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Tom Brady and Sean Payton to the Dolphins: The wild scheme that almost happened

This is one heck of a story.

NFL: MAR 31 Buccaneers Press Conference Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rumors of Tom Brady going to the Miami Dolphins were whispered about in NFL circles over the last year, but it was easy to write them off. It didn’t just seem preposterous, but impossible. Why would Brady leave one of the strongest teams in the NFL to lead the hapless Dolphins? Now a picture is being painted of a scheme involving Brady, Sean Payton, and Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross that defies belief.

The plan would have seen Brady retire from the Buccaneers, Payton resign from the Saints, and then join forces in Miami. Brady would take a high-ranking job as an executive, serving as his foray from the field into the front office. After Tampa Bay had moved on, Brady would announce that he wanted to return to football, pushing for Miami to make a trade with the Buccaneers. This plan was first reported by Front Office Sports, but later confirmed by Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, who offered more information on the alleged plan.

Brady allegedly would have taken on a role with the Dolphins similar to that of Derek Jeter with the Marlins, though it’s unclear if an ownership stake would have been involved as well.

This could be the real explanation behind why the Dolphins fired Brian Flores, despite having success during his tenure with the team. Brady reportedly would only agree to come to the Dolphins if the team had a tenured coach with experience, which is where Payton fits in. However, firing Flores also served as the catalyst for this plan failing.

When Flores filed his lawsuit against the Dolphins and the NFL it opened up Ross’ communications to discovery. That’s important, because it would have shown that the team had a plan in place to hire a white coach and a white team president, without going through the Rooney Rule. This would have given teeth to Flores’ claims, so the deal was called off, and Brady walked away.

With Brady still wanting to play, but his plan to head to Miami derailed, he met with the Glazers during a Manchester United game — informing them that he wanted to return to football.

The next day Brady announced he was returning to the NFL, and rejoining the Buccaneers. Meanwhile Miami moved forward and hired Mike McDaniel from the 49ers.

We’re left with a bizarre situation. None of this is really actionable or punishable by NFL rules, because it didn’t actually happen — but it certainly seems underhanded. More information on the scheme to bring Brady and Payton to Miami could be revealed as Flores’ lawsuit against the Dolphins and the NFL continues, with communication regarding personnel changes potentially being brought before the court.

Tom Brady, Sean Payton, and the Miami Dolphins have not issued statements at this time regarding the report.