In what feels like a never-ending nightmare, Las Vegas Raiders fans got some insight into what their team almost looked like during the 2020 season. During Saturday night’s UFC 278 PPV, Dana White joined the “Gronkcast” (Rob Gronkowski and family) and was coerced by Rob into telling the story of how he and Tom Brady nearly ended up playing for the Raiders in 2020.
For brokering this kind of deal, indeed, there would’ve been tremendous perks attached for White, but hearing this news and what could’ve been for Raiders fans is like a shot to the gut. Brady wearing black and silver, playing for the team Al Davis put on the map with their outlaw reputation would have been something.
Imagine Tom Brady at quarterback with two Pro Bowl tight ends in Gronkowski and Darren Waller like he had in New England a decade ago. Gronk and Aaron Hernandez gave the Patriots one of the most dynamic offenses of the early 2010s. Most safeties and linebackers couldn’t guard either guy. This is the same advantage the Raiders missed by not going through with the deal.
Had former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden not “blown that deal up,” the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wouldn’t have celebrated the franchise’s second Super Bowl victory at the end of that season. I’m not saying Las Vegas wins the Super Bowl for sure, but with Brady leading the way with two huge targets at TE, there’s no doubt they would have been in contention in the AFC.
Now things are finally adding up. Brady was on LeBron James’ “The Shop” after winning the championship in Tampa and talked about the previous year when he was deciding where he’d play after leaving New England. Shocked that one specific team was no longer interested in his services Brady used the line, “You’re going to stick with THAT (bleep-bleeper)?”
We now know the team, and the M’fer Brady refers to Derek Carr. Of course, anyone in their right mind would jump at the opportunity to coach not only Brady but Gronk also. For Gruden, to nix, this deal at the last minute sounds absurd.
The history between Brady and the Raiders hasn’t been forgotten, so there probably would’ve been some older fans of the team that wanted no part of Tom. On the other hand, Gruden was running the organization at this point and frankly made a bad business decision. Las Vegas finished the 2020 campaign 8-8, missing the postseason for the fourth consecutive year.
Tampa ended that season with 11 wins and went on to win the Super Bowl in Brady’s first year in the NFC. Carr is a good NFL QB, but if you have the chance to acquire the GOAT, that’s something you need to do no matter how much you might love the former. Plus, the Raiders would get the player many consider the GOAT TE (Gronk) with Tom in the deal. C’mon man.
It’s crazy to think about what should’ve been for one of the most loyal fan bases in the NFL.