The group headed up by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez put in a reported $1.7 billion bid on the Mets last week, and while they’re already known to be backed by VitaminWater and BodyArmor co-founder Mike Repole as well as Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola, ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reports that a host of other highly recognizable names are a part of the group. Among them are Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, former Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal; Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee; and ex-Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray.
Urlacher, 42, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018 after a brilliant 13-year career as a linebacker with the Chicago Bears. The 2000 Defensive Rookie of the Year is an eight-time Pro-Bowler who earned more than $80MM in career salaries — to say nothing of countless endorsement deals during his time as one of the league’s most marketable players. He’s also dipped into NFL broadcasting and television analysis. Urlacher himself confirmed to McClure that he’s a part of the group, calling it a “pretty cool” opportunity and voicing particular excitement over working with Rodriguez and his other NFL brethren.
The 35-year-old Thomas figures to join Urlacher in the Hall of Fame when he gains eligibility for the honor in 2023. Thomas went to the Pro Bowl in 10 of his 11 seasons in the NFL from 2007-17, during which he earned $110MM, according to Over the Cap.
Like Urlacher, Kelce confirmed that he’s involved and expressed gratitude for being able to take part in such a “crazy opportunity.” He hasn’t had Urlacher’s 13-year career and decade-plus of endorsement deals, but Kelce is entering the final season of a five-year, $46.482MM contract extension. The five-time Pro Bowler ranks among the game’s elite at his position and should be in strong free-agent position upon the completion of his current deal.
Beal, the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, signed a two-year extension worth nearly $72MM back in October — a contract that came partway through his preexisting five-year, $127MM contract. Beal only just turned 27, so he has plenty of time to sign another big deal in the future, assuming he holds up. Plumlee scored his own sizable payday in 2017, re-signing with the Nuggets for $41MM over three years.
Murray, 32, hasn’t played in an NFL game since spending the 2017 season with the Tennessee Titans. The former NFL Offensive Player of the Year and three-time Pro Bowler, who made just under $26MM in the league, entered the college coaching ranks in recent seasons and is currently an assistant at his alma mater of Oklahoma.
The extent to which each of these high-profile investors is involved isn’t clear. While they’re all unquestionably wealthy and likely able to commit millions of dollars to the bid, it’s also likely that there are quite a few other investors contributing to the mix.