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#pounditMonday, November 28, 2022

Jon Gruden blocked Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski from joining Raiders

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a package deal in 2020, but that apparently only came after Jon Gruden turned away the dynamic duo.

UFC boss Dana White joined “UFC with the Gronks” on Saturday night during the UFC 278 fight card. The program was an alternate broadcast of the UFC pay-per-view card, featuring the Gronkowski brothers commentating (similar to the “Manningcast” for “Monday Night Football”).

During his appearance, White talked about how Gronkowski was set to team up with Brady on the Las Vegas Raiders. White said he was a part of making that deal happen, but then-Raiders coach Jon Gruden blew it all up at the last minute.

“I worked to put that deal together for Brady and Gronk to come to the Raiders,” White recalled. “And it was almost a done deal. And at the last minute, Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn’t want ’em. And all hell broke loose, and it was crazy.

“And Brady was looking at houses … so Las Vegas woulda had Brady and Gronk the year that the Bucs won the Super Bowl, except Gruden blew the deal up. I was never going to tell that story until Gronk just said it.”

White only shared the story after Gronk said on air that he almost spent the last few years with White in Las Vegas, prompting Dana to go into the details about what happened.

What a bombshell.

This all checks out too.

In January 2020, we wrote a story about how Brady attended UFC 246 and was talking with Raiders owner Mark Davis. In that same story, White said it was possible for Brady to join the Raiders, who were moving to Las Vegas that year. Plus, recall that it was the Raiders and Chargers reportedly in the final running to land Brady, who ended up choosing the Bucs.

The Raiders ended up going 8-8 that season, while the Bucs won the Super Bowl. The Raiders went 10-7 last season, but Gruden infamously resigned.

It sure seems like everything worked out well for Brady and Gronk in the end. But this is the latest signal that Tampa Bay hasn’t always been Brady’s No. 1 choice. And it also goes down as yet another bonehead move by Gruden.

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