Dolphins punished for tampering
The NFL has suspended Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and fined him $1.5 million for tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton following a six-month investigation stemming from Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the league.
The league’s investigation found the Dolphins did not intentionally lose games during the 2019 season but the team had impermissible communication with Brady and his and Payton’s agent, Don Yee. The league announced the findings of the investigation on Tuesday.
The Dolphins will forfeit a first-round selection in the 2023 NFL draft and a thirdround selection in the 2024 draft. Ross is suspended through Oct. 17.
“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.”
The investigation concluded the Dolphins violated the league’s anti-tampering policy on three separate occasions. The Dolphins had impermissible communications with Brady as early as August 2019 through the 2020 postseason, while he was under contract to the Patriots.
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