A year ago, no one knew that Saints coach Sean Payton and Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady were trying to join forces with the Dolphins. Eventually the word got out and shit hit the fan and yada yada yada the Dolphins don’t have a first round pick in 2023.
Now, with Brady set to become a free agent in March and Payton currently attracting interest from multiple teams, could Brady and Payton land on the same team next season?
Four teams are interested in Payton – the Broncos, Cardinals, Texans and Panthers. The first two have quarterbacks under massive contracts. The Texans need more than Brady to be competitive.
Enter the Panthers. The last to officially join the Payton chase, Carolina has great defense, great receivers, a solid running game, and a pretty good offensive line to keep things running smoothly.
They also have an owner who was desperate for a great franchise coach and quarterback. Although Brady would be a short-term option, he would fill the stadium and create a ton of excitement.
Also, the NFC South is currently, to put it simply, no good. The Panthers would instantly become favorites to win the division. They could fatten their record enough to become a top seed, especially with the rotation of the schedule having them face the AFC South and NFC North teams in 2023.
A Payton-Brady duo (Payton joked last month on Brady’s podcast about this possibility) would also send a middle finger to 345 Park Avenue. In 2012, the league suspended Payton for one season for bogus bonuses. Six years ago, the league suspended Brady for four games on bogus air pressure charges. And with their attempted partnership costing Miami a 2022 first-round pick, finally getting there would surely create consternation and heartache at league headquarters.
It makes a lot of sense and hides in plain sight. We will know in the next few weeks if this happens.