With Las Vegas Raiders Ownership News, Tom Brady-Miami Dolphins Partnership Dream Appears Dead

    Tom Brady has long wanted to break into the NFL ownership fraternity. After a failed courtship with the Miami Dolphins, he's moved on to the Las Vegas Raiders.

    Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis appears close to pulling off a feat that Stephen Ross of the Miami Dolphins never could — making Tom Brady part of his ownership team.

    ESPN reported Friday that Brady is in “deep discussions” to become a Raiders limited partner. Brady already has a business arrangement with Davis, owning part of Davis’ Las Vegas-based WNBA team, the Aces.

    While many hurdles still need to be cleared before the recently retired future Hall of Famer has a Raiders ownership stake, Friday’s news had an unmistakable message:

    Brady won’t be joining up with the Dolphins, unless circumstances change dramatically.

    Tom Brady Eyes Partnership With Raiders, Not Dolphins

    It’s a remarkable 180 in the span of a little over a year.

    In late 2021 and into early 2022, Brady and the Dolphins were in secret talks about Brady becoming a limited partner, an executive with the team, and possibly even playing for Miami in 2022 — all the while trying to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a second-straight title.

    That plan might have worked if not for Brian Flores.

    The deposed Dolphins coach aired a dry cleaner’s worth of dirty laundry in a still-ongoing racial discrimination lawsuit. The revelations in Flores’ complaint not only blew up the Brady-to-Miami discussions, it also spurred an NFL tampering investigation.

    That inquiry found “tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the time. “I know of no prior instance of a team violating the prohibition on tampering with both a head coach (Sean Payton) and star player, to the potential detriment of multiple other clubs, over a period of several years. Similarly, I know of no prior instance in which ownership was so directly involved in the violations.”

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    Ross was an integral part in the Dolphins’ courtship with Brady. But he wasn’t the driving force. Rather, it was his longtime business partner and then-Dolphins owner-in-waiting.

    Bruce Beal and Brady have long been close, and their relationship apparently survived the public embarrassment of last year’s investigation. Brady in March posted a picture on social media of him and Beal together on a boat.

    While Beal and Brady remain in touch, it’s unclear how much, if any, sway he still has in the Dolphins organization.

    Last August, it was reported that Ross’ daughter Jennifer, and not Beal, would get the franchise upon the octogenarian’s passing. Miami hasn’t commented on that report, but it is instructive that Beal was not spotted with the Dolphins’ contingency at the NFL annual meeting in March.

    Tom Brady To Join Las Vegas Raiders?

    While the Dolphins got bludgeoned for their improper entanglements, Brady largely skated. He played one final NFL season, and then in February, retired for what insists is good.

    But with the Dolphins no longer a feasible option, Brady surely realized that there were plenty of other owners who would want to add his star power to their organization. And connecting with the Raiders makes sense.

    Beyond his business relationship with Davis, Brady is close with Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, who was his play-caller for much of his time in New England.

    ESPN reports that Brady and Davis have been in talks about bringing Brady aboard “for weeks.”

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    Brady would own a passive stake, and the arrangement would not preclude him from joining the Fox broadcast team in 2024. He has a 10-year, $375 million contract with Fox that will begin next season.

    The Brady-Raiders deal would be subject to scrutiny, however, and would need the consent of three-fourths of the league’s ownership.

    If it gets to that point, it will be very interesting to see how Ross would vote.

    Brady can probably count on the support of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who announced Thursday he is honoring Brady during New England’s Week 1 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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