Deep down, New England Patriots fans just knew Tom Brady’s “retirement” on Feb. 1 wasn’t real. It’s Tom Brady and football. The relationship was never supposed to end as abruptly as it did. And there was a reason we read into him never officially shutting the door on a comeback just days after he claimed to have called it quits.
Then, out of nowhere, after a whole snafu in regard to the “premature” (but seemingly correct) reporting from ESPN’s Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter, Brady was back a few weeks later. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got their ducks in a row and made the appropriate moves to keep the team intact ahead of the 2022 season.
It all started coming more into focus when Bruce Arians stepped down from his role as head coach and moved to the front office, with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles earning the promotion to the top spot on the coaching staff.
But this was likely all a quick reaction to Brady’s failed attempted at joining the Miami Dolphins in one of the most intricate rumored offseason coups you’ve ever heard about.
Tom Brady’s rumored plan to go to the Dolphins will enrage Patriots fans
"“Per multiple sources, Brady eventually would have been introduced as a minority owner of the Dolphins. The announcement would have been made as soon as the following week, which was the week that preceded the Super Bowl.“After Brady became a minority owner, the Dolphins would have indeed acquired the contractual rights to employ [Sean] Payton from the Saints. Then, the Dolphins would have at some point gotten the rights from the Buccaneers to bring Brady to the roster.”"
Florio also mentions this is a possibility for the 2023 season, when Brady will be a free agent for the second time in his career. So … yeah, this could remain a harsh reality for Patriots fans, who would then have to see Brady twice in the same season as he disrupts their chances of making the playoffs for however long he decides to continue playing for.
The retirement announcement was allegedly a bluff so Brady could leave Tampa, become a minority owner of the Dolphins, and join forces with an offensive guru in Payton, who also had to escape a troubling situation of his own in New Orleans (their disastrous salary cap will take a couple years to navigate before they’re likely contending again).
Nonetheless, can’t you picture the rage among the entire Patriots fanbase had Brady pulled this off? He would’ve been directly competing with the organization he previously spent two decades with for … the rest of time? Horrifying.
Maybe Bill Belichick knew all about this, though, because if it weren’t for his text to the wrong Brian, the whole Flores lawsuit probably wouldn’t have taken hold as strongly as it did — which is what ended up derailing Brady’s plans to go to Miami.