowski the year the Bucs won the Super Bowl.”
UFC President Dana White claims he was working on getting Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to the Las Vegas #Raiders in 2020, but Jon Gruden decided in the last minute that he didn’t want to do it.
Gronk: “That’s exactly what’s happened.”pic.twitter.com/clcIFMS0xV
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 21, 2022
It seems to be a true story from White, as Gronkowski then went on to confirm that this was almost a possibility.
Brady and Gronkowski playing for Las Vegas instead of Tampa Bay would have altered the NFL world drastically, and many are shocked to hear that this almost happened.
— Jesse Merrick (@JesseNews3LV) August 21, 2022
Remember those Derek Carr trade rumors to the Bears around that time? 🤔🤔🤔 https://t.co/ujQz1GEhNx
— Brendan Sugrue (@BrendanSugrue) August 21, 2022
So, um, yeah… https://t.co/DuknIaxToY
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) August 21, 2022
I can believe a story where Brady, Gronk and Dana White got together and agreed playing in Vegas is where Brady should be. But that does not seem close to “a deal” being done if the guy in charge said no.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) August 21, 2022
White may be exaggerating how close this deal was to coming to fruition just a bit considering that then coach Jon Gruden wasn’t even on board with the decision, but it certainly makes you wonder, given that Brady was known to pursue a number of different options during the 2020 free agency period.
White is known to have extreme influence in Las Vegas, where the majority of UFC events take place at the UFC Apex, so there certainly could be some real validity to his statement.
History didn’t play out that way, but it certainly makes for an extremely interesting what-if scenario for NFL fans across the country.