In an alternate universe, Tom Brady would be suiting up for the Las Vegas Raiders and still throwing footballs to the recently-retired Rob Gronkowski.
At the very least, UFC President Dana White and Gronkowki himself believe that it was nearly a done deal back in 2020 before then-Raiders head coach Jon Gruden blew the deal up.
White appeared UFC 278 with the Gronks Saturday evening during the big event. The UFC head indicated that he worked to get both Brady and Gronk to Las Vegas once the former opted to leave the New England Patriots back in 2020. White claims that the deal was as good as done before Gruden pulled out at the last second. “That’s exactly what happened,” Gronkowski responded.
There’s a whole lot to look at here. Brady was indeed interested in joining the Raiders during the spring of 2020. Nothing came to fruition on that end with the seven-time Super Bowl champion ultimately landing with the Buccaneers. Gronkowski followed him to Florida a short while later.
At about the same time, Brady pointed to a team that decided against chasing after him — attacking the incumbent quarterback in the process.
Obviously, it’s conjecture. We have no idea who Brady was talking about. Initially, some believed it was Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. Now, we’re not too sure.
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Just imagine Tom Brady playing for the Las Vegas Raiders
Things would’ve turned upside down around the NFL. Derek Carr would be on another team rather than just recently signing an extension with the Raiders.
Meanwhile, Brady himself would likely be playing under his former Patriots offensive coordinator in that of new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. Remember, Gruden was forced to resign in disgrace last season after an email scandal surfaced.
As it stands, Brady is coming off a tremendous two-year run with the Buccaneers and opted to return for the 2022 season despite a brief retirement.
- Tom Brady stats (2020-21): 67% completion, 9,949 yards, 83 TD, 24 INT, 102.1 QB rating
One could say things worked out for both sides. Las Vegas looks to be a legit contender in the AFC West with Carr under center. Tampa Bay is right there as one of the top Super Bowl favorites as Brady prepares for his 23rd season in the NFL.
Either way, it’s crazy to think about what could have been if Gruden didn’t reportedly blow the entire thing up.