NFL Determines Stephen Ross Only Joked About Paying Brian Flores to Lose Games

Miami Dolphins Introduce Mike McDaniel
Miami Dolphins Introduce Mike McDaniel / Eric Espada/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins got the hammer from the NFL on Tuesday after concluding that the team seriously tampered with both Tom Brady and Sean Payton in 2019. The league docked the Dolphins their first-round pick in 2023 and a third rounder in 2024. Additionally, owner Stephen Ross was fined $1.5 million and suspended until October 17th, and Dolphins' Vice Chairman / Limited Partner Bruce Beal also was fined $500,000. The good news for the Dolphins is that they definitely weren't tanking. Just look at the statement from Ross.

Nope. No tanking. Just, uh, Brian Flores saying he was offered $100,000 per loss and the NFL determining that Ross was just joking. No, really, that's in there.

The Dolphins went from 7-9 to 5-11 in Flores' first season. That was also the season where Ross and the Dolphins were trying to get Tom Brady to come to Miami to be an owner/player. The NFL also found evidence the Dolphins were trying to lure Sean Payton to Miami before he retired following the season.

In a statement about the news, Flores said he was thankful that the NFL found his allegations true, but disappointed that Ross's role in alleged tanking was minimized.

The Dolphins definitely wanted to lose in 2019 and they finished with five wins and ended up with the fifth pick which they used to take Tua Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert. Sean Payton retired. Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl. And now the Dolphins have lost two important draft picks. Success all around. But definitely no tanking!