Tom Brady’s free agency is stirring headlines before the postseason even starts.
The 45-year-old Buccaneers quarterback is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season ends and the Dolphins have reportedly entered the Brady sweepstakes, the NY Post reports.
The possibility of a Brady-Miami union is “definitely on the table,” according to Pro Football Talk, which cited one source with general knowledge of the quarterback’s situation.
Brady has history with the Dolphins that was exposed in a separate report by Pro Football Talk in February.
The Dolphins reportedly planned to pursue Brady in a dynamic pairing with former Saints coach Sean Payton — but their plan was foiled when former Miami coach Brian Flores filed a landmark race discrimination lawsuit, which came on the same day Brady announced his first retirement on Feb. 1.
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The Dolphins are currently dealing with a quarterback controversy of their own, with Tua Tagovailoa ruled out for Sunday’s wildcard game against the Bills.
Tagovailoa has been in the concussion protocol since December 26 after suffering his second documented concussion of the season in a loss to the Packers on Christmas Day.
Once Brady becomes a free agent, he’ll have to make a decision to either return for a 24th season or retire for good — which is something he said in October wasn’t in his future.
If Brady were to continue playing, would he stay with Tampa Bay or join another team? While that remains to be seen, there are a few teams reportedly interested in making a play for the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback.
Last week, multiple reports linked Brady to the Raiders, who are likely parting ways with their quarterback of nine years, Derek Carr, after a benching him for the final two games of the regular season.
“I do think the Raiders would be one of the possibilities if Tom Brady plays next season,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” last Wednesday.
Two days later, NFL reporter Albert Breer said the Raiders are “doing their research” on Brady.
“I can tell you unequivocally, like, this is a fact: The Raiders are looking into it. The Raiders are looking into going and acquiring Tom Brady,” Breer said Friday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”.
Although Carr is not a free agent — he is under a lucrative contract for three more years — the quarterback posted a goodbye letter to Raider Nation on Thursday, saying he is looking forward to a new city and a new team.
Carr, whom the Raiders drafted in the second round in 2014, is under contract through 2025 after agreeing to a three-year, $121.5 million extension in April. That said, he has no guaranteed money left on his deal and the team can move on from him fairly easily.
Earlier this month, Carr’s brother David — a former NFL quarterback who was the first overall pick of the Houston Texans in 2002 and currently serves as an analyst for NFL Network — said the Raiders will seek to trade him.
Could Brady return to his old stomping grounds in New England?
In November, Brady was linked to his former Patriots team, for which he won six titles alongside New England coach Bill Belichick. At the time, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, who covered the team from 2009-21, wrote, “Don’t ever write off the Patriots” as Brady’s next landing spot.
Howe went on to explain that the former quarterback-coach duo “still have an abundance of respect for one another.”
That became evident by their numerous pleasant exchanges after Brady left the Patriots for Tampa Bay in March 2020 — including a private meeting in the visiting locker room at Gillette Stadium following Brady’s return in October 2021.
Trades cannot become official until the start of the new league year on March 15, though they can be agreed to before then.
During Monday’s episode of his “Let’s Go!” podcast on SiriusXM, Brady — who retired from the NFL last February only to return 40 days later — shed some light on his football future.
“I think the most important thing is the day after the season, and I made this mistake,” Brady said while discussing Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose NFL future remains unclear. “is not to decide the future.”
– This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was republished with permission.