NFL Penalizes Dolphins for Tom Brady and Sean Peyton Tampering

NFL Penalizes Dolphins for Tom Brady and Sean Peyton Tampering


The NFL has penalized the Miami Dolphins after a six-month investigation. The investigation focused on alleged tampering between the team and star quarterback Tom Brady.

The NFL has concluded that the Dolphins’ owner, Stephen Ross, and vice chairman, Bruce Beal, undermined the integrity of professional football by communicating with Brady and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Peyton three times between 2019 and 2022.  

Notably, the NFL found no evidence of the Dolphins intentionally losing games in the 2019 season to increase its chances of getting a first-round draft pick. Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores alleged the team’s owners encouraged him to “tank” games in the 2019 season, but the NFL has been unable to substantiate these claims. 

Dolphins Lose First-Round Pick

The NFL has stripped the Dolphins of their first-round draft pick for the 2023 season as a result of the investigation. They’ll also forfeit their third-round pick in 2024. This is a serious blow to the team’s competitive standing for those seasons, as those early picks could have greatly helped the team shore up its position in the league. 

Owner Stephen Ross was fined $1.5 million as a result of the league’s discoveries during the investigation. He’s also been suspended until October 17, which means he won’t be able to appear at the Dolphins’ facility. He also won’t be allowed to appear as an official representative for the team until after that date. Beal, likewise, was fined $500,000 and won’t be allowed to appear at any league meetings for the 2022 season. 

Tampering Shocks NFL Commissioner

“The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” stated NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “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.”

Former Dolphins coach Flores was somewhat positive about the punishment but felt disappointed that Ross avoided harsher consequences. “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,” Flores noted.