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Chris Simms Has Theory on Why Jon Gruden Reportedly Passed on Tom Brady

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski’s near-relocation to Las Vegas in 2020 has been the talk of the NFL world in recent days, with many mocking Raiders coach Jon Gruden for his decision to pass on the two legends. 

One former NFL quarterback may have some insight into Gruden’s thinking. Former Buccaneers quarterback and current NBC analyst Chris Simms explained what he assumed was Gruden’s reasoning on Wednesday, noting the coach “didn’t want to deal with the pressure of Tom Brady.”

“(Gruden) didn’t want to deal with the pressure of Tom Brady,” Simms said on NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk Live. “He wasn’t going to have excuses to get out of that one, in case things didn’t work. He couldn’t blame Tom Brady if the offense didn’t work. He would lose control a little bit, too, because Brady was going to be able to talk to (Raiders owner) Mark Davis. ‘I want this.’ That’s where I find it fascinating.“

We may never know if Simms’s explanation is true, though whatever Gruden’s reasoning, the decision doesn’t look like the right one in retrospect. Brady led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win over the Chiefs in 2021, and he’s tallied 83 touchdowns across two seasons in Tampa. 

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