The Miami Dolphins are in the news for all the wrong reasons after it was discovered that the organization has been punished for tampering violations involving Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in 2019, and former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in 2022.
One thing that the Dolphins were not found guilty of in said investigation was intentionally losing games under head coach Brian Flores as well as claims that owner Stephen Ross offered financial incentives to Flores for losing games.
The league findings hinted that Ross “valued draft position” over the team record, but it appears that there may not have been enough evidence of blatant actions to actively lose games on purpose to find them guilty.
Flores released a statement on Tuesday following the findings from the NFL, detailing that he feels “disappointed” that the league findings minimized Ross’s pressure to tank while he was the team’s head coach.
“I am thankful that the NFL’s investigator found my factual allegations against Stephen Ross are true. At the same time, I am disappointed to learn that the investigator minimized Mr. Ross’s offers and pressure to tank games especially when I wrote and submitted a letter at the time to Dolphins executives documenting my serious concerns regarding this subject at the time which the investigator has in her possession.
“While the investigator found that the Dolphins had engaged in impermissible tampering of “unprecedented scope and severity,” Mr. Ross will avoid any meaningful consequence. There is nothing more important when it comes to the game of football itself than the integrity of the game. When the integrity of the game is called into question, fans suffer, and football suffers.”
Brian Flores’ statement on Stephen Ross’ punishment:
“I am disappointed to learn that the investigator minimized Mr. Ross’s offers and pressure to tank games especially when I wrote and submitted a letter at the time to Dolphins executives documenting my serious concerns ..” pic.twitter.com/1hr7FkAM0x
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2022
The investigation found most of Flores’ claims to be true, yet the league ultimately decided that Ross’s alleged offer to Flores of $100,000 per loss in 2019 was “not intended to be taken seriously.”
Leaving something like that up to the interpretation of whether or not is serious is an extremely dangerous thing for the NFL to do, and Flores is absolutely right in saying that the NFL minimized Ross’s comments and actions of tanking.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this investigation impacts Flores’s ongoing lawsuit against the Miami Dolphins since there are some very intriguing quotes in the findings that seem to indicate that Flores has been telling the truth this whole time.