Did the free-agent courtship of Tom Brady start last weekend in Las Vegas at UFC 246?
The quarterback, who heads into the offseason without a contract for the first time in his 20-year career, was spotted talking with Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis on Saturday.
While there were several NFL stars in attendance, including Christian McCaffrey, Myles Garrett, and Baker Mayfield, the fact that Brady spent time chatting up an NFL owner drew the attention of several people, including UFC president and Massachusetts native Dana White.
“If that dude isn’t playing for Boston, he’s playing here,” White said of Brady when asked at a postfight press conference.
“I don’t know — I have no [expletive] idea what I am talking about,” White added.
Earlier this month, Patriots owner Robert Kraft told Peter King they’d like to have the quarterback return for another year.
“I just hope and pray we fit into his plans,” Kraft told King.
As for Brady-to-the-Raiders, the biggest question could be the financials: Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr is signed for three more seasons, and it’s unclear what sort of financial commitment they could make to Brady.
For what it’s worth, Raiders coach Jon Gruden sounded decidedly lukewarm on Carr at the end of this past season.
“He played good. I’m not going to get all the next-year scenarios,” Gruden told reporters who asked about Carr’s future. “I’m just going to say that 7-9 is a step forward. Statistically, we took a step forward. We have to get a lot of guys healthy, and we have a lot of things to look at and to evaluate before we start making any assumptions.”
Follow Christopher Price @cpriceglobe.