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Dolphins Owner Suspended for Tampering


Miami Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross was suspended Tuesday by the NFL | Image by Allen Eyestone/USA Today

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Miami Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross was suspended Tuesday by the NFL following a six-month investigation into tampering allegations stemming from a lawsuit filed by the team’s former coach Brian Flores.

Ross will be suspended through October 17 and cannot be at the team’s facilities or represent the team at any event and must also pay a $1.5 million fine. The team was also stripped of its first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and its third-round pick in the 2024 Draft.

Ross also may not attend any league meetings before the annual meeting in 2023, and he will be removed from all league committees indefinitely.

The league’s investigation found that Ross and the Dolphins’ vice chairman/limited partner Bruce Beal violated the anti-tampering policy on three occasions from 2019 to 2022 in conversations with quarterback Tom Brady and the agent for then-New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.

Beal was fined $500,000 and is not allowed to attend any league meetings for the rest of the 2022 season.

The investigation resulted from a lawsuit by Flores, which alleged racism in the league’s hiring practices and that Ross attempted to incentivize him to “tank” or purposely lose games to improve the team’s draft position shortly after he was hired in 2019.

Flores claimed Ross offered him $100,000 for every loss that season. He also alleged that as the team won games late in the season, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier told him Ross was “mad” that the on-field success was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”

The NFL’s investigation found no evidence that the team intentionally lost games during the 2019 season.

The league found improper communications with Brady when he was a member of the New England Patriots in 2019 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021. The conversations centered on Brady possibly joining the team as a limited partner and possibly as a football executive, but the possibility of him playing for the team was also discussed.

The Dolphins also communicated with Payton’s agent about him serving as Miami’s next head coach while he was coach of the New Orleans Saints. The league found that the Dolphins “did not seek consent” from the Saints to begin these talks and that they occurred before Payton retired later that month.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called the league’s findings “unprecedented.”

“The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” Goodell said in a statement. “I know of no prior instance of a team violating the prohibition on tampering with both a head coach and star player, to the potential detriment of multiple other clubs, over a period of several years. Similarly, I know of no prior instance in which ownership was so directly involved in the violations.”

Flores said he was disappointed Ross would avoid “any meaningful consequences.”

“While the investigator found that the Dolphins had engaged in impermissible tampering of ‘unprecedented scope and severity,’ Mr. Ross will avoid any meaningful consequence,” said Flores. “There is nothing more important when it comes to the game of football itself than the integrity of the game. When the integrity of the game is called into question, fans suffer, and football suffers.”

Ross issued a statement stating he “strongly disagreed” with the conclusions of the investigation but would accept the punishment “because the most important thing is that there be no distractions for [the] team.”

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1 month ago

HA! you would think Jerry “Genius GM” Jones would get suspended and fined. He is a snake and POS

Reply to  Bobby
1 month ago

Jerry Jones will never be called out because he pays too much to many to keep quiet. It’s obvious that JJ owns many referees.

1 month ago

Racism. It’s always about racism.

Charles Barchuk
Charles Barchuk
1 month ago

Plenty of accusations and the tampering stuff had supporting material but the article doesn’t nention anything about the supposed “racism”… Why is that? Seems like for anything to be taken seriously, you have to use the word racism in there. What is the percentage of minorities in the nfl? Last I checked, these minorities are beating women in elevators, causing drunk driving deaths, killing people and so on. Or taking a knee, raising a resistance fist in the air and saying the league is modern day slave trading. If playing and naking hundreds of thousands to millions is modern day slavery, count me in.

1 month ago

Lmao what a joke more concerned about a bunch of unskilled jagoffs playing games than the security of the National elections. Just goes to show how pathetic this country has become

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