Dolphins Violations Football

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been suspended 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. Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The NFL has suspended Miami 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 third-round 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 New England Patriots.

Dolphins vice chairman/limited partner Bruce Beal conducted “these numerous and detailed discussions” and kept Ross and other team executives informed of his conversations with Brady.


The Dolphins again had impermissible communications with both Brady and his agent, Yee, no later than early December 2021 and after the season, while he was under contract to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Those discussions focused on Brady becoming a limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive, although at times they also included the possibility he would play for the Dolphins. The league says Ross and Beal participated in these discussions.

Brady briefly retired in February before the seven-time Super Bowl champion chose to return for another season with the Buccaneers.

The third tampering violation involved Payton. In January, the Dolphins had impermissible communications with Yee about having Payton serve as Miami’s head coach. The Dolphins did not seek consent from New Orleans to have these discussions, which occurred before Payton announced his decision to retire from the Saints. Miami requested permission to speak to Payton for the first time after that announcement but New Orleans declined to grant it.

Ross may not be present at the team’s facility and may not represent the club at any team or NFL event during his suspension. He also may not attend any league meeting before the annual meeting in 2023, and he is removed from all league committees indefinitely.

Beal was fined $500,000 and may not attend any league meeting for the remainder of the year.


Regarding Flores’ allegations the Dolphins wanted him to “tank” games to secure the top draft pick, investigators said the team didn’t intentionally lose and neither Ross nor anyone from the team instructed Flores to lose on purpose.

However, investigators found Ross expressed several times during the season his belief that draft position should take priority over won-loss record. Flores considered the comments a suggestion that he lose games and expressed his concerns in writing to senior club executives. Ross no longer made any such comments to Flores.

BILLS: Starting safety Jordan Poyer hyperextended his left elbow and is expected to miss several weeks, a person with direct knowledge of the injury confirmed to the AP, adding Poyer should return before the start of the season.

Poyer was hurt during the final team drills of the day, when he was struck in the left arm by a teammate’s helmet. Poyer grimaced as he laid down on the sideline while being tended to by medical staff. He was in such pain he needed to be carted away during a training camp practice on Tuesday.

The injury occurred with Poyer seeking a contract extension. The 10th-year player is entering the final season of his current deal and declined to attend the team’s voluntary spring practices.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh re-signed veteran kicker Chris Boswell to a five-year deal that carries a total value of just over $23 million. Boswell was entering the final season of a four-year extension he signed before the 2018 season.


The signing gives Boswell some stability and the Steelers one of the most reliable kickers in the league. The 31-year-old has made more than 88% (182 of 206) of his field-goal attempts since making the team through an open tryout during the 2015 season, the second-best percentage in league history among kickers with at least 200 attempts.

FALCONS: Atlanta lost defensive tackle Vincent Taylor to a season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon.

Following the retirement of Eddie Goldman before training camp, Taylor’s injury leaves the Falcons without two veterans who had been projected to play prominent roles on the defensive line.

CARDINALS: Arizona activated receiver Marquise Brown from the non-football injury list.

Brown was acquired in a draft-day trade with the Baltimore Ravens, giving the Cardinals a receiver who caught 91 passes for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Brown suffered a minor hamstring injury before camp started while working out on his own. The 25-year-old is expected to have a big role in Arizona’s offense, particularly early in the season when three-time All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins is out for the first six games after being suspended for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.


BRONCOS: Rob Walton is adding seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain to the Denver Broncos’ new ownership group.

Hamilton, 37, who drives for the Mercedes team and whose 103 career victories are the most in F1 history, is the third limited partner brought aboard by the Walton-Penner ownership group headed by Walmart heir Rob Walton, his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner.

• The Broncos have lost a top receiver to a torn ACL for a third consecutive season after Tim Patrick was carted off after catching a pass from Russell Wilson at practice Tuesday, and a person with knowledge of the diagnosis told The Associated Press that Patrick sustained a season-ending torn ACL.

Patrick’s injury continues a run of misfortune for Denver’s wide receivers. Last year, KJ Hamler blew out a knee in Week 3 and the year before that Courtland Sutton was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Week 2.

Patrick made a leaping grab over cornerback Essang Bassey but his right knee buckled as he made his first move after the catch.

JAGUARS: Third-string quarterback Jake Luton will start Jacksonville’s preseason opener Thursday night in Canton, Ohio.

Coach Doug Pederson said he gave Luton the nod over second-year pro Trevor Lawrence and backup C.J. Beathard. Pederson said Lawrence “has been getting a lot of great looks here in practice and we feel like he’s in a good spot.”

SAINTS: Second-year receiver Kawaan Baker is facing a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the league announced on Tuesday.

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