Jon Gruden Apparently Nixed Brady/Gronk to Las Vegas Raiders

Oh, what might have been. An unusual story from an unusual source started making the rounds in NFL circles late Saturday night. While promoting UFC 278, UFC president Dana White shared with ESPN that he nearly had a deal in place to bring star quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski to the Las Vegas Raiders during the 2020 offseason:

Apparently, Raiders fans have former head coach Jon Gruden's cold feet to thank for blowing up the deal. Rob Gronkowski himself confirmed the story in the above clip before quickly adding he was glad things worked out the way they did. He and Brady, of course, ended up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and immediately righted the pirate ship, winning the 2020 Super Bowl in their first season for a franchise that hadn't made the playoffs in 12 consecutive years.

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Raider fans shouldn't fret. It's unlikely Las Vegas would have had similar success as the Buccaneers. Despite a losing record in 2019, the Bucs had shown promise, sporting a loaded offense that ranked third in scoring and yards. Quarterback Jameis Winston even led the league in passing yards. The glaring problem was turnovers and negative plays: Winston threw a league-high 30 interceptions, the most since Vinny Testaverde in 1988, and added 47 sacks. Brady cut the interceptions down to 12 and the sacks down to 21, added some clutch and cerebral play, and the rest was history.

The Raiders were not so well positioned for a quick turnaround. They were also 7-9 in 2019, but with an offense that ranked 24th in scoring and 11th in yards despite strong play from quarterback from Derek Carr, it's hard to imagine Brady and Gronk could have replicated their storybook season in Las Vegas. The Raiders needed more time. Now, with newly minted head coach Josh McDaniels and All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams in tow, the future looks bright in Vegas. Focus on that, Raider fans. Don't be haunted by what could have been.

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