There’s the Tom Brady un-retirement plan you know about, and then there’s the one you don’t. The secret one involves a few crazy details, including how Brady planned to link up with New Orleans Saints former head coach Sean Payton.
First of all, just stop the Brett Favre comparisons, already. Brady retired for 40 days and came back just in time for the Buccaneers to re-sign key free agents. That seemed like a well-thought out, tactical decision on Brady’s part, but Brady’s return to Tampa Bay wasn’t as predictable as some may have previously thought.
Apparently, Brady had some sort of evil genius plan to take over the NFL, a plan that ultimately failed because of one man: Brian Flores. And we should add, Bill Belichick.
Here are the newly revealed facts of Brady’s un-retirement plan, according to The Boston Globe:
After the 2021 season, Brady decided to walk away from the Bucs for two reasons: one, his souring relationship with Bruce Arians, and two, his blossoming one with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Per a league source, Ross was planning to give Brady a high position in Miami’s front office, as Brady seemed interested in getting into the business side of football.
By doing so, the Dolphins yank Brady out of Tampa under the pretense of giving him an executive position, flip the bird to the Patriots, and then down the line trade with Tampa to let Brady play quarterback for Miami. Oh, and Brady and Miami were likely going to bring in Saints former head coach Sean Payton (Brady and Payton share an agent, after all).
Kind of ingenious, right?
The Dolphins were set to topple their first domino and introduce Brady as a minority owner the week before the Super Bowl until….the Brian Flores lawsuit happened. And shit hit the fan.
Saints’ Sean Payton nearly got tied up in Tom Brady’s insane un-retirement plan
As The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin writes:
"The lawsuit messed up everything, per the source. The plan to hire a white coach and a white team president without going through the Rooney Rule probably wouldn’t fly once the Dolphins were sued for racial discrimination.Flores’s accusations of tanking and tampering put the issue of cellphones and discovery at play for Ross and Brady. The lawsuit simply brought too much heat to the situation, and Ross and Brady had to call off the arrangement."
Just hours of Brady announced his “retirement” (linguists will point out he never actually used that word in his letter), Flores filed his racial discrimination lawsuit against the league, effectively shutting down the Dolphins’ and Brady’s supposed master plan.
The funniest part of all (to us Saints fans, anyway) was that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was the one to accidentally on purpose leak information to Flores prompting Flores to file the lawsuit. Assuming Belichick had direct knowledge of Brady’s plot, that would mean he intentionally triggered an investigation into the league’s history of systemic racism just to stick it to the Dolphins.
Real classy, Bill.
There’s the question of whether Payton would have actually joined the Dolphins, if the plan had succeeded to that point. Payton, on his part, never closed the door on coaching another team, and a league source says Brady would have only picked a veteran coach, like Payton, to lead Miami. A handful of high draft picks (at least two first-rounders) probably could have sealed such a trade, although all of this is just speculation on top of speculation.
The quiet hostile takeover of the Dolphins never happened, and Payton remains under contract with New Orleans but on a hiatus.
We honestly would have stood up from our seats and applauded if Brady managed to pull this stunt off, but instead the Saints will face Brady yet again in the NFC South in 2022.
After that, it’s just a guessing game.