Tom Brady at Center of Dolphins Tampering as NFL Drops Hammer

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady faces an uncertain future with the Buccaneers.

On Tuesday, August 2, the NFL made a surprising revelation as a result of a six-month investigation confirming that Tom Brady not only had improper contact with the Miami Dolphins, but it occurred during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2021 season.

It does not appear that Brady will be disciplined by the NFL, but the league removed the Dolphins’ 2023 first-round draft pick as well as their third-round selection in 2024 as part of the punishment for tampering.

The Dolphins first had contact with Brady while he was with the Patriots in 2019 and these discussions began again “no later than early December 2021.”

“The Dolphins again had impermissible communications with both Mr. Brady and his agent during and after the 2021 season, while he was under contract to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” the NFL announced in a press release. “Those discussions began no later than early December 2021 and focused on Mr. Brady becoming a limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive, although at times they also included the possibility of his playing for the Dolphins. Both Mr. Ross and Beal were active participants in these discussions.”

ALL the latest Bucs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bucs newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Bucs!

Dolphins Also Attempted to Recruit Sean Payton to Pair With Brady

This report also confirms the rumors that the Dolphins were looking to pair former Saints head coach Sean Payton with Brady. The NFL revealed that the Dolphins had conversations with Brady ranging from potential ownership, an executive role as well as playing quarterback. Miami’s discussions with Payton took place in January 2022 which would have been before Brady briefly retired.

“In January 2022, the Dolphins had impermissible communications with Don Yee, the agent for New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton, about having Mr. Payton serve as Miami’s head coach,” the league detailed. “Miami did not seek consent from New Orleans to have these discussions, which occurred before Coach Payton announced his decision to retire as head coach of the Saints. Following that announcement, Miami requested permission to speak to Coach Payton for the first time, which New Orleans declined to grant.”

Brady on Dolphins Rumors: ‘I Had a Lot of Conversations With a Lot of People’

During a June 9 press conference, Brady was asked about the rumors that he considered joining the Dolphins. Brady attempted to brush off the rumors but did not deny that he had contact with the Dolphins.

“Again, I had a lot of conversations with a lot of people, as I’ve had with the last three or four years in my career about different opportunities when I’m done playing football, so,” Brady said. “I kind of made a decision of what I’d like to do, and I’ll get to be in the game of football. And I think for me, the most important thing is where I’m at now and what I hope to do for this team. That’s been my commitment to this team and organization. It’s been so much fun for me to come here two years ago. It’s been almost two and a half years now, and it’s been an incredible part of my football journey.

“And it’s not over, we still got a lot to accomplish, so. I’ve got a long life ahead. There’s a lot of fun things to do ahead. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead in football, but at the same time, none of us are promised much beyond what we have now. And this is the current moment and I’m really excited about going out there to try to compete and win a championship.”

The Bucs & Dolphins Discussed a Potential Brady Trade: Report

NBC Sports’ Chris Simms reported in April that the Buccaneers had conversations with the Dolphins about a potential blockbuster Brady trade. Miami’s plan was to attempt to pair Brady with Payton for the 2022 season.

“I was led to believe that it [had] already been talked about,” Simms explained during an April 22 interview on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.” “They were going to trade a second-round pick to Tampa Bay to get Brady. They [Buccaneers] weren’t going to hold him hostage.

“Sean Payton and the Saints, that was going to be a first-round pick to get that deal done. And yes, the way I was told, Sean Payton head coach, Brady, Bruce Beal, part owner. Gonna give him a little time, ‘Oh yeah, I retired, but oh wait, I changed my mind. This Dolphins thing’s so good.’ And then come back and play with the Dolphins. That was what the plan was. That’s where the stars were trying to be aligned by Brady and Sean Payton and, of course, it got upset by that [Flores lawsuit].”