Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was so blunt last week about the unlikelihood of Miami pursuing Tom Brady in free agency this offseason that it was fair to wonder whether he was posturing.
“We’re a team that’s building, and I don’t know why he’d really want to come to the Dolphins,” Ross told reporters last Friday. “He’s been one of the fiercest competitors there is and we’re at the stage with the Dolphins trying to really build a team for the future.”
While it’s entirely possible the Dolphins change course and throw their hat into the ring if/when Brady hits the open market next month, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported Monday that Ross’ comments were genuine.
One source told Jackson the Dolphins are unlikely to strongly pursue Brady in free agency.
This makes sense since Brady turns 43 before the 2020 season and, as Ross indicated, the Dolphins are a young team that’s in the process of trying to build something sustainable for the future. The more likely scenario is Miami drafts a quarterback — Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa has been linked to the Fins in many early mock drafts — while also bringing back veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick for another campaign.
Still, the Dolphins could just be playing it safe and covering their tracks so they’re not accused of any tampering. After all, Brady is familiar with Miami head coach Brian Flores from his days on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England, and the Dolphins have ample salary cap space plus draft picks at their disposal. Who’s to say they won’t revamp their roster and enter win-now mode in the coming months?
One other interesting note from Jackson: A source could not rule out the possibility that Brady might someday buy a minority stake in the Dolphins.
According to Jackson, such a development would be more likely if Bruce Beal bought the team from Ross, as previously expected. However, Ross, 79, indicated last week he intends to own the Dolphins for as long as he’s alive.