Mark Davis is pleading the fifth.

Over the weekend, a fun NFL story leaked out of the “UFC 278 with the Gronks” broadcast, in which UFC head Dana White was a guest and chatted with retired NFL star Rob Gronkowski and his brothers. During the show, White revealed that he almost brokered a deal to send Gronkowski and Tom Brady to the Raiders in the 2020 offseason, only for it to be blown up by then-Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden.

When asked by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Raiders owner Mark Davis claimed not to remember such an interaction.

“I heard about [Dana White’s comments],” Davis told the paper. “That was what — two to three years ago or something? 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? I was busy watching [the Raiders beat Miami 15-13] and the basketball game [Saturday, when the Las Vegas Aces beat the Phoenix Mercury].”

Raiders owner Mark Davis

Brady tested free agency for the first time in his then-20-year career in the 2020 offseason, eventually deciding to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gronkowski, who had played with Brady in New England since 2010, joined him in a trade from the Patriots not long after, and the pair won a Super Bowl their first year in Tampa.

Brady’s free-agency pursuit was highly drawn-out in the weeks leading up to his decision, with a variety of teams, including the Titans and 49ers, reportedly interested in landing the legendary quarterback. But if you believe White — and Gronkowski backed up his story — the Raiders may have come the closest to landing him.

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

Tom Brady
Rob Gronkowski

“All hell broke loose. It was crazy. Brady was already looking at houses, it wasn’t being said that Gronk was coming, so Las Vegas would have had Brady and Gronk the year the Bucs won the Super Bowl. Except Gruden blew the deal up.”

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit from the story is that Gruden didn’t want Brady. The longtime head coach had been given control over the roster during his tenure with the Raiders, but in 2021, an investigation uncovered years of racist and homophobic language that led to the team dismissing Gruden. Essentially, the decision to not bring in a Super Bowl champion came down to a guy who would not be long for the team.

The Raiders will now head into the 2022 season with Derek Carr under center, and coincidentally, a new head coach that also comes from New England in Josh McDaniels. Meanwhile, Tom Brady is set to return to the Bucs after a mysterious absence sidelined him for a chunk of the preseason.