Tom Brady was attempting to walk away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, not the NFL, when he announced his (ultimately temporary) retirement in February, according to a new report from ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio.
Florio reported Thursday that Brady planned to become both a minority owner and the quarterback of the Miami Dolphins this offseason, but that those plans were scuttled by Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit, which made specific allegations of tanking and tampering against Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
The Flores suit was filed on the same day as Brady’s retirement announcement.
Six weeks later, Brady reversed course and returned to the Buccaneers for the 2022 season.
After Brady became a minority owner, the Dolphins would have indeed acquired the contractual rights to employ (head coach Sean) Payton from the Saints. Then, the Dolphins would have at some point gotten the rights from the Buccaneers to bring Brady to the roster. …
Could he retire after 2022? Possibly. But that possibility becomes less significant if we regard his 2022 retirement for what it was. It wasn’t a retirement from football but an attempted retirement from the Buccaneers. When the Miami possibility imploded, and when nothing materialized in San Francisco, his only option was to play for the Buccaneers in 2022.
Florio’s report echoes an earlier one from The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, who said on WEEI last month that Brady had plans to become the “Derek Jeter” of the Dolphins before Flores’ lawsuit “(threw) a wrench into the entire thing.”
Brady, who turns 45 in August, has one year remaining on his Bucs contract, setting him up to hit free agency next offseason if he so chooses.