Report: Dolphins had plans to pursue Tom Brady and Sean Payton before Brian Flores filed his lawsuit

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The Miami Dolphins reportedly had plans to pursue Tom Brady and Sean Payton this offseason before Brian Flores filed his lawsuit.

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio offered some insight on the matter and explained how it all went down.

“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,” Florio wrote. “The plan was scrapped after Brian Flores filed his lawsuit against the NFL generally and the Dolphins, [New York] Giants, and [Denver] 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 [New Orleans] 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 [Tampa Bay] Buccaneers or some other team, the plan for selling a piece of the team to Brady could proceed.”

Payton and Brady would have brought some major changes to the Dolphins and their culture, but it appears the team won’t have either individual for at least the 2022 season. Brady, who announced his retirement from football earlier this month, spent a good chunk of his career terrorizing the Dolphins while he was the quarterback of the New England Patriots.

It’s interesting that the Dolphins were interested in Payton, as they clearly were looking for an offensive mind to help mold the team’s offense and work with Tua Tagovailoa.

In the end, the team went with Mike McDaniel, who previously was the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.

Miami decided to part ways with Flores following the 2021 season. Over three seasons with Miami, Flores compiled a 24-25 record. He won 10 games in the 2020 season after going 5-11 in his first season as the team’s head coach.

The Dolphins started the 2021 season with a 1-7 record, but they turned things around to win seven straight games. They eventually finished 9-8.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Brady and Payton.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.