Several intriguing rumors surrounded Tom Brady this offseason before he ended his short-lived retirement to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Arguably the most interesting one had him joining the Miami Dolphins as a player and part-owner.
That obviously did not come to fruition, as the Dolphins are now dealing with a class-action lawsuit led by former head coach Brian Flores. Thus, he is back in Tampa Bay to chase another Super Bowl title at the age of 45.
Yet such a rumor leaking means Tom Brady was likely close to joining the Dolphins. In the end, staying in the NFC is a far better move for his championship hopes this season.
Tom Brady made the right move for his title hopes in 2022
The AFC appears to be the toughest it has been in a long time. Gone are the days where it was just Brady and Peyton Manning dominating the conference. Now, the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Matt Ryan are all contenders to reach Super Bowl.
But let's look at the NFC. Tom Brady remains at the top, with Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers in the mix as well. But after those three? Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, and Kyler Murray form the second tier. Yet, none of those three have Super Bowl experience.
Tom Brady joining the Dolphins would have meant he faced Allen and the Buffalo Bills twice in 2022. The schedule would also include a long list of other top AFC quarterbacks, just because of the amount of talent in the conference.
A likely AFC scenario in 2022 is that several top signal-callers finish with losing records just because of the weekly showdowns against such elite counterparts. The same is not true in the NFC, where Brady and the Buccaneers could easily win 12 or 13 games due to a lack of elite opposition on a weekly basis.
The only thing he misses out on in Miami is potential ownership. But the fact that it was discussed could mean he is already on track to get a take upon retirement, whenever that may be.
The interesting thing here is that he could end up jumping to the Dolphins in 2023. There are so many unknowns surrounding how long he wants to play, while Miami is still unsure if Tua Tagovailoa is a real franchise quarterback.
But if the goal is to win as many Super Bowls as possible, staying with the Buccaneers seems to present the legendary quarterback his best opportunity. Heading to Miami at some point may end up being more about that ownership stake than anything else.