What if the Dolphins really got Tom Brady, Sean Payton? Exploring potential ripple effects

Tom Brady and Sean Payton both “retired” this offseason, but not before entertaining the team-up on the Dolphins, who were fined this week by the NFL for tampering with the quarterback and head coach. While he was employed by the Buccaneers and Saints, respectively, Brady has since returned to Tampa Bay for at least one more season in pewter, while Payton is already teasing a return to the sidelines in 2023. But what if Miami had, in fact, successfully recruited two superstars?

The ripple effects, it’s safe to say, would have been monumental. Here’s our best guess at how things might play out if the Dolphins play out their plans by rulebook:

The Dolphins acquired Sean Payton for a package that also included Tua Tagovailoa.

Assuming Payton and Brady were always going to be a package deal, that would clear up quarterback room in Miami, while giving the Saints a long-term option under center, not to mention a QB in Tagovailoa. Which has size and low risk trends. At least remotely reminiscent of Drew Brees. He got Tua and a 2022 second-round draft pick for Payton, who was either going to retire or coach elsewhere, and earned the respect of ownership to end his career on his own terms.

The Saints hired Dennis Allen as head coach

No change here. With Payton gone, Allen still stands as a natural, if unimpressive, successor/placeholder internally.

The Dolphins acquired Tom Brady for a package of picks.

With Bruce Arians upset over Brady’s decision to start elsewhere, the QB apparently leans on Bucs ownership, and general manager Jason Licht, using his 2020 title as evidence to facilitate the move. He has already given Tampa Bay his all. Let’s say Miami surrenders four draft picks for Brady: a 2022 first (No. 29 overall), a 2023 first, a 2023 second, and a 2022 third. A steep price, perhaps, for a 45-year-old QB with a few years left in the tank, but the Bucs can’t justify to themselves, or their fans — the greatest signal-caller of all time. . Chump change.

The Dolphins build around Brady in free agency.

With draft picks and plenty of money to spend, Miami has rebuilt its lineup for TB12, Rams-style, with an eye on immediate success. Among the big-ticket additions: left tackle Teron Armistead, who in real life ended up in Miami but now has Sean Payton’s ties to New Orleans. Wide receiver Allen Robinson, who goes back to Florida for a chance to catch passes from an elite QB. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who held off retirement to follow Brady’s trip south. Center Ryan Jensen, who leaves expansion Tampa Bay to bolster the Dolphins’ line. And Julio Jones, a late addition as no. 2/3

Bruce Arians is the head coach of the Buccaneers.

Angered by Brady’s bolt, Arians postponed his resignation/retirement to prove the Bucs could remain competitive in the NFC South, which was still wide open. He convinces Todd Bowles to stay on as defensive coordinator with the idea of ​​taking over in 2023, when Tampa Bay will have the ammunition from the Brady trade to completely rebuild.

The Buccaneers acquire Jimmy Garoppolo from the 49ers.

After insisting for much of the spring and summer that Blaine Gabbert would replace Brady under center, Arians and Licht negotiated a deal with San Francisco to name Jimmy G as Brady’s successor. But let your destiny be fulfilled. Garoppolo comes in exchange for a mid-round pick subject to an opportunity to reset his market for 2023.

The Jets acquire Tyreke Hill from the Chiefs.

With the Dolphins out of the running for Brady and Payton due to overspending, Hill headed to the Big Apple for big money after failing to negotiate a long-term deal with Kansas City. The Jets then enter 2022 with Hill as QB Zach Wilson’s new toy, and Hill inevitably spends much of the offseason comparing Wilson’s arm talent to Patrick Mahomes.

The Broncos hired Mike McDaniel as head coach

Through back channels, Denver learned that McDaniel was very much on the Dolphins’ radar, but now, with Payton in Miami, they patiently conduct their search and wait for the 49ers’ assistant to finish the playoff run. do, before he pursues her as an aggressive wizard. program around. McDaniel, a Colorado native, left Kyle Shanahan for the team that began his coaching career, when Mike Shanahan was overseeing the franchise.

The Saints signed Teddy Bridgewater.

After adding Tua in the Sean Payton deal, New Orleans re-signed Bridgewater as a backup/mentor for the young QB. Teddy, meanwhile, jumps at the chance to return to a town and crew that enjoyed its emergency just a few years ago.

The Vikings are signing Jameis Winston.

With New Orleans no longer an option, Winston fails to land a guaranteed starting job elsewhere, like Chicago and Pittsburgh, and opts for a one-year flyer deal with Minnesota, now analytically minded. Wale runs GM Kwesi Adofo Mensah. Knows he may have to rebuild at QB down the road and is willing to gamble on Winston in the backup role.