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Dana White claims Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to Raiders was “almost a done deal” in 2020

As Tom Brady's preseason absence continues, Mike Florio and Charean Williams question his silence and discuss how it's impacting the Buccaneers.

No, the Dolphins and the Buccaneers weren’t the only teams tampering with Tom Brady in 2020. The Raiders apparently were, too. Along with Rob Gronkowski.

In the first-ever “GronkCast” conducted in connection with a UFC event, UFC president Dana White boasted that he’d brokered a deal for Brady and Gronk to go to the Raiders -- but that former Raiders coach Jon Gruden put the kibosh on it.

“I worked to put that deal together for Brady and Gronk to come to the Raiders,” White said. “And it was almost a one deal. And at the last minute, Gruden blew the deal up and said that he didn’t want [Brady]. And all hell broke loose, man. It was crazy and Brady was already looking at houses, and it wasn’t being said yet that Gronk was coming. So Las Vegas would have have Brady and Gronk the year that the Bucs won the Super Bowl, except Gruden blew the deal up.”

Gronkowski confirmed White’s story. (And, inevitably, Gronk will claim he was just kidding around.)

“That’s exactly what happened,” he said to White, “and you just told the story.”

As to Gronk, who said he was glad it the deal to the Raiders didn’t go through, it was clearly tampering, if it happened. He was on New England’s reserve/retired list, preventing any team from talking to him without New England’s express permission.

As to Brady, who became a free agent at the outset of the league year in March 2020, the conversations likely happened before the official moment at which other teams could talk to him, because by the time that moment arrived, he had a deal in place with the Bucs.

The exchange proves that tampering does indeed happen, all the time. It happened with Brady, and multiple teams did it. It happened with Gronk. And it almost resulted in Brady and Gronk playing for the Raiders, if Gruden had opted to go along with the plans Dana White had put in motion.