Source: Mark Davis knew Dana White was working a deal with Tom Brady
On Saturday night, UFC president Dana White admitted that he’d brokered a deal for quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski to join the Raiders. On Sunday, Raiders owner Mark Davis took a page from the Sgt. Schultz playbook, claiming ignorance about the situation.
“That was what — two to three years ago or something?” Davis said. “I don’t know, man. Talk to Dana. I remember that Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay. That’s basically what I remember. I have no idea. Dana has the stories. I love Dana. He is a great, great promoter. Why would this make me upset?”
A source with knowledge of the situation has offered to refresh the memory of Mark Davis. Per the source, Davis knew exactly what was happening. White brokered the deal with both sides -- Brady and the Raiders. Davis, per the source, wanted it to happen, at least as it related to Brady. (And, presumably, as to Gronk.) But, as White said, coach Jon Gruden decided at the last minute to kill the deal.
And Brady was ready to go. He was, per the source, going to do it. But for Gruden bowing out, Brady would have been a Raider.
White acted as the intermediary, the source explained. Similar to the manner in which Bruce Beal served as the one who was trying to get Brady to Miami to play for Stephen Ross, White served as the man who was trying to get Brady to Las Vegas to play for Mark Davis.
Obviously, Davis can’t admit that, not after the NFL recently whacked Ross for tampering with Brady, and after the Commissioner admonished the owners about tampering and tanking. Davis also has no reason to confirm that he was ready to throw current starting quarterback Derek Carr overboard for Brady.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Davis tried. Late in the 2017 season, while Davis had a head coach in Jack Del Rio, Davis worked behind the scenes to hire Jon Gruden -- before firing Del Rio.
No one knows what the Raiders would have done in 2020 with Brady at quarterback. But it’s safe to say the Buccaneers wouldn’t have made it to the Super Bowl and wouldn’t have won it without Brady at quarterback. Which indeed, as Dana White said, came very close to happening.
There’s simply no way it gets that close without the guy who would have been paying Brady fully aware of the situation.