Former Patriots QB Tom Brady leaves door open to late-season NFL return

Andrew Callahan, Boston Herald on

Published in Football

BOSTON — Former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady left the door open to a possible NFL return Thursday, saying he wouldn’t be opposed to playing again if he received a late-season call from a playoff team that had lost its starting quarterback.

Brady was asked on the DeepCut podcast if he would pick up the phone for such a team, possibly the 49ers. Brady then mentioned the Patriots and Raiders, before saying the following: “I’m not opposed to it. I don’t know if they’re going to let me if I become an owner of an NFL team. But I don’t know if — I don’t know.

“I’m always going to be in good shape, always be able to throw the ball. So, to come in for a little bit, like (Michael Jordan) coming back; I don’t know if they would let me, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”

Brady is currently on track to become a minority owner of the Raiders, according to NFL Network, which reported in February his pending investment was recently altered to clear certain league hurdles and allow him to join ownership ranks. Brady’s group is expected to buy roughly 10% of the Raiders franchise, which was recently valued at $5.8 billion. Brady’s group will need at least 24 of the 32 NFL majority owners to approve their purchase in a league-wide vote.

However, if/when Brady becomes a minority owner, he can no longer play. Under current league rules, NFL players, like all non-family club employees, are not allowed to own equity in teams. It’s possible owners could vote on a rule change, but that would also require approval from at least 24 of 32 owners.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Brady’s expected purchase last month at the NFL Annual Meeting, when the owners did not vote on his deal with Raiders majority owner Mark Davis.


“We’re just going through our process,” Goodell said. “We’ve been in touch with their side. I think it’s been making progress.”

Brady is also set to become the lead NFL game analyst at Fox, which signed him to a reported 10-year, $375 million deal. On his own podcast, Brady recently said he’s already begun preparing for his new role.

Extra points

Former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe visited team headquarters on Thursday with plans to see offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, a longtime friend and ex-teammate from their days in Buffalo. … Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf is scheduled to meet with reporters on Thursday, April 18, at 10 a.m. for the team’s annual pre-draft press conference.

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