Stephen Ross apparently will no longer be handing the reins to Bruce Beal as the next owner of the team.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reports that Ross has taken steps to change his successor from Beal to Jennifer Ross, the 82-year-old owner’s daughter. League rules require all owners to have on file a document naming one specific person who would take over the franchise if the current controlling owner dies or becomes incapacitated.
Per Fischer, Ross has circulated a document shifting the succession plan from Beal to Jennifer Ross in recent months. Fischer writes that the situation has nothing to do with the recent tanking/tampering investigation. We’ve heard it a bit differently; regardless, the bottom line is that Ross and Beal have had a falling out.
Complicating matters for Beal is that, even though he already was approved to purchase a piece of the team, the plan Ross devised in 2016 to give Beal the right of first refusal in the event of Ross dying or wanting to sell the team would require Beal to be approved by at least 24 owners. There are concerns that Beal’s central role in blatant tampering with Brady would potentially keep Beal from being approved.
There were rumors in early 2020 that Ross was planning to step down. He said during Super Bowl week, which he hosted in Miami, that he planned to hold the team until he passes.
As one source recently explained it to PFT, Ross and Beal currently “hate” each other. It’s no surprise. Between Ross changing his mind about giving Beal dibs on buying the team to both men getting themselves and each other into a jackpot over tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton, the relationship apparently has reached the point of no return.
The development also means that Brady will be far less likely to join the Dolphins in 2023, since his close relationship with Beal was one of the main reasons for the efforts in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 to bring Brady to South Beach. Then again, if Brady believes playing for the Dolphins provides him with his best chance to win his favorite Super Bowl ring (i.e., the next one), Brady would find a way to get to Miami, even if his buddy Bruce Beal in on the outs.