Dolphins planned to pursue Sean Payton, Tom Brady for 2022

New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots
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The Miami Dolphins are moving forward with Mike McDaniel as the head coach and, for now, Tua Tagovailoa as the starting quarterback. At one point after the end of the 2021 season, however, the Dolphins explored a different approach.

Per multiple sources, and as first revealed on Monday’s PFT Live, the Dolphins planned to pursue Sean Payton to be the coach and Tom Brady to be the starting quarterback. The plan was scrapped after Brian Flores filed his lawsuit against the NFL generally and the Dolphins, Giants, and Broncos specifically.

On the record, Dolphins declined comment. Team sources who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issues confirmed that the team contacted the Saints to seek permission to speak to Payton. The Saints, per Dolphins sources, declined the request, which they contend was made after Payton resigned on Tuesday, January 25 but before Flores filed his lawsuit one week later.

By rule, the Dolphins first would have had to reach an agreement with the Saints as to potential compensation for hiring Payton. Once an agreement had been reached, the Dolphins then would have had to work out an agreement directly with Payton.

As to Brady, Dolphins sources contend that internal discussions occurred regarding the possibility of adding Brady as a minority owner, but that those considerations currently are on hold. The delay, per Dolphins sources, has nothing to do with the lawsuit; it’s more about the uncertain status of Brady’s retirement from playing. Once it’s clear he’s not coming back to play for the Buccaneers or some other team, the plan for selling a piece of the team to Brady could proceed.

Rumors have persisted for two years regarding Brady’s potential involvement with the Dolphins, either as a player or as a partial owner. The connection arises from Brady’s friendship with Bruce Beal, a significant limited partner who is poised to eventually purchase the team from Stephen Ross. Indeed, as Brady approached free agency in 2020, the Patriots were very concerned that Brady would join the Dolphins as a player — with partial ownership on the table.

It’s unclear whether and to what extent either Payton or Brady were actually aware of the plan to pursue them. It’s hard to imagine that the Dolphins would have made a blind request for permission to pursue Payton without Payton being interested. As to Brady, the fact that he’s reportedly (and indeed is) the unnamed quarterback with whom Ross allegedly tried to get Flores to tamper in 2020 makes another run at Brady not a ludicrous thought, especially since the Dolphins have put together a team that has finished two straight seasons above .500, but with no playoff appearances.

Brady remains on the Tampa Bay roster, and he’ll stay there until June 2, at the earliest. Any move made before then would trigger a $32 million cap charge in 2022 for the Buccaneers. After June 2, a retirement or a trade would push the bulk of the cap charge to 2023.

Although Brady has said he’s done playing, few believe it. Whether it’s with the Buccaneers or someone else, he could return as soon as 2022. That could happen with the Dolphins, depending on whether the Dolphins make some other move at quarterback between now and then. Until the Dolphins acquire a new quarterback, their top option will continue to be Tagovailoa.

51 responses to “Dolphins planned to pursue Sean Payton, Tom Brady for 2022

  1. Instead of the GM and Owner firing Flores, they should have fired themselves. Management treats this team like it’s a broadway show always chasing the stars…….. morons

  2. Miami’s no comment means …you caught us and we are embarrassed so we just won’t speak..

  3. So they planned to bring in two of the most high profile people in football who are both under contract with other teams? Real winning formula there. Good thing they aren’t wasting their time with that. The Dolphins are just like the majority of teams who have no clue what they’re doing. It starts with a clueless owner who doesn’t have the vision or patience to build a winning program. These teams that change their coach every 2 years and change their uniforms every 5 years are an example of that. But sure, tanking for a 6’0” QB with a broken hip and hiring a HC that has no ability to lead men (they actually made a good hire in Flores, but…) will get you to the top. Good luck to the fans in Miami, Washington, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Houston, New York, etc, etc.

  4. if true they likely fired Flores knowing they would be pursuing Payton/Brady. What a clown show Miami has turned into

  5. “Although Brady has said he’s done playing, few believe it”


    I don’t know if it’s few. I just can’t see Brady letting his Parents react to his retirement like that as part of a strategy to play again. Also, why would he want to live in California now after building a home in Florida which is as close as possible to their South American destinations.

    I just don’t see it.

  6. So Miami tampered with the Pats and Goodell will do nothing yet again like he did when the Jets tampered twice with NE in 2006 and 2014.

  7. One thing I know about Mike McDaniel is that none of this is going to offend him about them possibly having wanted Sean Payton.

  8. Miami may have just become the worst franchise in the current NFL behind the Jets. Dan Marino somewhere is not proud.

  9. I wonder how many years Brady will have to remain retired before people stop talking about his mythical “return.” At least for a few moments we didn’t have to hear about the Rodgers saga. Soooooooooo sick of hearing about that diva. Every time his name is mentioned on TV my wife screams “Who CARES!!!” Since we’re in the “dead season” between football games I guess reporters love to speculate about players like Rodgers, Wentz, Brady, etc. At least we have GOLF to watch. Bring on the Master’s!!! And don’t wake me up until the egomaniac in Green Bay makes a decision. Until then, my wife is right. Outside of Packer fans, WHO CARES!!! Just STOP already!!!!!!

  10. That’s laughable for starters, and the Dolphins are dysfunctional so nobody is interested in playing there

  11. Just curious – if they were able to arrange a trade for Payton, does that mean there’s a loophole allowing them to avoid the Rooney rule?

