How Tom Brady could have become a player/owner for Dolphins

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson and ESPN's Jeff Darlington explain how the legendary quarterback could have -- theoretically -- owned and played for the AFC East franchise.

Video transcript

CHARLES ROBINSON: I got to talk to you about Brady, OK. And you know, Jeff is one of the most-- personally arguably, I think Jeff is the most dialed in reporter in the NFL when it comes to like Tom Brady and how a lot of different things play out around him, his career. Jeff's reporting-- other than like-- he and Seth Wickersham probably told me more about Tom Brady and the dynamics there, which is saying something because you know, Seth Wickersham just wrote one of the greatest books ever.

JEFF DARLINGTON: Seth wrote a book.

CHARLES ROBINSON: One of the greatest--

JEFF DARLINGTON: Which was like--

CHARLES ROBINSON: --football books ever written.


CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, yeah, yeah, and it's thick, super thick. But I want to ask you about Brady because there's a lot of stuff out there about Miami. I'll be up front. At one point after Florio had said what he'd said and you know, Volin, all this stuff, I have said, hey, line all this stuff up, the way everything works, the agents that are shared by certain people, some of the allegations about the tampering, the whole yacht thing, and the Flores lawsuit.

I'm like, there's a lot here that makes a lot of sense. And the fact that I've gone-- you know, you go five weeks and then you unretire, I've never fully gotten the explanation for why exactly, that is credible to me. The one wrinkle in this, I think is really interesting, is this idea of Tom, being a player, potentially could have been-- hey, the Dolphins bring him in this executive position. They backdoor it so that Tampa fills the quarterback spot.

Then they trade for his rights, and then he becomes their quarterback with this idea that he will be an owner, either-- I don't know if it would have been like during. I'm not up on the rules for that. Explain to me, is Brady like potentially-- is he a guy who could have been the quarterback for the Dolphins and an owner? Is that even possible? And like sort some of this out for me.

JEFF DARLINGTON: That's a great question. And first of all, to your original point, I think there's been a ton of talk about this. And I know Volin's story. And I certainly never-- I'm not in the business of criticizing reporting. And Ben's been doing this a long time too. And that's not what I'm doing here when I say this.

It's also not fair because I'm not going to sit here and lay out the whole deal. I hate to be the guy like, well that's not all true, but I'm not going to tell you what is. So that's not fair either. I would say that we just need to be careful of taking pieces and connecting all the dots just based on logic because one of the things I've learned in this whole thing covering Brady is that logic does not always prevail when it comes to some of these pieces that come together. It's just a different deal.

But I will say that the idea that-- the ownership thing, obviously, I think we're all pretty comfortable saying that Tom has had discussions with the Dolphins about minority ownership. But by the way, I think it's also important to point out that the ink was not on the paper. It wasn't a done deal. You know, so a lot still had to happen for that to become a reality.

And then the idea that he would play for the Dolphins and own the team at the same time is also-- like we say that flippantly, like that's just-- he'll go buy part of the team and then he'll play for the team while he owns it. OK. So can he even do that? This is a question I had just because I was curious because it's something that needs to be explored a little bit.

Here's the crazy thing. He could do it. He could play for the Dolphins and also own them at the same time. And I talked to Brian McCarthy with the NFL about this. And I'm not trying to make more out of this than [INAUDIBLE]. The reason I was kind of wondering is, it would kind of squash it if it's a salary cap-- if it's a clear salary cap violation to own the team, which by the way, makes sense. Why wouldn't the team just give a player equity rather than money--

CHARLES ROBINSON: It seems like--


CHARLES ROBINSON: --circumventing, right? Seems like--

JEFF DARLINGTON: Yeah, circumventing.

CHARLES ROBINSON: --some way of like--

JEFF DARLINGTON: Clearly should be loophole closed, not allowed. I thought, once I learned that, that it would be obvious, OK, he can't do that, we move on. Brian McCarthy told me that you can do it, NFL spokesman. We were talking about this earlier today. You can do it, but you have to get approval from the 32 owners in the NFL.

24 of the 32 owners would have to approve it, which I don't even want to go down this road because it's not a reality. It's not what Tom is doing, right? My whole point in this is-- I'm not saying it's happening. Quite frankly, Tom is playing for the Bucs. He is committed to the Bucs. The end. Truly, the end. But I still find it a fascinating exercise to picture owners deciding whether they should let Tom Brady play for the Dolphins while owning the team.