One of the most interesting rumors that floated around this offseason was the idea that Tom Brady might end up in Miami, and apparently, that actually came a lot closer to happening than anyone thought. 

In February, Pro Football Talk reported that the Dolphins made a play for Brady, but there weren't really any details about how close the two sides might have gotten to getting some sort of deal done.  Well, we now have a few more details about the situation, and apparently, things actually got pretty serious. 

According to a new report from Pro Football Talk, the Dolphins were planning to bring Brady on as a minority owner and it was so close to happening that the announcement was potentially in the works for "the week that preceded the Super Bowl." The Super Bowl was played on Feb. 13. 

Here's how everything apparently went down and why the plan got derailed:

  • Dolphins had a two-pronged plan for Brady. According to PFT, part one of the Dolphins' plan involved bringing Brady to the organization as a minority owner. Once Brady was on board as an owner, the team was going to try to work out a trade with the Buccaneers so that Brady could eventually play for the Dolphins. 
  • Miami was going to bring in Sean Payton as head coach. The other part of the Dolphins' plan was to make a trade for Sean Payton. PFT notes that the Dolphins "privately acknowledged" that they reached out to the Saints about a possible trade. 
  • The thing that blew all of this up. The Dolphins were hoping to make an announcement about Brady joining the ownership group the week before the Super Bowl, but before that could happen, the team was hit with the Brian Flores lawsuit, which was filed the same day Brady announced his retirement (Feb. 1). The lawsuit was notable, because Brady was apparently referred to in the suit, even though it wasn't directly by name. In the lawsuit, Flores alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross tried to get him to tamper with another team's quarterback by meeting with the unnamed QB on Ross' yacht. According to both the the Palm Beach Post and, the unnamed quarterback in the lawsuit was Brady and the crazy part is that Brady actually showed up for the meeting even though Flores didn't. Since Brady allegedly showed up for the meeting, this would seem to insinuate that he at least had some interest in playing for the Dolphins. 

As crazy as all of this sounds, it all does line up pretty well from a chronological standpoint: 

  • Brady wants to play for the Dolphins, so he announces his retirement on Feb. 1. 
  • Dolphins plan to introduce Brady as a minority owner around Feb. 6 as the first step to get him as a player.
  • The Flores lawsuit filed on Feb. 1 derails everything.
  • Brady then realizes the only way he can play in 2022 is if it's with the Buccaneers, so he comes out of retirement. 

Brady's decision to come out of retirement came off the heels of the quarterback meeting with the Glazer family -- who own the Buccaneers and Manchester United -- at a game in the United Kingdom. According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, Brady was left with just two choices in the aftermath of the Dolphins plan blowing up: stay retired or return to football. Per Volin, for Brady to get back into the NFL, he needed to mend fences with the Tampa Bay brass. He then met with the Glazers on March 12 in the UK and announced his return on March 13. 

On Miami's end, Dolphins 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."

McDaniel being unaware of any Brady talk also fits in chronologically. Based on PFT's timeline, the Dolphins' push for Brady happened before McDaniel was hired. The Dolphins new coach was hired on Feb. 6, which just happened to be exactly one week before the Super Bowl and around the same time the Dolphins wanted to announce Brady's new role as a minority owner. 

If the Dolphins were going after Brady and Payton in late January only to see their plans fall apart on Feb. 1 when Flores filed his lawsuit, it would make sense for them to move on to Plan B, which would have been the hiring of McDaniel. Again, McDaniel was hired five days after the Brady plans reportedly got derailed due to the lawsuit.  

Brady is definitely aware of all the speculation, because after the Tyreek Hill trade went down in late March, the Buccaneers quarterback posted a video of Hill and Jaylen Waddle on Instagram. 

You can interpret that video how ever you see fit. He could be trolling everyone or he could be sharing a video of the two receivers he'll be throwing to in 2023.