  12. Miami may have just become the worst franchise in the current NFL behind the Jets. Dan Marino somewhere is not proud.


    Belichick is making sure that Pats catch up quickly and surpass Lions in near future.

  13. Active players cannot be team owners so they wouldn’t have been allowed to make Brady an owner and have him play for them. And it’s hard to believe nobody would have complained if they’d signed him and announced him as a FUTURE owner at the same time as that would have certainly looked like an obvious end round of the salary cap.

  14. I’m interested in the dynamic of a player who is also a partial owner and how that would impact the salary cap. The player like Brady (being vastly wealthy already) could conceivably accept a $1.00 annual salary and use the money to sign several high priced players upping the value of his partial stake in his team, especially if they win a SB I’m sure the NFL, being the upstanding organization it is, would have some sort of rule against this.

  15. GoodellMustGo says:
    February 28, 2022 at 9:47 am
    I can see Payton but why would the Dolphins ruin their reputation by signing a cheater?

    “Ruin their reputation”? Now that’s good comedy right there.

  16. I’d be happier if Brady just stayed retired forever and that all-too-old era just ended. I wanna see Allen and Burrows shine. Brady’s day is over. Everyone, move on.

  17. Tom Brady does not need the $ and he has never had a losing record. Why on earth would he even consider playing for the ‘NY Jets’ of Florida?

  18. Dolphins ownership have obviously been spending too much time at Florida’s various fantasy world attractions.

  19. The only good thing about this whole Flores thing is that we MIGHT get new ownership out of it. I don’t know who “Beal” is, but he can’t be worse than Ross.

  20. Tom. Please don’t go LeBron James on us and drag this out just to milk it for the drama value. LeBron’s legacy will always be tainted in my eyes by the way he did the fans of the Cavs on his way out the door to Miami. Your better then that.

  21. Brady would get owned in this division by the young guns at QB. Josh Allen took Brady to overtime, Mac Jones was a missed field goal away from beating Brady, and Brady barely beat Zach Wilson.

  22. So the Dolphins intent was to completely avoid the Rooney Rule and hire Payton. Seems they are adding fuel to the fire.

  23. When you run a multi million dollar business/organization. You literally have a white board full of options that you can explore. You have meetings upon meetings, and input from several people within the organization lobbying for different ideas. The fact that all these ideas are in play is not unusual. the fact that all them are getting leaked is….

  24. Stephen Ross continues to embarrass this franchise at least once a month.
    Desperate old man.

  25. davebythesea says:
    February 28, 2022 at 11:12 am
    Only 20 years too late on both of those guys.

    Agreed, but I do remember my Chiefs getting Joe Montana at the end of his career. Was a Fun 3 year run with Joe in KC.

  26. Guess they’re pursuing Payton to “make up” for their whiff on not signing Brees….

  27. Maybe Potential NFL owners should be required to perform well on the Wonderlic before being allowed to purchase a franchise.

  28. Who cares? Sounds like a whole lot of nothing that adds up to nothing. I don’t get it…of course the Dolphins would want Payton and Brady. What’s the big deal? They didn’t get them. Is it a problem to try and better your team?

  29. I don’t see Brady going to the AFC for the same reason I don’t see Rodgers. Allen, Mahomes, Hurbert, Burrow, Jackson. He’d have to win 3 playoff games against the league’s best to get to the Super Bowl.

  30. Tom Brady conspired with his equipment guys to deflate footballs.

    Facts and truth often sting.

  31. Yeah, ok.. and what Bill Parcells as GM? Those guys weren’t even available until recently and suddenly after they leave the game, you were going to hire them? There used to be a saying, you bs your friends and I’ll bs mine but let’s no bs each other.

  32. Brady’s not stupid enough or foolish enough to play for Miami.

    Even the insinuation of this is insulting to football fans.

    I can see the San Fran thing because all of the other pieces are in place and he’s from California. But Miami, LMAO, he’d probably enjoy working at McDonald’s better.

  33. pftancelledme says:
    February 28, 2022 at 12:57 pm
    davebythesea says:
    February 28, 2022 at 11:12 am
    Only 20 years too late on both of those guys.

    Agreed, but I do remember my Chiefs getting Joe Montana at the end of his career. Was a Fun 3 year run with Joe in KC.


    And yet Joe flamed out early and was unable to even make it to the SB. Four times is good….but Bradshaw made it to 4 as well. And then we have Brady who made it to 10. Think about that….Brady made it to the SB in almost half the years he played.

  34. The NFL was forced to admit in FEDERAL Court they had NO EVIDENCE of tampering. Repeat NONE!!!!Facts matter!!

  35. Brady would get owned in this division by the young guns at QB. Josh Allen took Brady to overtime, Mac Jones was a missed field goal away from beating Brady, and Brady barely beat Zach Wilson.


    They were playing their SB. BTW, I am sure Belichick spent a month preparing for the game during off season.

  36. But but but equipment guys texted each other….


    Brady didn’t text the ball boy at all BEFORE he was “exposed”, but not afraid of texting him AFTER being “exposed”.

    So LOGICALLY, I can conclude Brady didn’t cheat. Did the ball boy made the balls softer than average? Yes, he did, just like the ball boy in Packers made the balls a little harder than average because Rodgers liked it that way.

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