There are a few ways to look at Tom Brady's sudden decision to return to football for at least one more year. One way is to assume that Brady's competitive nature and the rushed nature of the announcement ate away at him until he couldn't take it anymore. Another way, the more suspicious way, is to wonder why it happened the way it did and connect dots. Those who took that path are behind the rumors that Brady wanted to join the Miami Dolphins as an owner, bring in Sean Payton, and un-retire to force the Buccaneers to trade his rights to Miami, where he would then play at least one more season.
It's a rumor that hasn't technically been publicly shot down by the Bucs (Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel did call it "fake news") but reports have cast significant doubt on the legitimacy of the story. That has not stopped others from adding details. Chris Simms, appearing on the God Bless Football podcast hosted by Stugotz, explained the Dolphins were ready to trade a second-rounder to Tampa Bay for Brady and a first to New Orleans for Payton-- but the Brian Flores lawsuit upended any plans. Via Audacy:
“They were going to trade a second-round pick to Tampa Bay to get Brady. [The Bucs] weren’t going to hold him hostage. Sean Payton and the Saints, that was going to be a first-round pick to get that deal done,” Simms confirmed during his appearance on God Bless Football, a podcast hosted by Stugotz of The Dan Le Batard Show. “It was a very real, tangible thing and the Brian Flores lawsuit definitely threw a wrench in it.”
Simms and Mike Florio have been leading the charge on this theory. The one thing that still doesn't line up is that the Dolphins were not that good of a football team in 2021. They certainly weren't just a quarterback and a coach away from Super Bowl contention, even if those two particular positions would've been filled by future Hall of Famers. And losing two high draft picks wouldn't have allowed them to make big swings like the Tyreek Hill trade.
For Brady, winning matters more than anything else. All of the other context about his alleged desire to go to Miami lines up. But not the winning part. That's why the story will have doubt cast upon it until further evidence emerges.