Sep 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) during a timeout during the second half of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

In 2019, the Miami Dolphins were coming off back-to-back losing seasons and had just hired Brian Flores as their new head coach. Not much was expected of the franchise that season and when the team came out of the gate losing their first seven games, they appeared to be on the road to the top pick in the NFL Draft.

Thus was born the “Tank for Tua” campaign, in which many speculated that the Dolphins were tanking the season on purpose in order to ensure they could draft Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Some Dolphins fans even got in on the action by changing their Twitter handles to reflect the campaign. Naturally, the Dolphins denied the accusation, which would have been seen as sacrilege.

However, when the team played the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8, the Dolphins’ playcalling was so egregious that many pointed out the only way it made sense would be if you were actively trying to lose the game, though it was perhaps not as egregious as some made it out to be.

However, Miami started winning games, finishing the season 5-11 and earning the No. 5 pick in the draft, which they used to get Tagovailoa anyway.

All of which is to say, on Tuesday, Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL and within that lawsuit claimed that Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross had offered to pay him $100,000 for every loss on the season.

“Mr. Ross wanted Mr. Flores to “tank” the season to put the team in position to secure the first pick in the draft. Indeed, during the 2019 season, Mr. Ross told Mr. Flores that he would pay him $100,000 for each game lost that year. Then, when the Dolphins started winning games, due in no small part to Mr. Flores’ coaching, Mr. Flores was told by the team’s General Manager, Chris Grier, that “Steve” was “mad” that Mr. Flores’ success in winning games that year was “compromising [the team’s] draft position.”

The whole thing raises a lot of questions. Was Flores buying into this plan early on in the season but changed his mind later on? Did Flores never buy into the scheme? Did Ross pay Flores the $1.1 million due for those 11 losses?

We may or may not ever know those answers. But while we wait to find out more, plenty of NFL fans find themselves thinking back to that fateful season and how things played out.

We can’t wait to hear what the Dolphins, Ross, and the NFL all have to say on the matter.

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to