UFC president Dana White expanded on his story revealing that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski almost struck a deal to join the Las Vegas Raiders.
Ever since the Raiders moved to Las Vegas, there has been plenty of thrilling NFL-UFC crossover — after all, it was none other than Bruce Buffer who officially introduced the Raiders on Monday Night Football last season.
It turns out that there’s plenty of crossing over behind the scenes, too, as Rob Gronkowski recently revealed that he and Tom Brady nearly chose Las Vegas instead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And who was the person working to make the dream a reality? UFC president Dana White, who shared his recruitment story on live television after Gronkowski brought it to light.
Although Gronkowski said he’s happy he went to the Bucs, apparently Brady was “not happy” with the way things went down, according to White.
“Yeah, it’s true,” White affirmed. “I talked Brady into playing for the Raiders, and Gronk was coming with him. And they were negotiating the deal, and they were really close to getting it done, and then Gruden pulled the deal. Brady was not happy about it, and neither was I. And that’s that. He went to the Buccaneers and won a Super Bowl.”
White continued on how disappointed he was that the deal fell through at the last minute.
“I own a f****** box there [at Allegiant Stadium] — I wanted Brady, you know what I mean? Crazy,” White said as reporters laughed. “It would have been amazing for the city and amazing for the Raiders…their first year there, they got Brady and Gronk?”
Tom Brady was “not happy” about failed Raiders deal, and neither was Dana White
It seems that all parties involved were upset when the deal went through, especially because it was at the behest of Jon Gruden, who was fired from the team last season after it was revealed that he used racial and gendered slurs in past emails.
There’s no telling what Brady and Gronk would have accomplished in Las Vegas in 2020 or 2021, but if the two were still there in 2022, they could have been reunited with former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and former teammate Chandler Jones. Also, it’s reasonable to assume that Brady would have brought his recruiting skills to the Bucs after stars like Richard Sherman and Julio Jones admitted that Brady called them and influenced their respective decisions.
Gronk can laugh about it now, but White and Las Vegas lost out on the opportunity of a lifetime — or at least a very sure bet on a Super Bowl win.