If you are a regular user of this digital site and/or watch or listen to PFT live, you know that the Dolphins wanted Sean Payton as their next head coach. They also had the intention of securing the services for quarterback Tom Brady. It is also known that Brian Flores, former Dolphins coach, filed a lawsuit against the Dolphins. This was the day Brady announced his retirement.
As we have said numerous times since February, it was a done deal. It was happening. It was all planned. It was only a matter time.
Brady would have been introduced to the Dolphins as a minority owner during Super Bowl week. The Dolphins would have made a deal for Payton with the Saints, with at most a first-round draft going from Miami to New Orleans. After the Buccaneers had obtained a new quarterback via trade or free agency a deal was made between Miami and Tampa Bay to allow Brady to play for them.
It was indeed happening. It was indeed a done deal. This story has been one of the most under-reported stories in the offseason. It was not first reported on by ESPN.com or NFL Media. Since then, they've both ignored it and/or downplayed its importance because it wasn’t theirs.
It's still true.
Multiple reports recently added an important detail to the equation. The Dolphins were willing to offer Payton a contract worth $100 million.
It doesn't matter if it was for four years or five, it's not surprising, considering that (1) the deal was completed and (2) the market for coaching is going crazy.
It didn't happen. It is likely that someone will attempt to take over Payton next year. Payton has been previously linked to the Panthers. Playmakers explains that the Cowboys had been poised to replace Jason Garrett by Payton in 2019, but an unusual turn of events involving Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans ended what seemed like a done deal.
Payton could be available for other teams in 2023. He is clearly available for next year. He is a proven commodity. It is now clear that he will be available to coach again. Without a break, he almost did.
It would have been possible but for the Flores suit. Payton and Brady travel to Miami. Brady is reunited with an old-school Parcells student who works hard and requires a lot of accountability from his players. Like Bill Belichick.
Understanding Brady's attraction is key to understanding his desire to be with Payton. Brady is a hard coach, and he can't imagine Brady spending more than 20 years with Belichick. A coach who is hard working and expects the same commitment from his players. Brady was looking for that, and he nearly got it in Miami.
Let's make it work on both counts. Brady and Payton, who are free agents in 2023, could team up somewhere else? It all depends on Payton's destination and whether the team has a quarterback. Miami, still a possible Brady destination, will not be changing coaches after one season with Mike McDaniel. If Payton does land there, the Cowboys won't be changing their quarterbacks.
Carolina, perhaps? It is hard to see the Saints selling Payton's rights in the division. It is worth keeping an eye on the possibilities for spots on the coaching and quarterback carousels. However, the odds of the stars aligning in a way that leads to a contending team seeking a new coach as well as a new quarterback are slim. If there's one, that team could be the next to try and land Brady and Payton.