TAMPA — While Tom Brady was trying to lead the Boss team to defend his Super Bowl title, he was in secret discussions in December about becoming a minority owner and possibly the Miami Dolphins quarterback in 2022, according to the results of an NFL investigation.
On Tuesday, Dolphin was sanctioned by the league for tampering with Brady and former Saints coach Sean Payton.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell described the abuses by the dolphins as “unprecedented.”
“Investigators have found fraudulent violations of unprecedented scale and severity,” Goodell said in a statement. “I do not know of any previous case of a team violating the ban on tampering with both the coach and the star player, at the potential expense of several other clubs over several years. Likewise, I do not know of any previous case in which the monarchy was directly involved in the violations.”
The Dolphins would lose their first-round pick in the 2023 draft and third-round pick in 2024. Owner Stephen Ross was suspended until October 17, banned from all league committees and fined $1.5 million.
In addition, Bruce Beal, Dolphins Vice President/Limited Partner and friend of Brady’s, has been fined $500,000 and may not attend any regular meeting for the rest of the year.
Bell is on the board of directors for TB12, the Brady Health & Fitness Company with trainer Alex Guerrero.
Brady will face no penalty for messing with the Dolphins while he was under contract with the Patriots and Bucks.
The disclosure came after a six-month investigation by the NFL led by former US attorney and Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White and a team of lawyers.
The results included two attempts by dolphins to mess with Brady in the hopes of convincing him to play a quarterback for Dolphins.
The first unauthorized contacts came in 2019-2020 when Brady was under contract with the Patriots. Those talks began in August and continued throughout the 2019 season and beyond.
The association said the “numerous and detailed” discussions were conducted by Bell, and he informed Ross and other Dolphin executives of his conversations with Brady.
According to the investigation, the Dolphins again made “unauthorized contacts with Brady and client Don Yi during and after the 2021 season” while playing for the Bucs. The league said they started no later than December 2021 and focused on Brady becoming a limited partner with Dolphins and possibly a football CEO, but it also included the possibility of him playing with Dolphins. Ross and Bell participated in those discussions.
Dolphins also held “unauthorized” talks with Payton’s agent last January about taking over as Miami coach before he resigned as Saints head coach after 15 seasons on January 25.
Yee represents both Brady and Payton.
The Bucs had no comment on Brady’s dolphin messing around. Ye declined to comment when contacted by the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday.
Brady announced his retirement on February 1, the same day former Dolphins coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against his former team and two other NFL clubs alleging racism in their hiring practices.
In the lawsuit, Flores alleged that Ross offered him $100,000 for each loss shortly after he was hired in 2019 to improve Dolphins’ position.
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While the NFL found no evidence that the Dolphins intentionally lost games in 2019, it did find that Ross had made comments to team executives that a draft position should take priority over winning games.
Brady is one of the most recognizable stars in professional sports and is naturally approached with plenty of opportunities. In addition to TB12, he owns a “BRADY” clothing line and film production company, and invests in the world of NFT.
Brady did not address his interest in dolphins. He and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, have paid $17 million for a plot of land in Biscayne Bay overlooking the Miami skyline and are building an eco-mansion there.
The Bucs own the rights to Brady for 2022, so Dolphins owed Tampa Bay compensation as part of the trade to acquire the quarterback.
Brady announced that he will return to the playing field and the Bucs on March 13, the eve of the start of the free-agent negotiation period, saying he has “unfinished business”.
Brady refused to address reports of his interest in dolphins at a small mandatory camp Bock in June.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations with a lot of people,” he said. “Like I have done for the past three or four years in my career on the different opportunities when I finished playing football.”
Instead, Brady spoke about his recommitment to playing in the NFL and for the Bucks.
“For me, the most important thing is where I am now and what I hope to do for this team,” he said.
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