Oh, what might’ve been for the Las Vegas Raiders. Back in 2020, the organization put a plan in place to land both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, according to UFC president Dana White. Obviously, things didn’t quite go to plan for the Raiders.
White was one of three guests to join ESPN‘s ManningCast on Monday Night Football. That’s when the UFC figure revealed that he was in on the plan to bring the quarterback-tight end combination to Sin City. That is, until someone struck down the idea.
“The deal was in the works for both of those guys to come play for the Raiders,” White said.
Monday was the second time this year White talked about the potential deal to bring Brady and Gronkowski to the Raiders. Back in August, he revealed that former Las Vegas head coach Jon Gruden nixed the idea.
“I worked to put that deal together for Brady and Gronk to come to the Raiders. 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, per FOX News. “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.”
Las Vegas’ loss turned out to be Tampa Bay‘s gain.
Could Tom Brady Return to New England
While we’re on the subject of Tom Brady’s potential landing spots … it sounds like there’s a real chance the star returns to New England to finish his career. That depends on whether or not he wants to return for the 2023 season, though.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic doesn’t believe Brady will return to the Patriots, but also doesn’t rule out the possibility.
“Brady and Bill Belichick still have an abundance of respect for one another,” Howe explained, via CBS News. “They’ve made points to say it publicly on multiple occasions since the QB departed for Tampa. They also spend 23 minutes together in the visiting locker room at Gillette Stadium following Brady’s return in 2021 – an appointment they set up prior to the game. The Patriots are slated to have more than $50 million in cap space in 2023, so they can again address their flaws, this time on the heels of a couple impressive draft classes.”
Brady seems to be enjoying his time in Tampa right now, even if things haven’t gone quite as planned. Even in a disappointing year, the Bucs own a .500 record and sit atop the NFC South standings.
But, if there’s still mutual respect between Brady and Belichick, you never know what could happen.