Tom Brady may not end his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after all.
If you thought the Tom Brady-to-Miami Dolphins rumors were dead, think again. According to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, not only was Brady very close to joining the Dolphins as a minority owner, but also as a player. The Brian Flores lawsuit — which came on the same day as Brady’s retirement — against the organization led to the plug being pulled on the Brady plan.
Florio is also reporting that the idea of Brady joining the Dolphins is still a possibility. Based upon a report from Florio on Thursday, April 7, the 44-year-old quarterback continues to “hover as a potential addition” to the Dolphins.
Why Brady Could Join Dolphins
“After Brady became a minority owner, the Dolphins would have indeed acquired the contractual rights to employ (Sean) Payton from the Saints,” said Florio. “Then, the Dolphins would have at some point gotten the rights from the Buccaneers to bring Brady to the roster.
Even though it didn’t happen, it’s an important consideration because Brady will continue to hover as a potential addition to the Dolphins. He has a close relationship with Bruce Beal, the right-hand man and successor-in-waiting to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. With Brady under contract for one more season in Tampa Bay and his deal containing a no-tag clause, Brady will be a free agent in 2023. He will be able to sign with any team he chooses.”
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Dolphins’ Original Plan to Acquire Brady: Report
Brady initially announced his retirement on Feb. 1, shortly before the Super Bowl. Ex-New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced his own decision to walk away on Jan. 25, just a week prior to Brady’s own announcement. Florio stresses in his report that the Dolphins had planned to pursue a Payton/Brady deal prior to Flores’ lawsuit on the first day of February.
“Then came the Brian Flores lawsuit,” explains Flores. “Filed (coincidentally or not) the same day Brady retired, the litigation resulted in the plug being pulled on the Payton/Brady plan.
After Brady became a minority owner, the Dolphins would have indeed acquired the contractual rights to employ Payton from the Saints. Then, the Dolphins would have at some point gotten the rights from the Buccaneers to bring Brady to the roster.”
Florio goes on to mention how once the Dolphins deal fell apart and the idea of playing for his hometown San Francisco 49ers was no longer a possibility, Brady’s only option to continue playing was for the Buccaneers in 2022.
Prior to Brady’s decision to return, then-head coach Bruce Arians ruled out the idea of trading Brady to another team if the veteran quarterback had decided to come out of retirement.
“Nope,” Arians said on March 1. “Bad business.”
Brady announced his decision to come out of retirement less than two weeks later via social media on March 13.
If Brady decides to return for another season in 2023, he could possibly sign with the Dolphins next offseason. Brady is entering the last year of his deal and there is uncertainty on Tua Tagovailoa’s future in Miami beyond this season.