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Dolphins' Mike McDaniel: Practice with Bucs Isn't Awkward After Brady Tampering Probe

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2022

Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel doesn't have a problem sharing the field with Tom Brady despite the recent revelations on the team's tampering.

"Everyone else is making it awkward. It's not for me," McDaniel told reporters Wednesday. "... Our focus is coordinated."

The Dolphins forfeited two draft picks for tampering after the NFL determined the organization had impermissible contact with Brady, both in 2019 when he was a member of the New England Patriots and in 2021 when he was under contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Though Brady initially retired earlier in the 2022 offseason, the quarterback returned to Tampa Bay for his third season with the team.

The Buccaneers are set to have a joint practice and scrimmage with the Dolphins on Wednesday.

The pairing could make things uncomfortable for Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who knows the team was looking to replace him with Brady. The 2020 No. 5 draft pick is Miami's unquestioned starter going into 2022, but he clearly wasn't ownership's first choice after some up-and-down seasons.

The tampering probe also showed the Dolphins attempted to speak to former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton but didn't receive permission before he retired.

It could put McDaniel's job in question, knowing he also was a consolation prize for the team and might be replaced if Payton wants to return to the sidelines.

McDaniel is still looking to keep the team focused heading into his first year in charge.

Despite questions about ownership that have continued since former coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL in February, the Dolphins have an opportunity to be a legitimate playoff contender in 2022. The squad finished 9-8 last year and made significant upgrades in the offseason, including the additions of Tyreek Hill and Chase Edmonds.

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