There’s a rumor swirling around right now that could turn this blazing fire of an NFL offseason into an inferno. According to New England Sports Network’s Dale Arnold, there’s a very real possibility that Tom Brady won’t spend the 2022 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but rather with another Florida team a little further south.
Keep in mind, Arnold was the first person to break Tom Brady’s decision to join Tampa Bay two seasons ago. That has led several NFL fans to take the tweet above rather seriously.
The meaning of the tweet was expanded upon during a WEEI radio show called Merloni & Fauria. One of the hosts claimed that he texted Arnold and asked for clarification to which Arnold responded that the Bucs and Dolphins are both working on a deal right now, but it’s still unclear whether or not a deal will be reached.
This comes just two days after the Dolphins sent five draft picks including a 2022 first-rounder to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for star receiver Tyreek Hill. Perhaps that is why Brady has sudden interest in the Dolphins, if what Arnold says is true. They now have one of the best wide receiver corps in the league, and Hill would arguably be the most explosive receiver Brady has worked with since Randy Moss. Furthermore, prior to Brady’s announcement that he would be returning to the Buccaneers in 2022, Miami was a hot spot for rumors revolving around the seven-time Super Bowl champ. The Brady family allegedly purchased a house on Miami’s exclusive Indian Creek Island earlier this year. It would make sense that Brady would want to spend more time near his family, and while Miami and Tampa are not very far from one another as is, it’s still a four-and-a-half hour drive.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has previously expressed an appreciation for Dolphins starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. After Tua was drafted in 2020, Arians declared Tagovailoa should be the Dolphins’ starter if healthy. Arians went on to compare Tua’s situation to his time with Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Ben Roethlisberger. While Arians never flat-out said he liked Tagovailoa as a prospect, it’s hard to imagine a situation where Tagovailoa is not part of the trade for Brady if the rumors of this trade are true. Throw in the fact that one of Tom Brady’s best friends, tight end Rob Gronkowski, has not re-signed with the Buccaneers despite Brady coming out of retirement nearly two weeks ago, and you’ve got yourself a spicy rumor with some real teeth.
That said, there are still several holes in this theory. For one, per a report from The Athletic, Brady is still actively recruiting free agents to join him in Tampa Bay. Why would he be doing that if he was planning on spending 2022 in Miami? At the start of March, Arians claimed that it would take five first-round picks for any team to acquire Brady in a trade. The Dolphins don’t have that kind of capital. While the team does have two first-round selections in 2023, they have none this year and it’s hard to imagine Arians & Co. would be willing to part ways with Brady if they can’t acquire anything that helps the Bucs in the immediate future.
Lastly, the rumor has since been shot down by other reporters. Jeff Howe of The Athletic has stated that there is “nothing happening between Tom Brady and the Dolphins.”
It seems unlikely that the Bucs would opt to give Brady up considering what they’ve been able to accomplish in his two years with the team and how poor the NFC South will be next season. Even with the losses of multiple starting offensive linemen from last season — Alex Cappa and Ali Marpet — as well as star receiver Chris Godwin and potentially Gronkowski, the Buccaneers are in a position to compete in the weak NFC. That being said, if Brady wants out of Tampa, it makes sense that Miami would be his preferred destination. It’s close to family and if Brady still holds any ill will toward his former head coach Bill Belichick (very doubtful, but hey, wild speculation is my speciality), playing for a team in his former team’s division would be a neat, and effective way of getting back at him.
I doubt these Brady to Miami rumors actually hold any weight. There are just too many angles that make no sense. That being said, it would undoubtedly be the biggest sports story in America — the third one involving Brady this month.