According to UFC bigwig Dana White, NFL quarterback Tom Brady was once supposed to take his talents to the Las Vegas Raiders. But then-Raiders coach Jon Gruden allegedly botched it, sending Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead and netting the 15x Pro Bowler his seventh Super Bowl championship in Florida. White made the revelation on Saturday night’s UFC 278 with The Gronks.
“I worked to put that deal together, for Brady and [Rob Gronkowski] to come to the Raiders. It was almost a done deal,” White said. “And at the last minute, Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn’t want [Brady]. All hell broke loose, man, and it was crazy!”
White is a proud Sin City resident, and the UFC is also headquartered in Las Vegas. Had Gruden not negatively interfered, White would have successfully secured the arrangement that brought Vegas its first major pro sports championship, too.
“Brady was already looking at houses, and it wasn’t being said yet that Gronk was coming, so Las Vegas would’ve had Brady and Gronk the year that the Bucs won the Super Bowl — except Gruden blew the deal up,” the UFC exec continued. “There’s so much story that goes along with this, behind the scenes, and I was never gonna tell that story until Gronk just said it.”
Chris Maathuis of KLAS-TV followed up with White at the UFC 278 postfight press conference, asking him to elaborate further on the story. “Brady was not happy, and neither was I,” White answered. “And umm, yeah, and that’s that. He went to the Buccaneers and won the Super Bowl.”
One year ago, Brady appeared with LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Kid Cudi, and Draymond Green for a taping of The Shop. The NFL GOAT quarterback was discussing how a number of teams were courting him during his free agency after his departure from the New England Patriots.
But Brady mentioned that a particular organization decided to forgo for another signal caller. And for someone known for his generally cool demeanor, Brady was clearly surprised at the alternative. “One of the teams, they weren’t interested at the very end,” he said. “I was thinking, you’re sticking with that motherf-cker?”
Brady never mentioned the team nor “that motherf*cker,” but many sports analysts and fans were wondering who could get the 45-year-old so ruffled. Well, thanks to Dana White’s comments over the weekend, we can probably figure out who Brady was talking about.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Brady and the Bucs blew out Derek Carr and the Raiders when the teams faced each other in Week 7 of the 2020-2021 NFL season, 45-20.