Miami Dolphins Stripped of 2023 First Pick and Owner Suspended After Tom Brady Tampering

Dolphins

The NFL have handed out significant sanctions to the Miami Dolphins, suspending owner Stephen Ross before stripping them of their first draft pick for 2023.

Ross, who has been the principal owner of the Dolphins since purchasing the franchise in 2009, has also been fined $1.5million and will now serve a two-month suspension as a result of tampering.

Former coach Brian Flores accused the 82-year-old of bribing him to intentionally lose games six months ago, in the hope that Miami would be better placed in the draft positions.

Fast-forward to now, the league failed to find any evidence of Flores’ accusations, but their investigation did however reveal prohibited communication with Tom Brady and Sean Payton’s agent, Don Yee.

The Dolphins will now be forced to forfeit a 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick, and in addition to Ross’ fiscal sanctions, he will be removed from all league meetings prior to the Annual Meeting in 2023 as well as being barred from league committees indefinitely.

Brady, now plying his trade for the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, entered unrestricted free agency in 2019 after six Super Bowl wins with the Patriots, and despite making the move to Florida, Ross’ pursuit did not stop there.

Again the Dolphins owner contacted Don Yet following the conclusion of the 2021 season, offering his client the chance to become a partner, serving as a football executive or even as a player despite the Hall of Famer announcing his retirement in last year’s off-season.

“The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” NFL commissioner Roger 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.”

Brian Flores also released a statement following the findings of the investigation, expressing his disappointment at the lack of severity regarding Mr Ross’ penalties.

He said, “I am thankful that the NFL’s investigator found my factual allegations against Stephen Ross are true. At the same time, I am disappointed to learn that the investigator minimized Mr. Ross’s offers and pressure to tank games especially when I wrote and submitted a letter at the time to Dolphins executives documenting my serious concerns regarding this subject at the time which the investigator has in her possession,”

“While the investigator found that the Dolphins had engaged in impermissible tampering of ‘unprecedented scope and severity,’ Mr. Ross will avoid any meaningful consequence. 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.”

It would seem history has a tendency to repeat itself as this is now the second time the Dolphins have had to forfeit a first-round pick; they were found guilty of tampering with head coach Don Shula prior to hiring him in 1970.