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Could Tom Brady have been the Miami Dolphins quarterback next season?

Though it may seem unbelievable, there’s a lot of information that would suggest both sides were close to a deal.

Paul Rudder
Update:
Could Tom Brady have been the Miami Dolphins quarterback next season?
Paul RutherfordPaul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Could it be that the NFL’s GOAT was almost a Dolphin?

Tom Brady came close to joining Miami Dolphins

If there is one particular rumor that caught the eye this off season, it was the notion that Tom Brady could have actually been signed by the Miami Dolphins. While many will probably be raising an eyebrow at the idea, reports suggest that it was actually a great deal closer to reality than one might believe. First mentioned back in February by ProFootballTalk, it was understood that the Dolphins approached Brady about a move. The interesting thing about the potential deal is that Brady was actually consulted about coming on as a minority owner.

What happened to the Tom Brady to Dolphins deal?

In terms of why the proposed deal didn’t materialize and exactly what happened, here’s a look at what we know: The Dolphins attempted to use a two edged sword in their attack. According to the aforementioned report, step one centered on bringing Brady to the organization as a minority owner, with the thinking being that once Brady was part of the franchise, it would be much easier to negotiate a trade with the Buccaneers such that the legendary quarterback could in fact play for the Dolphins.

The second part of the Dolphins’ strategy involved the use of Sean Payton as a bargaining chip. Indeed, its understood that the Dolphins intended to appoint Payton as head coach. Reports even suggest that the Dolphins “privately acknowledged” that they reached out to the Saints about a possible trade. In the end, however, as the Dolphins tried to make their announcement about Brady prior to the Super Bowl, the franchise was engulfed in scandal surrounding Brian Flores’ lawsuit against them. Indeed, Flores’ lawsuit was actually filed on the same day that Brady announced his own retirement - February 1st. To muddy the waters even further, the lawsuit actually referred to Brady - though not by name - as Flores alleged that Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross attempted to convince him to tamper with another team’s quarterback in a meeting that was set to take place on Ross’ yacht. What’s even more incredible is that the both the Palm Beach Post and NFL.com confirmed that the unnamed QB in the lawsuit was in fact Brady and that he did indeed attend the meeting on Ross’ yacht, though Flores did not. Brady’s appearance would seem to indicate that at the very least he was open to the move.

Brady, Arians or the Dolphins. Who do we believe?

True though it may be that former Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians stated during this off season, that there is no way that Tampa Bay would trade Brady to another team, the reality is that there is next to nothing that they could have done to stop the move, if Brady had chosen to sign on with the Dolphins as a minority owner. Once Brady was in Miami, it’s quite believable that his camp could have convinced Tampa Bay to trade his player rights. As for the Dolphins themselves, coach Mike McDaniel was actually asked about the Brady rumors at the NFL’s annual league meeting and he shot them down, which actually makes sense.

“Tom Brady? On the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? That has not been in the conversation [about him coming to Miami],” McDaniel told reporters at the NFL’s annual league meetings. “I think that’s what you call fake news.” Where the chronology of events is concerned, it fits that McDaniel was unaware of any Brady talk. If we consider the timeline presented by PFT, the Dolphins’ push for Brady happened before McDaniel was even hired. The Dolphins new coach was hired on February 6th - one week before the Super Bowl and approximately the same time the Dolphins intended to announce Brady’s new role as a minority owner. In the end did the Dolphins go to plan B - hiring McDaniel - when their plans for Payton and Brady fell through as a result of Flores’ lawsuit? While we may never know, it certainly looks like it.

What about Tom Brady’s post about Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle?

The last piece of the puzzle that adds even more intrigue is the social media post that the quarterback made back in late March. Having seen Tyreek Hill traded in a blockbuster deal to the Dolphins, Brady posted a video of Hill and current Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle on social media. Was Brady playing a practical joke on everyone or was he in fact showcasing video of the two players he will be targeting when the next season arrives? Watch this space!

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