Seth Wickersham and Adam Schefter4 minutes to read
NFL legend Tom Brady is in deep discussions to become a limited partner of… Las Vegas Raiders, sources tell ESPN — likely his second foray partnering with Raiders owner Mark Davis into a professional sports franchise in less than two months.
Discussions between the two sides have been going on for weeks and they could soon reach a solution, but the sources say that it is still a very delicate and smooth negotiation. Brady’s investment is expected to be “passive”, says a source familiar with the situation, and he will have no operating control or power over the club in business or football matters.
The NFL declined to comment. A Raiders spokesperson did not return calls or texts. Brady’s agent, Don Yee, declined to comment.
In late March, Brady announced that he had purchased an interest in the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, a team also primarily owned by Davis.
Even if Brady and Davis were able to agree to terms, at least 24 of the team’s current owners would have to vet and agree to the Brady limited partnership, as would all minority and majority owners.
Brady’s star strength and business acumen, in a city he visits often, is expected to help the club realize the financial potential in the market it has held since his move from Auckland in 2020 – an ironic chapter for the man who helped deliver the Raiders one of the most painful losses in history. Franchise during a game of “Tuck Rule”.
It is believed that Brady’s 10-year, $375 million contract with Fox, which is scheduled to begin in 2024, will not be affected by the investment in the Raiders. A source told ESPN that Fox “blessed” the arrangement. The sources said the league’s policy on team ownership overlapping with media hiring only comes into effect if the owner occupies a position of authority at the media company and could influence broadcast rights negotiations. Fox and the NFL have agreed to an 11-year rights deal in 2021.
This isn’t the first time the seven-time Super Bowl champion has shown interest in owning a minority stake in an NFL franchise. In 2021 and 2022, Brady is reported to be in discussions with the Miami Dolphins about becoming a limited partner. A six-month NFL investigation found that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Vice Chairman/Limited Partner Bruce Bell—a friend of Brady—violated anti-tampering policy in talks with Brady, and the team was stripped out of the first round. Picked in last month’s draft, among other disciplinary actions.
Brady retired at the age of 45 after the 2022 season, his 23rd in the NFL, saying that this time he was done playing “for good.” Although Brady came out of retirement 41 days after the 2021 season to play one final year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he is not expected to try out for the Raiders. Even if he wanted to, the owners would have to agree to his dual role.
In recent years, the Raiders have attempted to replicate some of the success Brady helped inspire in New England, hiring former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their head coach, former Patriots executive Dave Ziegler as their general manager, and former Patriots players such as Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer, and Chandler. Jones, Brandon Bolden, Jacoby Myers, and Philip Dorsett.
But none would draw the attention that Brady would, as he would go on to become the former NFL MVP to become an NFL franchise limited owner.
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