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Dana White reveals he orchestrated deal to bring Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to Las Vegas Raiders but Jon Gruden ‘blew’ it

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

When Tom Brady was looking for a new team to join after his run with the New England Patriots came to an end, UFC president Dana White had a very specific idea in mind.

It turns out White had personally reached out to Brady and future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski to orchestrate deal to bring them to the Las Vegas Raiders as the team prepared to debut in brand new stadium built in Sin City.

According to White, he never intended to reveal his part in the negotiations until Gronkowski prompted him to tell the story during a special UFC 278 broadcast on Saturday night.

“I didn’t want to talk about that, no, but he sort of sucked me into on live TV,” White said at the UFC 278 post-fight press conference. “Yeah, it’s true. 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. That’s that. He went to the [Tampa Bay] Buccaneers and won the Super Bowl. I own a f****** box there [at Allegiant Stadium].”-As White mentioned, Brady ultimately chose Tampa Bay as his landing spot and as a first year quarterback with the team, he led them to a Super Bowl victory. Brady almost did the same thing again in a second season but came up one game short after falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

White was admittedly upset with how the whole thing unfolded, especially after Brady apparently got rather excited about playing in Las Vegas.

“It was almost a done deal and at the last minute [Jon] Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn’t want him and all hell broke loose,” White said. “It was crazy. 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.”

For his part, Gronkowski was the one who brought up the situation while confirming the story was absolutely true as he planned to follow his long time quarterback to the Raiders with hopes of winning another championship together.

“Dana that is exactly what happened and you just told the story,” Gronkowski said. “I’m glad it did not go through. It all worked out for the best. I’m glad we went to Tampa. I love that place.”

In 2020 when Brady and Gronkowski teamed together to help Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl, the Raiders put together an 8-8 resume and missed the playoffs entirely.

The following year, Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders after a number of racist and misogynistic emails surfaced from past conversations. The Raiders went onto a playoff berth without Gruden in charge but ultimately fell to the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in the opening round.

“I own a f****** box there. I wanted Brady at [Allegiant Staidum],” White said. “It’s true and I never thought I would tell that story publicly. I don’t know what the hell Gronk was doing tonight that he brought that up.

“It would have been amazing for the city. It would have been amazing for the Raiders. Their first year there, they’ve got Brady and Gronk. I’m sure [Raiders owner] Mark Davis is real happy to hear this story.”

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