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NFL source: Tom Brady in talks to buy share of Raiders

Updated May 12, 2023 - 8:00 pm

Tom Brady might be coming on board with the Raiders after all. Only not as their quarterback, a possibility that has been speculated about for a few years now.

No, the retired seven-time Super Bowl champion has his eye on something even bigger than lining up behind center for the Silver and Black.

According to a league source, Brady and Raiders owner Mark Davis are in talks on a deal that would lead to Brady purchasing a stake in the Raiders and becoming a limited partner of the club.

The possibility of a deal was first reported by ESPN.

If it comes to fruition, it will be the second time Davis and Brady teamed up on an ownership level with one of the professional teams Davis owns. Brady recently purchased a stake in Davis’ WNBA Las Vegas Aces.

Their Aces partnership appears to have lit a fuse that could lead to an even deeper relationship. Davis hinted at that possibility last month at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix when he spoke about his admiration for Brady and his vision for the future together.

“I hope for a long-term relationship in a number of things,” Davis said at the time. “He’s a unique individual.”

The Raiders did not respond to a request for comment, and an NFL spokesman deferred to the Raiders on the matter.

No details of the deal were disclosed, and it is not yet known how much of a stake Brady is seeking to purchase or if he is doing this solo or with a group of investors.

The Raiders were valued at $5.1 billion in 2022, so any percentage of the team would come at a considerable cost. For instance, even a one percent purchase would come in at more than $50 million.

If the deal is completed, Brady is not expected to have any operational control over the football program.

An industry source said on Friday the deal could be on a fast track in order to be completed by the time NFL owners gather for their next league meetings later this month. As is the case with any sale of this nature, fellow owners would have to approve the transaction.

The source also speculated that Brady’s star power could be an allure for Davis and the Raiders as they continue to acclimate to their new home in Las Vegas.

That dynamic was part of the motivation for Davis to recently explore bringing on former NBA star Magic Johnson as a limited owner. Davis and Johnson had lengthy talks, but Johnson is now part of a group that is buying the Washington Commanders.

This isn’t the first time Brady has explored investing in an NFL team. Two years ago he was reportedly in talks about becoming a limited partner of the Miami Dolphins.

Brady was still under contract with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the time, and a subsequent investigation by the NFL determined those conversations violated the league’s anti-tampering rules. The Dolphins were subsequently stripped of a first-round pick in last month’s draft and a third-round pick in next year’s draft.

As an officially retired player, Brady is free to pursue ownership opportunities now, though.

However, an ownership stake in the Raiders does raise questions about the conflict of interest his role with the club would have on his broadcasting career, which is slated to begin next year as part of the 10-year, $375 million contract he signed with Fox.

According to an ESPN report, Fox has “blessed” the possibility of Brady having an ownership role. It would not be the first time a network created leeway in this type of situation.

Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, for instance, was a partial owner of the Sacramento Kings for multiple years while working as a studio analyst on TNT’s NBA coverage. O’Neal recently sold his stake in the Kings to pursue business interests in the sports gambling space.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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