Before Tom Brady made his first foray into free agency, the Patriots feared one potential destination about all others.
Imagine Brady, staying in the division, reuniting with former New England assistant Brian Flores, and tormenting the Pats for the next two or three years, or longer. Yes, the Patriots had very real concerns that would happen — especially in light of Brady’s relationship with Dolphins minority owner Bruce Beal.
By early February, prevailing reports from Miami maintained that Brady was more likely to become a minority owner of the Dolphins in the somewhat distant future than to become the team’s quarterback of the immediate future. Just a few days before hosting Super Bowl LIV, team owner Stephen Ross wondered aloud why Brady would have any interest in the Dolphins, given that the team was rebuilding.
Thereafter, there was never any real sense that the Dolphins would be a Brady destination, or that the Dolphins were pursuing him. Ross wanted a long-term franchise quarterback, and Ross was focused on getting one in the draft. (At the time, he coveted Joe Burrow, and Ross eventually would try to trade up to get Burrow.)
The background is important for assessing speculation from Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Dolphins are the team to which Brady was referring when crafting a not-so-beautiful mystery regarding a team that dropped out of the picture late because, per Brady, it was “sticking with that motherf–ker” at quarterback.
The Dolphins simply don’t fit. Although, in that scenario, the team had a veteran quarterback with whom it was “sticking,” the marching orders were to get a rookie with the fifth overall pick, or higher. The Dolphins, put simply, wanted a quarterback roughly half Brady’s age. There was never any reporting or any sense that Miami was a feasible destination for Brady.
But the situation invites speculation, because of what Brady said. And reasonable minds differ on which team it was. Based on what we’ve heard from people inside the league, the Raiders would be the betting favorite.
And we’d know the answer, if Brady would ever tell the truth about it. As we now know, he rarely does.