The Miami Dolphins reportedly came close to pulling off a grand plan to bring aboard Tom Brady and Sean Payton. Now it's nothing more than a "what if" that the parties involved would rather not discuss.
As detailed by Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, the Dolphins wanted to hire Payton as their head coach and introduce Brady as an owner. They then would have worked to get the quarterback's playing rights from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Those plans all changed when Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the Dolphins and NFL alleging racial discrimination. Miami likely would have faced further legal action had the intention to hire Payton without going through the Rooney Rule become apparent.
As a result, Brady instead unretired and rejoined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Miami hired former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as the new head coach.
On Tuesday, Payton participated in the Zurich Classic's celebrity shootout in New Orleans. According to ESPN's Mike Triplett, the former Saints head coach denied any knowledge of Miami's plan before anyone could even ask him about it.
Payton added that he would have remained on the Saints' sideline if he wanted to coach this year.
Whether the rumors are true or not, Payton has no real reason to address them now. Miami's job is no longer available, and he now has his sights set on a studio gig.
We may never know what truly went down behind the scenes.