There surely was a point in early 2020 when the Patriots knew Tom Brady was going to depart New England in free agency.
The organization apparently wasn’t totally convinced the future Hall of Fame quarterback would leave the AFC East, however.
The football world continues to guess which team Brady was criticizing in his recent appearance on HBO’s “The Shop.” ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio on Monday floated a dark horse candidate, the Miami Dolphins, who the Patriots reportedly at a time believed were a legitimate candidate to win the TB12 sweepstakes.
From Florio’s column:
Before Tom Brady made his first foray into free agency, the Patriots feared one potential destination about all others.
Imagine Brady, staying in the division, reuniting with former New England assistant Brian Flores, and tormenting the Pats for the next two or three years, or longer. Yes, the Patriots had very real concerns that would happen ? especially in light of Brady’s relationship with Dolphins minority owner Bruce Beal.
Florio goes on to explain the Dolphins were effectively eliminated as a potential landing spot for Brady as early as a month before the official start of free agency. This checks out, as Miami brass in late January explained why the Fins didn’t make much sense fit-wise for the star signal-caller.
It’s not a total reach to think Brady might have been interested in taking his talents to South Beach. You can pick a lot worse places to live, and the Miami market likely would have appealed to Brady as it pertains to his off-field ventures. Not to mention, having the opportunity to stick it to his former team might have appealed to Brady, one of the league’s fiercest competitors.
Neither Brady nor the Dolphins likely are dwelling on how things shook out in March of last year, but it’s nonetheless fun to think about what could have been.