Miami Dolphins stripped of first- and third-round selections due to tampering

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has pushed back against Brian Flores' allegations.Syndication Palm Beach Post
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has pushed back against Brian Flores' allegations.Syndication Palm Beach Post /

In an unprecedented move, the NFL announced on Tuesday that they were stripping the Miami Dolphins of their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, as well as their third-round pick in 2024.

The hammer came down Tuesday, as commissioner Roger Goodell laid down a lofty punishment for the Miami Dolphins. After months of investigation, they found concrete proof that the franchise tampered with former Saints head coach, Sean Payton, and star quarterback Tom Brady, while Brady was in New England and this past off-season before he initially retired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The rumors began surfacing when both Payton and Brady announced their retirements within a week of each other. This came mere weeks after the firing of former head coach, Brian Flores. Many started throwing around theories and connecting dots due to the timing of the moves, and all signs pointed to some sort of collusion taking place. Owner Stephen Ross, after firing Flores, was vague with his reasoning. Mostly claiming that the coach and front office did not see eye-to-eye.

This action, which seemingly came out of nowhere after Flores led the team to seven wins in their final eight games of 2021, is the spark that lit the fire. When Flores was fired, he put out some heavy accusations towards the Dolphins’ owner. Flores accused Ross of bribing him to lose games, in order to secure better draft pick position. The head coach denied these overtures, and says this is why he was actually fired.

A group of private investigators came in to assess the situation. They cleared the Dolphins of all tanking charges, although the report never explicitly stated that Ross did not offer Flores money to lose games. However, as previously stated, the investigators were able to find droves of evidence proving that the franchise had illegally been in contact with Sean Payton and Tom Brady.

The report states, “there are no prior instances of a team violating the prohibition on tampering with a head coach and a star player, over the period of several years”. Sheesh. One can only imagine the exact findings, but a lot of the reasonings are outlined in the press release that the NFL dropped when announcing the punishment. You can read it for yourself here.

Miami Dolphins stripped of draft picks and their owner, Stephen Ross, is hit with a hefty fine due to tampering

So, now that we know they tried for The Godfather move of pairing Sean Payton with Tom Brady in Miami, what are the ramifications for all involved?

It is unlikely that Tom Brady will face any suspension or fines, so I wouldn’t worry too much if I’m a Buccaneers fan. I might be a little bit upset at the fact that Brady was ready to ditch them for the Dolphins, but at the end of the day, the GOAT still plays in Tampa. Sean Payton is interesting, but again, it’s unlikely that he will personally face any punishment, especially because Payton is currently retired.

The Dolphins as a franchise are not quite as lucky when it comes to the fallout. They have been stripped of their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, as well as their third rounder in 2024. The good news? Miami owned two first-round picks in the upcoming draft thanks to the San Francisco trade that saw the Niners take Trey Lance at No. 3 overall in 2021. It could be a lot worse, all things considered, so this should feel like a slap on the wrist for owner Stephen Ross. The $1.5 million fine is nothing more than pocket change for a guy with a net worth of $8.2 billion.

Speaking of Ross, he released a statement following the ruling by Roger Goodell and the NFL. He applauded the fact that the team had been cleared of all tanking charges, but heavily disagreed with the private investigators and their findings. Still, Ross says he’s dedicated to keeping the attention on football for 2022, in hopes that the team can put together a winning season for fans. You can check out the statement in full below:

The NFL never takes a break. On the same day as the MLB trading deadline, the headlines are still dominated by the NFL. Superstar Juan Soto, one of the best players to ever be traded, was sent to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. Minutes later, the NFL announced their rulings against the Miami Dolphins, and suddenly the focus shifted right back to football. It was proven this year that there truly isn’t an off-season when it comes to the National Football League.

Next. Tua Tagovailoa must take a leap for the Miami Dolphins in 2022. dark