Dolphins linebacker claims ref told him to go easy on Tom Brady: 'Stay off Tom'

The NFL has made it no secret it wants to protect quarterbacks in recent seasons. But if one Miami Dolphins player is to be believed, the league may have gone too far when it comes to keeping its stars safe.

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Dolphins linebacker Raekwon McMillan says a ref told him to take it easy on New England’s Tom Brady during Sunday’s game. McMillan claims the ref went so far as to say “stay off Tom.”

That’s quite the accusation, which, if true, casts the NFL in a bad light. If the refs are giving stars preferential treatment, that’s a huge problem. Some fans already believe this to be the case, so if refs are actually vocalizing it to players, that’s even more damning.

It’s possible McMillan is exaggerating the point. Perhaps the ref told him to “stay off the quarterback.” That’s not as bad as the ref singling out Brady.

Given the Patriots and Brady’s success, some fans are eager to accept the NFL is going out of its way to help the franchise. While that might make it tempting to believe McMillan, we’re going to need other players to step forward with similar stories before we suggest this is a vast conspiracy.


Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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