NFL Rumors: Dolphins Wanted Tom Brady, Sean Payton as QB, HC Before Flores LawsuitFebruary 28, 2022
The Miami Dolphins planned pursuits head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Tom Brady this offseason, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
The strategy shifted after former coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL, and specifically the Dolphins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos alleging racial discrimination in hiring practices. The Dolphins instead hired Mike McDaniel to be the next head coach, while Tua Tagovailoa remains the starting quarterback.
Per Florio, the Dolphins contacted the Saints about Payton after the coach resigned on Jan. 25. The two teams would have to agree on compensation for a trade to hire Payton, but New Orleans declined permission to even speak to the coach.
Flores filed his lawsuit on Feb. 1.
In the lawsuit, Flores said he went on "sham" interviews as a minority candidate to satisfy the Rooney Rule when teams knew they weren't going to hire him.
A behind-the-scenes deal for Payton, who is white, might have been another example of skirting the Rooney Rule. McDaniel, who is biracial, was hired on Feb. 6.
Brady, meanwhile, was still a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before announcing his retirement on Feb. 1.
Despite stepping away from the sport, the 44-year-old can still obviously play at a high level. The future Hall of Famer earned MVP votes this season after leading the NFL with 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdowns.
Adding Brady would have upgraded an offense that ranked 22nd in the league in points scored this past year on the way to a 9-8 record.
However, the Dolphins' interest in Brady also serves as a reminder to another allegation in Flores' lawsuit: the former coach said Miami owner Stephen Ross tried to pressure him to recruit a quarterback in a violation of the league's tampering rules.
Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post reported the quarterback in question was Brady.
Miami seemingly wanted another shot at the superstar with Flores now gone.