NFL approval of Tom Brady's purchase into Raiders 'making progress'

ByJeremy Fowler ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NFL has yet to approve Tom Brady's bid for Las Vegas Raiders minority ownership, but commissioner Roger Goodell is not concerned.

"I wouldn't say it's a delay," Goodell said Tuesday from the NFL's annual league meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. "We go through a very thorough process. ... We're just going through our process. We've been in touch with their side. I think it's been making progress."

Last May, the Raiders reached an agreement with Brady for him to join the organization's ownership group, pending league approval.

"We're excited for Tom to join the Raiders," owner Mark Davis told ESPN's Paul Gutierrez then. "And it's exciting because he will be just the third player in the history of the National Football League to become an owner."

George Halas and Jerry Richardson are the other two.

League approval requires a supermajority vote of at least 24 NFL owners. Membership did not vote on the matter this week. It is scheduled to reconvene in May.

In other highlights from Goodell's news conference:

The league is still investigating whether the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons tampered in their free agency recruitment of running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Kirk Cousins, respectively.

"I usually don't get an update until concluded -- I know they were hard at work on it immediately," Goodell said.

NFL defensive players have used social media to vocalize frustration with the league's banning of the swivel hip-drop tackle. The style of tackle -- holding on to the back of a ball carrier while dropping body weight onto the back of his legs -- now results in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Goodell said members of the competition committee met with the league at last month's NFL combine, watching example videos and asking questions of league engineers.

"It's a play that has 20 times the injury factor," Goodell said. "From that standpoint, we can't allow that. We've been very clear, when we see a technique that is going to affect the safety of our players, we will work hard to remove it." Goodell said he expects a "transition period" with this ruling, similar to the lowering-of-the-head changes years ago.

Goodell was asked about the implications of the gambling scandal involving Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. The NFL is monitoring the situation.

"Like everybody, we're trying to learn and educate, make sure all of our personnel under the policy [understands] the risk and the dangers of that," he said. "We've long said that the integrity of the game is No. 1, and it still is."

A new stadium for the Washington Commanders "is warranted in our view," said Goodell, who stressed the importance of a modernized presence in the "nation's capital." The team released renderings for a multibillion-dollar project in September, and new owner Josh Harris has discussed his desire for the club's new home.

The NFL considered placing Buffalo Bills pass-rusher Von Miller on the commissioner's exempt list after his alleged assault of his girlfriend in late 2023 but "felt it was not appropriate based on the facts," Goodell said. Miller's case is still under review by the league. Police issued an arrest warrant for Miller in November for a charge of third-degree felony assault of a pregnant woman. Miller, who turned himself in to the Glenn Heights (Texas) Police Department on Nov. 30, later told Buffalo media the allegations were "100% false" and "overblown."

The NFL is confident that Sao Pãulo, Brazil -- host of a Week 1 game this year -- will be an "explosive market" for the league. The league has not decided on an opponent for the Philadelphia Eagles in Arena Corinthians.

Related Video