Many assume that Tom Brady-Glazer Family meeting, which occurred at a Machester United match hours before the star quarterback ended his NFL retirement, was about forcing Bruce Arians out as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Perhaps Brady and the Glazers, who own both the Bucs and Manchester United, did talk about facilitating Arians’ exit. But, according to a new report from Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, the true reason behind the meeting was something much bigger.
On Thursday, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that Brady’s initial plan was to leave Tampa and join the Miami Dolphins as both a player and minority owner. However, for multiple reasons, the plan was upended by Brian Flores’ bombshell lawsuit, in which Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is accused both of racial discrimination and of offering financial incentives to lose games.
With his Miami goals eliminated, Brady, reportedly using the Bucs as a fallback plan, first had to mend fences with the Glazer Family. Volin’s report offers further insight into a fascinating situation.
Here’s an excerpt:
With his plans with the Dolphins blown up, Brady was left with two choices: stay retired without knowing what he was going to do with his life or return to football.
The decision was obvious. But Brady had to clear up some issues in Tampa first.
On March 12, he traveled to the United Kingdom to take in a Manchester United soccer match. … On March 13, Brady announced that he was coming back to the Buccaneers. His announcement came three days before the start of free agency, allowing the Bucs to use Brady as a recruiting tool.
The final chapter was written March 30, when the Buccaneers announced that Arians was stepping down as head coach and giving way to (Todd) Bowles, who was the team’s defensive coordinator. Every other Bucs coach remained in place, including Leftwich, who essentially will be the head coach on the offensive side of the ball.
It’s not certain what exactly Brady and the Glazers spoke about at the soccer match. But it doesn’t take a genius to put 2 + 2 together.
This might not be over. Brady, who could be a free agent next offseason, reportedly still could land with the Dolphins. Obviously, that would make for some awkward meetings with the New England Patriots.
As for Arians, it’s getting harder and harder to believe anything he said at his retirement press conference.