Rex Ryan has a fun but flimsy Brady-Payton-Commanders idea originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
With a hole at quarterback and the very real possibility of new ownership stepping in for Dan and Tanya Snyder, this could be an awfully interesting offseason for the Commanders.
ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Rex Ryan, however, presented something on Sunday that would instead make these next few months AWFULLY INTERESTING!!!!!!
During the network’s pregame show leading up to the NFC and AFC Championship games, Tom Brady’s future was brought up. It’s a topic that’s already been discussed ad nauseam since Brady was eliminated to close out Wild Card Weekend and it’ll undoubtedly be talked about ad-ad-ad nauseam until the star announces if/where his career will continue.
Leave it to Ryan, though, to figure out a way to spruce up this particular edition of the conversation.
“I’m telling you,” Ryan said as he initiated eye contact with his fellow hosts in an effort to show he was at least being semi-serious. “Watch the Washington Commanders in this.”
It was at that point that an unidentified coworker of Ryan’s responded much like 97% of this story’s readers probably did.
“Huh?” the person said.
Ryan, undeterred by the skepticism, carried on.
“There’s a strong possibility that there’s going to be a change in ownership, all right? And when that happens, these owners aren’t tied into that coach.
“And to me, I can see a Sean Payton-Tom Brady — we talk about [the] Miami [Dolphins], well, Miami contacted Brady, it was Sean Payton, it was going to be that marriage of those two, so I could possibly see that down the road.
“If [Brady] doesn’t sign with the Raiders immediately, I could see this as a possibility.”
Before getting into why Ryan’s fun thought is ultimately a flimsy one, here’s the video of his take:
Just sitting here watching NFC championship game preview shows and seeing Rex Ryan suggest the Commanders’ new owner could bring Sean Payton and Tom Brady to town. I’m so sure. pic.twitter.com/k1Hz9Qhs2k
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) January 29, 2023
Now, the main roadblock to Brady soon pairing up with Terry McLaurin and Payton replacing Ron Rivera is the timeline of the Commanders’ potential switch-up of owners, which forms the crux of Ryan’s argument/45-second daydream.
As NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay reported, an announcement “could come as soon as March,” yet that is an admittedly optimistic proposition. The new league year — and free agency, mind you — commences on March 15.
If, somehow, the Snyders are gone and their successor (or successors) is installed before then, then sure, release the Photoshops of Brady in a huddle alongside of McLaurin and Jahan Dotson and Brian Robinson Jr. Throw Payton in there, too, for good measure. Might as well let loose.
But should the sale of the organization occur later than that — which feels like the far more realistic outcome — then there’ll be a dearth of dramatic moves in Washington due to the uncertainty about who’ll sit atop the club’s hierarchy. That domino must fall first, and if it doesn’t fall until, say, the summer, then the window for major acquisitions in this offseason cycle will have long closed.
Therefore, assuming he doesn’t retire, Brady will be signing elsewhere, Rivera will remain in charge and Ryan’s proposal will be nothing but a wacky Twitter video.
Beyond that, there’s also the matter of Payton’s eventual employer — his hiring could even be pushed back until 2024, by the way — having to negotiate with the Saints for his services. New Orleans, who owns the rights to Payton, is rumored to be seeking a first-round pick at a minimum with some reports suggesting that the asking price is higher than that.
And lastly, both Brady and Payton would need to simultaneously agree that Washington is the best destination for them to land. As Ryan mentioned, a Brady-Payton partnership in Miami was once viewed as a tantalizing fit, but who knows what they think of the Commanders and what they presently think of each other.
So, to sum up: In order for Ryan’s pitch to come to fruition, Washington’s fresh owners have to be approved and in place in roughly a month and a half, Brady has to opt to keep playing football and decide to do so in the nation’s capital over his other suitors, Payton will have to be traded for, Rivera will have to be excused and, oh, that’s all.
In short: Go back to rewatching Sam Howell’s performance in the finale versus Dallas.