It's been a while since the Miami Dolphins were a true contender in the NFL. And just when they were right on track, they let go of Brian Flores in one of the most head-scratching moves in recent history.

But even though not many people got why the Dolphins did what they did, it seems like the front office was playing chess, not checkers. Their plan was so upfront, so brilliant, so flawless, that it was dead in the water right before they could put it in motion.

Per a recent report, the Dolphins fired Flores because they wanted to replace him with Sean Payton. Moreover, they also planned to replace Tua Tagovailoa with Tom Brady. The only problem? Both of them retired before they could even try.

Dolphins Wanted To Sign Tom Brady And Sean Payton

(Transcript via ProFootballTalk)

"Per multiple sources, and as first revealed on Monday’s PFT Live, the Dolphins planned to pursue Sean Payton to be the coach and Tom Brady to be the starting quarterback. The plan was scrapped after Brian Flores filed his lawsuit against the NFL generally and the Dolphins, Giants, and Broncos specifically.

By rule, the Dolphins first would have had to reach an agreement with the Saints as to potential compensation for hiring Payton. Once an agreement had been reached, the Dolphins then would have had to work out an agreement directly with Payton.

As to Brady, Dolphins sources contend that internal discussions occurred regarding the possibility of adding Brady as a minority owner, but that those considerations currently are on hold. The delay, per Dolphins sources, has nothing to do with the lawsuit; it’s more about the uncertain status of Brady’s retirement from playing. Once it’s clear he’s not coming back to play for the Buccaneers or some other team, the plan for selling a piece of the team to Brady could proceed."

Maybe the Dolphins would've struck gold if they hadn't waited until Brady's age 45 season to pursue him. Now, they're once again stuck with Tua and hoping rookie HC Mike McDaniel can bring some life back to their offense.