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Darren Waller Says 'Brady to the Raiders Was a Lock' in 2020, Until Jon Gruden Killed the Idea at the Last Minute

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A while ago, I had the great pleasure of discussing the great examples of The Butterfly Effect with Large on Twisted History:

An assassination plot fails, so one of the co-conspirators grabs lunch, only to walk out of the cafe right into the motorcade of the people he wanted to kill, and sets off World War I. An asshole's crummy paintings get rejected by an Austrian art school, so he and his single testicle start WWII. A mistranslated word leads to the a nuclear bombing. A virus of - ahem - unknown origin spreads, causing the world's economy to shut down. And so on. 

On a slightly lesser scale, there's the seemingly small events that changed the course of world history by producing Tom Brady. Beginning with one particular sperm out of millions fertilizing an egg that began his gestation. Leading up to his inexplicable benchings at Michigan. The 1999 Patriots losing enough free agents to end up with the 199th pick in the 2000 draft. Quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein (RIP) in the Pats war room insisting on Brady over Todd Husak or Tim Rattay. Mo Lewis' hit on Drew Bledsoe. The Tuck Rule being called (correctly) in The Snow Bowl. The rest, as they say, is history. Change any one of these otherwise inconsequential occurrences, and the fate of millions would be vastly different today. 

Though frankly, when you've led an existence of such importance as Brady has, nothing is insignificant. Which is why it comes as no surprise that we're still finding out ways the course of his career changed the course of human events. 

Forbes - Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller was asked the question that is on the mind of everyone in Raiders Nation: Who’s going to quarterback the team in 2023?

“I have no idea,” Waller exclusively shared. “I have no input. So I’m waiting to see what happens just like everyone else.”

The current rumor swirling is that four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be traded to the Raiders. …

Another juicy rumor has circulated that recently-retired Tom Brady was headed to the Raiders for his post-New England Patriots years — instead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — until Jon Gruden prevented the acquisition at the last minute. 

“I’ve heard it from multiple sources that I respect and I’ve been close to,” Waller said. “They’re like, ‘Yeah, Brady to the Raiders was a lock.’”

Oh, the humanity. 

Imagine being a Raiders fan hearing this? It's almost too cruel to be put into words. You were coming off a 7-9 2019 season. Meaning you had the same record as the Buccaneers team Brady ended up leading to a championship after your coach shot down his advances. A few short months later, that coach was forced to resign. Derek Carr, the QB he put is faith in, lasted another season, but is now also gone. And your franchise flailing around, fluttering its collective eyelashes at a 39 year old Aaron Rodgers or wondering whether it's time to draft the next guy. Even as your current head coach Josh McDaniels knows his career is on an egg timer and he can't afford to spend what time he has developing some rookie. All because of one bad decision you'll never be able to go back and undo.

And if you're Gruden, this just has to haunt your every waking step. After 19 years, you could've had the guy who crushed your dreams in the snow globe that was the old Foxboro Stadium. You had a chance for redemption of what you perceive as an injustice at the hands of Walt Coleman. More over, you'd still have your job, because you'd probably have survived the email scandal after resurrecting the Raiders with Brady under center. Instead you spend your days in a court room or listening to depositions, wondering how you can get your reputation and your career back. Sad. Very, very sad. 

And if you're a Buccaneers fan, you know exactly how fortunate you are Gruden dropped the ball like this. In the same way New Englanders have spent 20-plus years being grateful to the teams who took Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmozzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, and Spergon Wynn (I did those from memory and yes, I got them in order) those many years ago. 

That's the nature of the beast. Both in life and in sports. And you can't even say that, unlike the shooting of Archduke Ferdinand and the other examples I mentioned, nobody died. Because Gruden's mistake killed an entire NFL franchise. Possibly for years to come. That's how Butterfly Effects work. 

Hate to see it. But better them than me.

Giphy Images.