Stephen Ross

Miami Dolphins’ owner suspended, lose 1st round pick in 2023

After a six-month long investigation the Miami Dolphins found out their punishment today in regards to violating the league’s policy on tampering.

Here are the penalties that the NFL is handing down:

  • The Dolphins’ owner, Stephen Ross, is suspended through October 17, 2022. He may not attend any League meeting prior to the Annual Meeting in 2023, is removed from all League committees indefinitely, and fined $1.5 million.
  • The Dolphins will forfeit their 1st round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft and 3rd round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.
  • The Dolphins’ Vice Chairman, Bruce Beal, is barred from attending any League meeting for the remainder of the 2022 season and is fined $500,000.

Below is the list of tampering violations that were uncovered during the investigation:

  • The Dolphins had impermissible communications with quarterback Tom Brady in 2019-20, while he was under contract to the New England Patriots. Those communications began as early as August 2019 and continued throughout the 2019 season and post-season. These numerous and detailed discussions were conducted by Mr. Beal, who in turn kept Mr. Ross and other Dolphins executives informed of his discussions with Mr. Brady.
  • 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 these discussions.
  • In January 2022, the Dolphins had impermissible communications with Don Yee, the agent for New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton, about having Mr. Payton serve as Miami’s head coach. Miami did not seek consent from New Orleans to have these discussions, which occurred before Coach Payton announced his decision to retire as head coach of the Saints. Following that announcement, Miami requested permission to speak to Coach Payton for the first time, which New Orleans declined to grant.

The league issued the following statement, “This discipline is informed by the Competition Committee’s clear guidance that more stringent discipline, including suspensions, should be imposed for tampering violations to deter future violations and to safeguard the integrity of the game.”