Owner Tom Brady’s player salary could be an issue, too
Although it would be good for the NFL’s business for Tom Brady to add “player” to his anticipated “owner” title with the Raiders, any effort by Brady to play for the Raiders after he officially acquires a piece of the team could be problematic, in multiple ways.
One, as explained here on Sunday, comes from the strategic benefit of having someone with full access to meetings, practices, playbooks, strategies, etc. become an official member of the roster. If Brady has any inkling about eventually playing, he already would be an unofficial member of the roster, making his transition far easier than if, for example, he were signed off the street.
Another concern comes from the question of what he would be paid as a player. He could, in theory, take the minimum in order to help the Raiders’ cap situation, realizing other benefits from his ownership status. And even if Brady received something comparable to other high-end quarterbacks, his ownership arrangement becomes a way to give him even more than what he’s getting -- thereby circumventing the cap.
It’s another reason why one or more teams will likely object to Brady playing, if he tries to do so after his ownership acquisition is approved. By rule, all 32 owners would have to agree to let Brady play, if he’s an owner when he tries to do so.
That’s why the recent nugget from Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal makes plenty of sense. The other owners should squeeze a promise from Brady that he will not try to play, if/when his partial purchase of the team is approved. And if Brady isn’t willing to make that commitment and honor it, he should withdraw his bid and focus on other business interests, like FTX.
Well, maybe not FTX.