Tom Brady has been out of the NFL for a little over three months, but that's all the time he needed to take a shot at joining the NFL's ownership class.
According to Seth Wickersham and Adam Schefter of ESPN, the former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is in "deep discussions" with Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis to buy into the franchise and become a limited partner.
NFL legend Tom Brady is in deep discussions to become a limited partner of the Las Vegas Raiders, sources tell ESPN’s @SethWickersham and me, potentially his second foray into a partnership with Raiders’ owner Mark Davis on a professional sports franchise in less than two months. pic.twitter.com/pVnxqwTrGT
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 12, 2023
Wickersham and Schefter reported that discussions have been happening for weeks and that a resolution is in sight. However, sources told them it's "still an extremely sensitive and fluid negotiation."
Brady, who retired in February after 23 years in the NFL, is already the part-owner of another Davis franchise, the Las Vegas Aces. Brady acquired a minority stake in the WNBA team in March, less than six months after they won their first WNBA title.
Acquiring an ownership stake in an NFL team has been one of Brady's goals for awhile. He tried buying into the Miami Dolphins just a few years ago, but the team was stripped of its first-round pick in the recent draft after an NFL investigation found that owner Stephen Ross and another team executive had violated tampering rules by talking with Brady.
If Brady and Davis come to terms on a minority partner agreement, 75% of NFL owners would have to approve it before it becomes final.
Brady is (almost certainly) permanently retired
Brady originally retired in Feb. 2022, but changed his mind just two months later and returned to the NFL for the season. When he retired again in Feb. 2023, people were understandably skeptical. Brady said it was for good this time, but it was hard to believe a guy who had changed his mind about the exact same decision just one year earlier.
But this time, it appears Brady really is done for good. Not only are the Patriots honoring him at Gillette Stadium in Week 1 (when he'd be busy playing if he was planning to return to the NFL), but now he's reportedly in talks to acquire a minor stake in an NFL team. As Fox Sports' Greg Auman pointed out, the NFL doesn't allow a player to own part of one team and play for another.
The NFL does not allow a player to have an ownership stake in one NFL team and play for another. For someone to have an ownership stake in a team and also play for that same team would require a three-quarters vote by the league's 32 owners. https://t.co/BWRhDZH6p1
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 12, 2023
Brady also can't just suit up for the Raiders if Jimmy Garoppolo goes down during the season. The only way he could do that is if 75% of NFL owners agreed to it in a vote.
So it really, truly seems that Brady is done playing for good. Though no one can be blamed for waiting until the very end of the 2023 season to fully believe that.