MIAMI — It seems like as long as Tom Brady is physically able to play football, questions regarding whether he will suit up for the Dolphins will never cease.
It popped up again Thursday, as Brady was in Miami to speak at the eMerge Americas technology conference. Brady, 45, was asked whether he would come out of retirement to play for the Dolphins, given the time he is spending in South Florida.
“Oh man, I will say now that I’m not affiliated with any team anymore, and even though I have some ties to a couple teams, I do have some friends on the Dolphins that I really like,” said Brady, who owns properties in South Florida. “I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily rooting for them all the time, but I root for my friends to do well.”
Last July, the Dolphins infamously were forced to forfeit two draft picks, and team owner Stephen Ross was suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season as a result of the NFL’s investigation into the team’s violation of the integrity of the game in its pursuit of Brady, as well as Sean Payton when he was head coach of the New Orleans Saints. After a monthslong investigation that was launched in the aftermath of former Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit, the league concluded that Miami made “impermissible communications” with Brady as a member of the Patriots and Buccaneers.
Dolphins vice chairman Bruce Beal, who is friends with Brady, was fined $500,000 and suspended from all league meetings for the remainder of the 2022 season for conducting the discussions between Brady throughout the 2019 season, the league found.
On Feb. 1, Brady announced he was retiring from the NFL and later filed official paperwork to the league and NFL Players Association confirming his retirement.
The Dolphins have continued to show their commitment to starter Tua Tagovailoa this offseason, picking up his fifth-year option after a breakout season that was marred by a pair of diagnosed concussions.
At a predraft news conference on Wednesday, general manager Chris Grier said, “We always hope Tua will be here, successful long term with us.”