Tom Brady had a master plan to join the Miami Dolphins after announcing his retirement from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and bring coach Sean Payton with him, but the Brian Flores lawsuit threw the scheme into disarray, according to multiple reports.
Brady initially announced his decision to retire from the NFL on the morning of Feb. 1. Brady was set to be named a minority owner of the Dolphins the week before the Super Bowl, Pro Football Talk reported Thursday. Miami would have reportedly contacted the New Orleans Saints about gaining the contractual rights to Payton to bring him on as their head coach.
According to the Boston Globe on Friday, Miami making Brady a high-level team executive would have been the quarterback’s way out of Tampa Bay. The Dolphins could have reportedly approached the Bucs about a trade for his contractual rights to come back and play quarterback during the 2022 season.
Flores’ lawsuit threw a wrench into the plans, according to the Globe.
The Dolphins and team owner Stephen Ross were named in the former head coach’s racial discrimination lawsuit. In the suit, Flores said he was let go because he refused to “tank” to get a high draft pick. He also claimed Ross told him that he would be compensated for each Dolphins loss and general manager Chris Grier said Ross was “mad” over the team’s wins.
Additionally, the lawsuit claimed Ross pressured Flores to recruit a “prominent quarterback” for the 2020 season and that he was about to enter a meeting with such quarterback before bowing out at the last season. Flores claimed since then that the relationship with the organization went downhill.
Flores was fired by the Dolphins after the 2021 season.
“We are aware of the lawsuit through the media reports that came out this afternoon,” the Dolphins said in February. “We vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organization. The implication that we acted in a manner inconsistent with the integrity of the game is incorrect. We will be withholding further comment on the lawsuit at this time.”
Brady would eventually decide to come back and play for the Buccaneers after all.
Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin, who reported on the scheme, noted Tuesday on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” podcast that Brady never actually used the word “retire” in his initial statement about stepping away from the Buccaneers. Brady also initially only mentioned Tampa Bay in his statement and was late to thank the New England Patriots.
He announced his decision to come back to the Buccaneers on March 13, a day after he watched Manchester United play across the pond. Manchester United and the Buccaneers are owned by the Glazer Family.
By the end of March, coach Bruce Arians announced he was leaving his post as head coach to take a front-office role with Todd Bowles taking over head-coaching duties.