Bruce Beal Jr.

Latest On Tom Brady, Dolphins

Tom Brady sparked a frenzy earlier this week when he posted a cryptic photo of himself to Twitter. Although Adam Schefter of ESPN soon clarified in a tweet that it wasn’t a statement on his impending free agency, that didn’t stop the rumor mill from churning. 

The potential new team for Brady “that continues to get the most buzz” is the Dolphins, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. While Brady going to a team that was in a full-blown rebuild this past season wasn’t something anybody has expected, there are at least some connections. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores spent 15 seasons with Brady in New England, and there are other ex-Patriots on staff.

Florio also highlights the presence of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ business partner Bruce Beal. Florio writes that there has been talk of “Beal buying the team and selling a sliver of it to Brady.” One league source told Florio “that a sale to Beal is possible not long after” Miami finishes hosting the Super Bowl. All that being said, Ross himself quickly threw some cold water on all the speculation.

Responding to the report he might sell the team, Ross said “I have no interest in selling the team. Zero. Got it? People can write what they want to write. I’m going to own it until I die,” per David Wilson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Beal still appears to be Ross’ successor as owner, but it doesn’t sound like he’s selling anytime soon. Ross, 79, also didn’t sound overly enthused about the possibility of adding Brady.

Ross said “we’re building” and that “people are writing about it. People need something to write about,” when asked about the Brady rumors, via Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). It would’ve been very entertaining to see Brady stay in the AFC East and play the Pats twice a year, but it doesn’t seem too likely as of right now.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Have Ownership Succession Plan

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross doesn’t plan on selling his franchise anytime soon, but he’ll turn 76 in May, and is looking ahead and making preparations for the future. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, NFL owners recently approved a succession plan for the Dolphins, which will give New York businessman Bruce Beal Jr. the right to purchase the team in the event that Ross decides to sell — or passes away.Stephen Ross

As La Canfora writes, the league typically doesn’t announce this sort of arrangement publicly, but they’re not uncommon. Sources tell La Canfora that Ross wanted to be proactive in coming up with a succession plan, and Beal is someone to whom he feels very close.

Beal was elevated to president of Ross’ Related Companies real estate firm when the Dolphins owner – and Related Companies founder – stepped aside as CEO in 2012. The two men have worked together for years, and one source describes the Dolphins’ new succession plan as something akin to “keeping the team in the family,” per La Canfora.

While the arrangement doesn’t ensure that Beal will gain control of the franchise when it becomes available, he’ll be in the driver’s seat to purchase it.

Ross has been willing to OK major personnel moves in recent years, signing Ndamukong Suh to a mega-deal in free agency in 2015, and approving a major trade involving Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso, and a pair of first-round picks last month. The Dolphins, under Ross, also made another coaching change earlier this year, hiring Adam Gase to replace interim head coach Dan Campbell.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.