Aug 2, 2022 - Sports

Miami Dolphins owner suspended for tampering with Tom Brady

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross talks to the media.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross talks to the media. Photo: Eric Espada/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will be suspended over a tampering case involving quarterback Tom Brady, the NFL announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: The NFL in findings from a six-month probe said the Dolphins violated the league's anti-tampering policy by trying to sign Brady and former head coach Sean Payton while they were on contracts for other teams.

  • The Dolphins will now lose its first-round pics in the 2023 NFL draft and a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft.
  • Team owner Stephen Ross will be suspended through Oct. 17, 2022, the NFL said. He will be fined $1.5 million and cannot visit the Dolphins' facility or appear at any NFL events.
  • Bruce Beal, the Dolphins’ vice chairman, will be fined $500,000.

The investigation was conducted by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White.

Zoom in: The NFL said the Dolphins had communication with Brady while he was still playing for the New England Patriots, and again in 2021 when Brady played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in violation of tampering policy.

  • In January 2022, the organization spoke with Payton, the New Orleans Saints head coach at the time, about taking up the head coaching position in Miami.

Flashback: The investigation began after former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a discrimination lawsuit after the interviewed for the New York Giants head coaching position.

  • Flores claimed in the lawsuit that he had been offered money so that the Dolphins could lose games to secure a higher draft pick. He said he had refused the directive to "tank" for the draft.
  • White did not find any evidence in the investigation that Flores was told to purposefully lose games to improve the team's draft odds, the New York Times reports.
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