There’s something to be said that the New England Patriots are keeping their core from last season’s 10-7 team in place. With that said, other AFC teams that are more talented have adopted a similar strategy.
To make matters worse — and this is what is currently driving Patriots fans insane — those squads have placed an emphasis on making upgrades.
One of those teams? The Miami Dolphins. After winning eight of their final nine games, the Dolphins have been one of free agency’s biggest spenders. In terms of their most notable signings, they’ve netted Terron Armstead, Cedrick Williams, Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Connor Williams.
They also just traded for Tyreek Hill and managed to retain Emmanuel Ogbah, Mike Gesicki and added Teddy Bridgewater to backup Tua Tagovailoa.
Long story short, the Dolphins will know by the end of next season whether Tagovailoa is the answer at QB. However, will the former No. 5 overall pick even get the chance to prove himself with these improved weapons?
During a Thursday appearance on WEEI radio, New England-based sportscaster Dan Arnold claimed he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Tom Brady (!) ends up with the Dolphins and that both parties are “working on it.”
Could former Patriots QB Tom Brady finish his career in the AFC East?
Keep in mind, Arnold doesn’t have a long track record, but he was the first to connect Brady to the Bucs in the first place … so …
It feels like the Patriots have dodged worst-case scenarios all offseason, but Brady rejoining the AFC East would promptly end their run of luck. Given that Brady holds a grudge about everything football related, would him joining a Patriots rival to stick it to Bill Belichick for how his tenure with the franchise ended really be surprising?
For most quarterbacks, it would be nothing short of earth-shattering.
Think about it. What other quarterback in NFL history other than TB12 could get away with retiring, unretiring to rejoin his former team (the Buccaneers) and proceeding to recruit free agents (Russell Gage, Ryan Jensen, etc.) to his former team only to scheme a trade to the Dolphins behind the scenes?
It would leave the Bucs in an absolute bind at the position. Short of trading for Baker Mayfield — unless maybe Tua would go back to Tampa in this scenario? — Tampa Bay would have zero compelling options at QB.
By no means is Arnold an acclaimed NFL insider, so it’s unclear if this rumor stands on sturdy legs. Shortly after the former Patriots play-by-play man revealed the scoop, though, insider Jeff Howe of The Athletic threw a wet blanket on it.
In the wake of Arnold muddying the waters, SI would also like you to know there’s no traction between the two parties.
So take that whiplash with a grain of salt.
Howe brings up a good point. Why would Brady be actively recruiting free agents to the Bucs if he was planning on leaving before the start of next season? Maybe he wants one last hoorah in Tampa before he takes a short trip south to spend the rest of his career in South Beach?
Unfortunately, all we can do is speculate, but given Brady’s competitive nature, that he left New England on bad terms and didn’t even mention the Patriots in his initial retirement post, we wouldn’t put it past him to want vengeance against his former team.