Why wasn’t the Sean Payton/Tom Brady story in Miami more important?

Why wasn’t the Sean Payton/Tom Brady story in Miami more important?

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Arguably the biggest story of a storied offseason came from the Dolphins, who were on the verge of acquiring Sean Payton from the Saints and, ultimately, Tom Brady from the Buccaneers. It was, as we’ve said many times, a done deal – until former Dolphins coach Brian Flores sued the team, the league and other teams. .

What makes the story even more intriguing is the fact that it wasn’t a bigger story. People like Dan LeBatard have expressed justified apoplexy that it wasn’t and still isn’t a big deal. On Tuesday, Simms and I discussed the failure of this very big story to make it into a much bigger story for Live PFT.

I’ve written before that the story isn’t bigger because ESPN and NFL Network, the two biggest fish in the NFL coverage pond, never embraced it. I suggested they ignored and/or downplayed it because it wasn’t their story.

So why didn’t they make it theirs?

As for ESPN, Simms suggested (i.e., don’t send any GFY was texting me about it) that Adam Schefter’s common connection to Michigan with Brady and Dolphin owner Stephen Ross prevented Schefter from confirming the story or attempting to advance it. And that makes sense. At one point, Schefter would go on to play a role in agent Don Yee’s Pacific Pro Football League. Yee represents Brady AND Payton. All Schefter had to do, once the chatter emerged of Dolphins landing Payton and Brady, was contact Yee to confirm it. Or, as is often the case, to elicit new details about the situation, vaguely justifying a decision to ignore pre-existing reports.

But it’s one thing to know. It’s another to point it out. We assume that Schefter knew about it, but decided for reasons unrelated to his overarching goal of informing the public to keep it to himself.

As for NFL Network, it would surely have been frowned upon by the owner/operator of the company (that’s to say, the NFL) to report an arrangement that necessarily violated the letter and/or spirit of several NFL standards, including, but not limited to, the Anti-Tampering Policy and the Rooney Rule. The fact that Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL derailed the Payton/Brady/Miami arrangement makes the story much more of a third-rail topic for anyone on the NFL payroll.

With ESPN and NFL Network sitting this one from a reporting standpoint, the story never got as big as it could have. Of course, there’s always a chance of it becoming a big story, if/when one or both of these networks decides to make the situation the focus of the first week, ticking the boxes, Sunday Splash! reports.

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