The Dolphins have forfeited multiple draft picks and two executives, including owner Stephen Ross, will face suspension in wake of tampering investigation.
Whether purposefully or inadvertently, the Miami Dolphins have pushed forth a variety of narratives this offseason which have drawn the public eye away from the airing out of their dirty laundry.
Between hiring new Head Coach Mike McDaniel, and trading for superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill, there has been enough hype built up around the team to lure NFL fans into almost forgetting about the varietal tampering allegations which have clouded the organization since 2019. The smoke settled and the mirrors became clear today when the outline of the Dolphins punishment was released.
Along with the Dolphins principal owner, Stephen Ross, receiving a $1.5 million fine and a suspension through Oct. 17 of the upcoming season, the team has forfeited its first-round pick in the 2023 draft and a third-rounder in 2024. Additionally, the Vice Chairman of the organization, Bruce Beal, has been suspended for the entirety of the 2022 season and will be fined $500,000
Most recently, the Dolphins were under fire for allegations they paid their former Head Coach, Brian Flores, to lose games in order to improve the team’s draft position. While that is a clear and obvious effort towards delegitimizing the integrity of the NFL and the competition within, it was only the latest issue.
Looking back to 2019, Miami was rumored to be in communication with then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. According to the findings of the investigation into said tampering allegations, shared by NFL Networks Tom Pelissero, there were a number of instances where the Dolphins impermissibly made contact with the star QB.
”The Dolphins had impermissible communications with quarterback Tom Brady in 2019-20, while he was under contract to the New England Patriots… numerous and detailed discusses were conducted by Mr. Beal, who in turn kept Mt. Ross and other Dolphins executives informed of his discussions with Mr. Brady.”
Miami Dolphins are facing serious consequences
In August of 2019, when the first recorded conversations between the Dolphins and Brady took place, Brady was heading into the season with an expiring contract and no extension in place. Still, he was under contract with the Patriots, and whatever the focal point of conversation that the Dolphins initiated with him was, it went directly against the rules of the leagues Competition Committee.
The findings of the investigation include even further contact with Tom Brady after he eventually signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“The Dolphins again had impermissible communications with both Mr. Brady and his agent during and after the 2021 season, while he was under contract to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those discussions began no later than early December 2021 and focused on Mr. Brady becoming a limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive, although at times they also included the possibility of his playing for the Dolphins. Both Messrs. Ross and Beal were active participants in theses discussions.”
While the organization clearly was unable to woo Brady into joining them in any fashion from 2019-2022, their efforts, again, went directly against the league’s policy on tampering. Further, they crossed a line in making impermissible contact with former New Orleans Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton. The Dolphins ‘did not seek consent’ from the Saints to have conversation with Coach Payton about taking over the role as their new Head Coach while he was still under contract with New Orleans.
Regardless of which aspect of this investigation appears most daunting to fans — offering to pay a coach to lose or sneaking behind competitors backs to make unapproved contact with players and coaches — the Dolphins executives allegedly played dirty from 2019-2022.
Now, just ahead of the season, the organization is forced into planning out their navigation of the near future while strapped for draft capital and without communication between two of its most prominent decision makers. A difficult and distracting position to be in no matter how well improved their roster became this offseason.