For those of you who frequently visit and/or watch or listen to this particular digital destination PFT LiveAs you already know, the Dolphins were looking to hire Sean Payton as the team’s next head coach, with the idea of also enlisting the services of quarterback Tom Brady. They also know that former Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ lawsuit (on the same day Brady announced his short-lived retirement) blew everything up.
As we have often said since the end of February, it was a done deal. It happened. It has been lined up. It was only a matter of time.
During Super Bowl week, Brady would have been introduced as the Dolphins’ minority owner. After that, the Dolphins would have worked out a deal with the Saints for Payton, with at least one first-round pick going from Miami to New Orleans. Then, presumably after the Buccaneers acquired a new starting quarterback through trade or free agency, a deal would have been struck between Miami and Tampa Bay for Brady to play for the Dolphins.
Yes it happened. In fact, it was a done deal. It was the least-reported story of the offseason, in large part because it wasn’t first reported by ESPN.com and/or NFL Media. They’ve both largely ignored and/or downplayed it since then because it wasn’t their.
That doesn’t make it any less true.
Recently, several reports added an important detail to the equation. The Dolphins were willing to give Payton a $100 million contract.
Dave Hyde from the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported late last week that it would have been $20 million a year for Payton over five years. Albert Breer of SI.com reported Monday that it would have actually been $100 million in four years.
Whether four or five years, it’s no surprise considering that: (1) the deal was completed; and (2) the coaching market is about to go haywire.
Obviously it didn’t happen. Come next year someone will surely make another run at Payton. The Panthers have already been linked with Payton. As explained in playmakerthe Cowboys were poised to replace Jason Garrett with Payton in early 2019, but a strange turn of events involving the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis scuttled what was a done deal at the time.
Other teams may be interested in Payton in 2023. He’s clearly in the game for next year. He is a proven commodity. And it is now clear that he will be ready to train again. He almost did, without stopping.
It would have happened if it weren’t for the Flores lawsuit. Payton and Brady to Miami. Brady, reunited with an old-school Parcells disciple who burns the midnight oil and demands a high level of responsibility from his players. Just like Bill Belichick.
To understand Brady’s attraction to Payton, one must better understand Brady’s desire (however articulated to the Buccaneers) to swap Bruce Arians for Todd Bowles, another Parcells protege. Although Brady couldn’t last a day with Belichick for more than 20 years, Brady knows the value of tough coaching for him and the rest of the team. A coach who works and works and works and works and who expects a similar commitment from his players. That’s what Brady wanted, and that’s what he almost got in Miami.
Let’s twist it forward on both counts. Could Payton and Brady, who will be a free agent in 2023, eventually team up somewhere else? It all depends on where Payton is going and if that team needs a quarterback. Miami, still a potential Brady target, won’t change coaches after a year with Mike McDaniel. The Cowboys, if Payton lands there, will not switch quarterbacks.
Could it be Carolina? It’s hard to imagine the Saints swapping Paytons rights within the division. However, when evaluating the potential places in both the coaching and quarterback carousel after the end of the upcoming season, it makes sense to be on the lookout for the possibility, remote as it may seem at this point, of the planets aligning in a way leading to an otherwise competitive team looking for both a new coach and quarterback. This team, if there’s one that fits the description, could be the next team looking to land both Payton and Brady.