Tom Brady Return Still ‘in Play’, Longtime Insider Says

Tom Brady

Getty Rumors of Tom Brady's return persist despite his kitten tweet.

Not everyone buys the kitten tweet by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.

Former New England Patriots quarterback and longtime Patriots insider Scott Zolak expressed his skepticism and claims the Miami Dolphins rumors with Brady are “in play” still. Zolak notably reported on Brady from his earliest years with the Patriots in the 2000s.

“Brady may go to Miami. I think that’s in play. I do. I think the possibility of him coming out of retirement is definitely 100% in play,” Zolak said on “Zolak and Bertrand” on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “You can sit there and look at the kitten tweet from yesterday. Don’t buy that. This isn’t me saying it. This isn’t someone close to Brady. It started with Rich Eisen. Eisen’s at the Super Bowl. Multiple people dropped the hints. Colin Cowherd, he knows some FOX people. I don’t think he’s gonna call games. How does that deal get done? How do you sign a guy to that?”

“[A] $375 million, 10-year contract to call games, he’s not even gonna do it next year,” Zolak added. “I know his handlers have moved to Miami. It’s built for him. He’s looking at private schools for his kids. Cowherd talks about the San Francisco offense. He’s not talking about San Francisco. He’s talking about [head coach] Mike McDaniel in Miami.”

Brady tweeted humorously in reaction to the first wave of Dolphins rumors from Eisen.

“Anyone who thinks I have time to come back to the NFL has never adopted a 2 month old kitten for their daughter,” Brady wrote.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion previously announced his retirement on February 1 for a second year in a row, and he claimed it’s “for good” this time around. Eisen said he heard rumblings at the NFL  Combine that there is some buzz between Brady and the Dolphins and to “keep an eye on that“. The Dolphins were previously tied to Brady in 2022 until the team’s prior tampering with Brady surfaced in the Brian Flores lawsuit.

It nixed an attempted package deal of Brady and former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton coming to Miami. Instead, Brady returned for the Bucs for another season after his 40-day retirement.

Brady’s Latest Bucs Arguably Created More ‘Unfinished Business’

When Brady announced his return in 2022, he cited “unfinished business” months after the Bucs falling short of a  Super Bowl repeat. He arguably has more unfinished business now after one of the worst years of his career in 2022.

Brady endured his first losing season ever, and his production dipped from 43 touchdown passes in 2021 to just 25 last season. He also mustered only 6.4 yards per attempt, the lowest in his career since 2002.

The Bucs season ended abruptly in the playoffs, a 31-14 Wild Card loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and head coach Todd Bowles fired a half dozen assistant coaches. That included former offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Tampa Bay also entered an offseason of major uncertainty with $48.7 million over the salary cap and 20-plus free agents to re-sign.

Dolphins Face Major Questions Amid Tua’s Health

Set for free agency if he didn’t retire, Brady got linked to multiple teams before his February 1 retirement. The Dolphins notably pulled out of the running for Brady amid the franchise’s commitment to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. However, questions remain on Tagovailoa’s health due to multiple concussions and a neck injury last season, so the Dolphins really could be looking for a new quarterback.

“…Let it play out, let’s see who wants what. And the one place that folks are saying keep an eye out for is Miami,” Eisen said of Brady. “And if the Dolphins somehow, someway get a doctor’s report, a piece of information from a medical evaluation of Tua [Tagovailoa] that he may not be ready to go and suddenly there’s Tom Brady sitting in Florida where his family is located and where he can easily locate himself. Keep an eye on that, I was told by a couple of birdies at the combine.”