NFL snatches Miami Dolphins 2023 first-round picks, fines Stephen Ross $1.5M for tampering with Tom Brady, Sean Peyton

MIAMI – The NFL informed the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday that the team would be removed from a 2023 first-round selection, among other disciplinary measures, for breaches of league policies related to the integrity of the game.

After a six-month investigation, the league found the Dolphins – primarily team owner Stephen Ross and vice president/limited partner Bruce Beale – in talks with quarterbacks to have violated the anti-tampering policy on three occasions from 2019 to 2022. tom brady and agent for then-New Orleans Saints coach Sean Peyton.

However, the NFL found no evidence that the team intentionally lost games during the 2019 season. In February, former Dolphins coach Brian Flores alleged racism in the league’s recruiting practices in his lawsuit, saying Ross attempted to encourage him to “tank” or intentionally lose games, shortly after being hired in 2019. Afterwards, Ross reportedly offered Flores $100,000. Every defeat in that season. Flores alleged that as the team won games late in the season, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier told him that Ross was “crazy” that on-field success was “compromising”. [the team’s] draft status.”

In addition to the first round selection, the Dolphins will also lose their 2024 third round selection.

Meanwhile, Ross was fined $1.5 million and suspended until October 17, during which time he is not allowed to stay at the Dolphins’ facility or represent the team at any team event. He also cannot attend any league meeting before the annual meeting to be held in 2023.

Dolphins vice chairman/limiting partner Bruce Beale was fined $500,000 and is not allowed to attend any league meetings for the rest of the 2022 season.

NFL League spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN’s Jenna Line that Brady would receive no punishment for molesting the Dolphins.

Beale led permissive communications with Brady, then New England Patriots quarterback, while he was still under contract; Ross and other dolphin officials were informed of the content of those conversations.

Ross and Biel both flirted with Brady once again after the 2021 season, when he was under contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This time, however, talks focused on Brady joining the team as a limited partner and possibly a football executive – although the possibility of him playing for the team was discussed, according to the league’s investigation.

Finally, in January 2022, the NFL found that the Dolphins had “permissive communication” with agent Don Yee—who represents both Brady and Peyton—about Peyton serving as Miami’s next head coach. Is. The league found that the Dolphins “did not seek consent” from the Saints to begin these negotiations, and they took place before Peyton retired at the end of that month.

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

“Investigators found a breach of tampering with unprecedented scope and severity,” Goodell said in a statement. “I know of no prior instance of a team violating a ban on tampering with both a head coach and a star player to the potential loss of several other clubs over a period of several years. Similarly, I have found no such There is no prior instance in which ownership was directly involved in the breaches.”

Flores said in a statement he was disappointed that Ross would “avoid any meaningful outcome” with Tuesday’s discipline.

“I am grateful that the NFL investigator found my factual allegations against Stephen Ross to be true. At the same time, I was disappointed to learn that the investigator downplayed Mr. Ross’s proposals and the pressure of the tank game, especially after I wrote a letter. Wrote and submitted Dolphins officials have the time to document my serious concerns about this subject with the investigator.” “While the investigator found that the Dolphins engaged in tampering with ‘unprecedented scope and seriousness’, Mr. Ross would avoid any meaningful outcome. When it comes to the game of football nothing is more important than the integrity of the game . When the integrity of the game is questioned, fans suffer and football suffers.”

While it found no evidence that the Dolphins tried to tank in 2019, the investigation found that Ross made comments to team president and CEO Tom Garfinkel, Grier, senior vice president Brandon Shore, and Flores that the team’s draft status was changed in the game. Winning should be given priority. When Flores expressed his concern in writing, he was assured that everyone wanted him to create a “winning culture in Miami” and that Ross would never again make those comments to Flores.

Ross said, “The independent investigation has cleared our organization on any issues relating to Tanking and all other allegations of Brian Flores. As I have always said, these allegations were false, malicious and defamatory, and the issue was addressed.” Now that has been pacified,” Ross said. in a statement. “With regard to tampering, I completely disagree with the conclusion and the punishment. However, I will accept the result as most importantly there should be no distractions for our team as we start an exciting and winning season . I will not allow anything to get in his way.”

The investigation also found that Ross offered $100,000 for each loss, of which “the word, the timing, and the context had differing recollections … respect by Mr. Ross or anyone else in the club.”

“Every club is expected to put in a good effort to win every game,” Goodell’s statement said. “The integrity of the sport, and the public’s confidence in professional football, is not undermined. An owner or senior executive must understand the weight of his words, and the risk that a comment will be taken seriously and acted upon, even if This is not the intention or expectation. Even if made in jest and not intended to be taken seriously, comments suggesting that draft position is more important than winning may be misunderstood and carry with them the integrity of the game. Remarks made by Mr. Ross did not affect Coach Flores’ commitment to winning and the Dolphins competing to win every game. Coach Flores should be praised for having achieved draft status No comment was allowed about the relative importance of the season, which affected his winning commitment.

The Dolphins were one of five teams that made multiple first-round selections in the 2023 draft ahead of Tuesday’s discipline. Miami had secured an additional first-round pick from the San Francisco 49ers in the trade which allowed the Niners to make a selection. Trey Lance Third overall last year.

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