Dolphins Fined, Have Picks Stripped Over Brady and Payton Tampering
The Miami Dolphins have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
in February, Brian Flores, former coach of the Dolphins (in particular during the alleged "Tank for Tua" season), sued the NFL and the Dolphins, alleging racism within the organization.
Flores stated that he was instructed to tank, supposedly being offered $100,000 for every loss that season. The team won 5 games that season, including a few late in the season. Flores claims that members of the front office were angry about the wins "compromising the team's draft position."
However, nothing ever came of the investigation in regards to intentional tanking or organizational racism. What did come to light was a whole lot of tampering.
The league has found that the Dolphins, specifically team owner Stephen Ross and vice chairman Bruce Beal, violated the league's anti-tampering policy in regards to two names that should catch Saints fans' attention.
Evidently, these tampering conversations were had with Tom Brady and then Saints head coach Sean Payton.
The Dolphins execs tried to coerce Brady to Miami when he was still in New England, and again at the end of last season when he was considering retirement from the Buccaneers. In that conversation, the discussion was aimed at Brady as a potential executive and partner of the team, allowing a playing position was also discussed.
In both cases, the Dolphins did not go through the proper channels to have these conversations.
Finally, and most importantly, the Dolphins were found to have what the NFL is calling "impermissible communications" with agent Don Yee, who represents both Brady and head coach Sean Payton.
The Dolphins seemed to be angling for Payton to be their new head coach. However, they had not sought permission from the Saints to begin the talks, a process which is mandatory in the NFL.
Payton retired later that same month.
Can't help but think that that doesn't feel like a coincidence.
The Dolphins have been stripped of their 2023 first-round pick and their 2024 third-round pick, and executives Stephen Ross and Bruce Beal have been fined $1.5 million and $500,000 respectively. Both are also suspended from team activities.
Maybe in a different world, where the Dolphins go about this the right way, there's a late career Sean Payton and Tom Brady duo terrorizing the AFC East.