Were the Dolphins 'the team'?

Former NFL GM Mike Lombardi believes that Tom Brady wanted to play for the Dolphins and stay in the AFC East
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Could Tom Brady have been talking about the Miami Dolphins and Ryan Fitzpatrick?

By now, the trailer for the next episode of HBO's "The Shop" featuring Brady talking about his free agency last year has gone viral, particularly his comment about, "You're sticking with that motherf___er?"

While already there's been suggestions that perhaps he was referring to Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers or maybe Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders, former Cleveland Browns GM Mike Lombardi said on his podcast, The GM Shuffle, he thinks Brady was talking about the Dolphins.

"I think Brady really would have liked to play in San Francisco; however, I think Brady wanted to stay on the Eastern Seaboard as much as possible," Lombardi said. "I don't think he would refer to Jimmy G as that m-------------.

"I think the team is Miami. On the Eastern Seaboard, they had Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now, he would say you're sticking with that m---------- for Fitzpatrick. if you know Brady, he wanted to be (in) the East, he wanted to get back at New England, and what better way to get back at New England than go to Miami.

"You got Flores down there, they had plenty of cap room — remember they signed all those guys last year. They had a ton of cap room. And you're sticking with that m---------? Like, you're sticking with Ryan? You don't want me? Like Flo, you know me. You know me.

"Everybody thinks it's the 49ers and Jimmy G, but I don't think that, having them coming off a Super Bowl appearance, Brady would refer to Jimmy G as that m----------. Like you've got to be bad to get Brady to say that, right? I think it was Miami."

As it turned out, of course, Brady did stay in the East, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and winning his seventh Super Bowl title in his first season in the NFC South.

Lombardi, it should be mentioned, last worked in the NFL from 2014-16 as an assistant to the coaching staff for the Patriots.

The Dolphins were never considered serious suitors for Brady last offseason.

Fitzpatrick was heading into the second year of the two-year contract he signed in 2019, but the Dolphins obviously could have walked away from him after one year.

It needs to be mentioned that Brady might be viewed differently right now than he was at the end of the 2019 season when he finished with a pedestrian 88.0 passer rating before producing a 102.2 mark with the Bucs last year.

So hindsight being 20-20, it's certainly easy to say the Dolphins should have pursued Brady last offseason if he indeed had an interest in staying in the AFC East and coming to Miami.

The episode of "The Shop" featuring premiers Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET.