Tom Brady unexpectedly chose to meet with reporters after his one-run preseason cameo in Saturday night’s game against the Colts. During his brief remarks, he addressed one of the various elephants grazing the room.
“I read all these different stories about all these different places I had to go or could have gone,” Brady said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “I only went to one place, who was here. I think this whole organization knows that.”
That contention flies in the face of the facts as the NFL has found them to be. For four different calendar years, the Dolphins spoke to him at a time when the rules prohibited it. They talked to him about playing for the Dolphins. They talked him into becoming a minority owner of the Dolphins. They talked him into becoming an executive with the Dolphins. And when he announced his “retirement” on February 1st, the filing later that day of the Brian Flores lawsuit killed the plan, which was described to us as a “done deal”: (1) during Super Bowl week , Brady becomes a limited partner in the Dolphins; (2) not long after that, the Dolphins acquire the rights to coach Sean Payton of the Saints; and (3) later, the Dolphins acquire the rights to Brady as a player.
“All the conversations we had over a period of time, I picked the right place for me,” Brady said. “And I’m very proud of the effort everyone is putting in to make the relationship work. Joel [Glazer] it was wonderful. Jason [Licht] is a great friend of mine, Bruce [Arians]Todd [Bowles].”
Whether characterized as “alternative facts” or some less diplomatic term, it is simply not the truth. Actually, if he had never, ever played for the Dolphins, why did they keep talking to him when he was under contract with other teams?
Sometime in 2019, 2020, 2021 or 2022, the Dolphins would have gotten the message if the message was something along the lines of, “You are wasting everyone’s time.” Instead, Brady’s good friend (and Dolphins vice president) Bruce Beal kept trying because Brady’s buddy Beal knew there was a reason to try.
Then there’s the fact that, as UFC president Dana White explained it a week ago, the Raiders almost had Brady under contract in 2020, until former Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden put the kibosh in motion. Brady, who through White was looking for houses in the area, was ready to join the Raiders, not the Bucs.
In fairness to Brady, what else could he say? “Yeah, I wanted to play for the Raiders two years ago, but Gruden didn’t want me”? “Sure, I planned to play for the Dolphins this season, but after Flores filed his lawsuit, that was it”?
He says what he has to say and does what he has to do to move on. And to make the most of what will likely be his final NFL season (then again, maybe not), he needs to slam the door on any talk that, deep down, he wanted 2022 to play out very differently than playing for the pirates.