Did former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden nix a deal that would’ve brought Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to the Silver and Black?
Most Raiders fans despise Brady. Obviously, this goes back to the Tuck Rule controversy, which Brady defends to this day. Or perhaps it’s the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots dynasty that he was a part of. They’ve often been referred to as “cheaters,” something that Raider Nation harps on. Regardless, it appears that the UFC’s Dana White, of all people, helped orchestrate a deal to get Brady (and Gronk) to come to the Raiders. While speaking on the Gronks’ broadcast during a UFC event last night, he stated that Gruden “didn’t want him.”
It’s quite an interesting revelation considering it was nearly two years ago since this took place. This story has so many layers to it, including Gruden, Brady, the Raiders, and the fans. First off, there was no way Gruden’s ego would ever let him turn play-calling power over to Brady. Time and time again, Gruden’s stubbornness and ego were the downfalls of the Raiders during his reign. Do folks really believe that Brady was going to run Gruden’s outdated and underwhelming red zone offense? Nope.
As far as the Raiders, the team didn’t have anywhere near the caliber of talent that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had at that time. Especially on defense. Looking back, Brady actually joined a squad that had arguably the best defense in the NFL. The Raiders, on the other hand, had one near the bottom, not to mention a struggling offensive line. The prospects of Brady winning with that particular Raiders team were minimal at best.
Was Tom Brady really considering joining the Jon Gruden-led Raiders?
According to White, Brady was already in the process of looking for a home in Sin City before Gruden backed off. As soon as this revelation came out, the Raiders’ beat writers began chiming in. One, in particular, Vic Tafur of The Athletic, reminded folks that Brady was never really much of an option. In fact, Tafur wrote back then that “my understanding is that it was more about fit than money for Brady, and the Raiders never got that nod from Brady that they were a serious finalist.”
In the end, nothing changed for the Raiders. The team continued on with Derek Carr despite all of the hearsay from that offseason. The Raiders returned to the playoffs last season, and this year they have lofty expectations after acquiring the services of Davante Adams. It was an interesting tidbit by White, but considering where all parties now find themselves at, it seems to just be another fun offseason story and one where Gruden’s detractors are using it to dump on him. Fun times, Raider Nation.
*Top Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images