Tom Brady may become an NFL owner before he calls a game for Fox.
The all-time great quarterback is in “deep discussions” to become a limited partner for the Raiders, according to ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and Adam Schefter. Brady’s investment is supposed to be “passive,” and he isn’t expected to have operational or football control over the club.
There has been widespread skepticism about whether Brady will actually step into the booth and call an NFL game for Fox. Despite inking a 10-year, $375 million deal with the network, Brady may not be up for the task.
Last week, New York Post media reporter Andrew Marchand put the odds of Brady calling a game for Fox at 51-49. “It was at 51 percent that he’s going to do it to 49 percent, with the reasoning it’s so much money he’ll try it for a year,” Marchand said. “However, I’ve talked to a couple people recently close to Brady and I kind of feel like I’m going more 49 percent chance he does it, 51 percent chance he doesn’t. I don’t think he wants travel that much — obviously he’s going to go private.”
Brady signed his deal with Fox last May and proceeded to play out the 2022 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was an unfamiliarly turbulent season for the seven-time Super Bowl champion: he got divorced from his wife Gisele Bündchen and there were questions about his commitment.
Earlier this year, Brady announced his retirement from the NFL, this time “for good.”
It’s long been rumored that Brady would take up an ownership stake in an NFL team. He was reportedly in talks with the Miami Dolphins about joining their ownership group last year, before coming back and playing for Tampa Bay.
Earlier this year, Brady became a minority owner for the Las Vegas Aces, which Mark Davis also owns. If Brady and Davis agree to a deal, 24 NFL owners would have to vet and approve his ownership.
Wickersham and Schefter report that Fox has “blessed” Brady’s potential arrangement. NFL policy about team ownership overlapping with media employment only comes into play if the owner holds a position of authority at the media company and could impact rights negotiations.
For what it’s worth, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, is chairman of the NFL’s Broadcast Committee.
Last season, there was speculation that Fox would use Brady as part of its coverage for Super Bowl LVII, but that never came to fruition.
FS1 personality Colin Cowherd, who broke the news that Brady wouldn’t start calling games for Fox until 2024, said earlier this year that he may delay his broadcast career further.
Joe Buck, meanwhile, has said people at Fox are unsure whether Brady will actually ever put on the headset.