Tom Brady deserves a bit of blame for Miami Dolphins' tampering tomfoolery | David Whitley

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun
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Tom Brady turned 45 last week, and we found out the old coot still has the most prolific wandering eye this side of Deshaun Watson.

The NFL docked Miami $1.5 million and some prime draft picks for trying to lure Brady and New Orleans coach Sean Payton while they were under contract with other teams. That’s known as tampering, and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross obviously needs handcuffs for his inability to control himself.

It takes two to tango, however. While players aren’t disciplined when they’re tampered with, Bucs fans should feel a little, shall we say, deflated over their beloved quarterback.

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Tom Brady was talking to Miami back in his Patriots days

Patriots fans know the feeling. The NFL found that Brady was talking turkey with Miami during his final season in New England in 2019. They were at it again last season, reportedly working on a deal that would make Brady a quarterback/part owner.

Brady “retired” after the season, but the Miami plan derailed when Brian Flores filed his discrimination suit against the Fish. Brady quickly unretired and returned to the Bucs, but not before Todd Bowles replaced Bruce Arians as head coach.

Brady’s hardly the first player to play footsie with other teams, but sheesh. Drinking all those TB12 halibut smoothies must bring out the Machiavelli in a guy.

That said, you can’t question Brady’s dedication to win no matter how many suitors he bats his eyes at. He deserved a big birthday party last week.

It’s just nice that he didn’t get his fondest wish. Stephen Ross didn’t pop out of the cake. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) at the line of scrimmage against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2021 in Tampa, Fla.

Stud of the Week: Honus Wagner. One of his T-206 baseball cards sold for a record $7.5 million. That was $7,490,000 more than Wagner made a year during his prime.

Stud II: The L.A. Angels, for hitting seven solo home runs against Oakland.

Dud of the Week: The L.A. Angels, for hitting seven home runs against Oakland still managing to lose 8-7.

Dud II: NFL Justice. Deshaun Watson set an NFL record by paying hush money to 384 massage therapists, and all he got was a mere six-game suspension. 

Dud III: Russian Justice. Brittney Griner got nine years in jail for possessing two cannabis vape cartridges. If that were U.S. law, the football season would be canceled due to mass incarceration. 

Job Security: Under his new 10-year contract extension, Kirby Smart’s buyout would be $102 million. Georgia probably won’t go 1-11 this season. But if it does, chances are Smart won’t get fired unless he loses 222-0 to Florida. ... 

Meanwhile, UF gave track coach Mike Holloway a 10-year extension last week. He’s led UF to 12 NCAA titles and a sweep of this year’s men’s and women’s outdoor titles. If track coaches got paid like football coaches, Holloway’s buyout would be about $300 million. 

Honus Bonus: The T-206 card is so valuable because the American Tobacco Company made only a couple hundred of them. One theory is Wagner wanted more money for use of his image, making him an NIL pioneer. That would also explain why Wagner eventually entered the transfer portal and signed with Texas A&M. ... Can we just go ahead and officially change his name to DeShame Watson? ...

Congrats to the 32 UF athletes who graduated this past weekend, especially 57-year-old Clifford Lett, who got his sociology degree. He played point guard from 1985-89, a scandalously entertaining era featuring characters like Vernon Maxwell, Dwayne Schintzius and Andrew Moten.  

“We had some characters on those teams, that’s a good way to put it,” Lett told Chris Harry of

Let’s just say if they’d visited Russia, half the players would still be in a Siberian prison. ... Speaking of foreign tours, a friendly word of warning from Auburn coach Bruce Pearl. The Tigers have been playing exhibitions in Israel and took time to float in the ultra-salty Dead Sea. Pearl warned them not to pass wind while floating in the ultra-salty water. There’s a painful vacuum effect.

“It’s not a good experience,” he said.

The players apparently listened, but Auburn Director of Communications Marlene Navor didn’t. “Coach was right,” he posted on Twitter. “Don’t do it.”.

Tom Brady’s so old, his parents considered naming him Honus. ... A lot of people are lamenting the fact Griner had to play abroad to supplement her WNBA income. The best line I’ve heard about that is, “If everybody who complained about the WNBA’s pay inequity actually went to an WNBA game, there wouldn’t be any pay inequity." 

Injury of the Week: Tampa Bay pitching coach Kyle Snyder pulled a calf muscle walking to the mound to talk to a pitcher. Poor guy. Next, he’ll probably need Tommy John surgery after picking up a phone to call the bullpen. 

Watson Redux: The ruling from judge Sue L. Robinson stipulates that DeShame can only get massages from Browns-approved therapists for the rest of his career. The NFL should amend that and stipulate Watson can only get massages from Stephen Ross for the rest of his career. That’d serve them both right. 

That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Until next time, if you’re planning to float in the Dead Sea, don’t eat Mexican food for breakfast.

— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter @DavidEWhitley.

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