The Boston Globereports that the quarterback’s offseason—which encompassed a momentary retirement and unretirement—was due to the fact that remaining with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t his first choice.
It looks like what he really wanted to do was retire, become a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins, and help run the team from the front office—akin to Derek Jeter’s post with the Miami Marlins. And that isn’t all. After making his move to the Dolphins, Brady was also planning to come out of retirement and play for them, with Sean Payton as head coach. Brady reportedly had a close relationship with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and minority owner Bruce Beal.
However, a major unforeseen circumstance botched Brady’s arrangements. On Feb. 1, the same day that he announced his retirement, former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores sued the NFL, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos, and the Dolphins for “racism in hiring,” according to ESPN. The public scrutiny that Miami faced, and the organization hiring both Brady and Payton—two white men—would be a bad look, so the plan was scrapped.
A month later, in mid-March, Brady announced his return to the Buccaneers, before free agency. The team’s prior head coach, Bruce Arians also bowed out, and instead became a consultant with the team—perhaps the result of a “souring” relationship between Brady and Arians.
Included in Flores’ complaint against the teams and the NFL was that he had landed multiple interviews for head-coaching positions but soon figured out they were “shams.” These incidents made Flores believe that the interviews were so the teams would be in compliance with the Rooney Rule—a nearly 20-year-old NFL policy that requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching positions.