Skip to main content

Dolphins Owner Reacts To The NFL's Significant Punishment

A closeup of Miami Hurricanes owner Stephen Ross.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 07: Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross looks on from the sideline during warmups before the Dolphins met the Baltimore Ravens in a game at Sun Life Stadium on December 7, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The NFL levied heavy punishments against the Miami Dolphins after an investigation determined the team had "impermissible communications" with Tom Brady and Sean Payton.

For violating "the integrity of the game," the NFL stripped the Dolphins of their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick. Furthermore, owner Stephen Ross received a $1.5 million fine and suspension through October 17.

The team shared a statement on Ross' behalf in response to the NFL's disciplinary measures.

"I strongly disagree with the conclusions and the punishment," Ross said. "However, I will accept the outcome because the most important thing is that there be no distractions for our team as we begin an exciting and winning season. I will not allow anything to get in the way of that."

Ross also celebrated the team getting cleared of any "false, malicious and defamatory" tanking allegations.

The investigation determined that the Dolphins did not intentionally lose games in 2019. It also concluded that Ross never made "a serious offer" to pay Brian Flores $100,00 for every game the team lost.

However, the statement cited "differing recollections about the wording, timing, and context" regarding such a proposal that thus might have been made in jest. Ross also said they should prioritize 2020 draft positioning over their win-loss record.

The NFL punished Ross and the Dolphins organization for having discussions with Tom Brady throughout 2019 while he was still playing for the New England Patriots. They also spoke with Sean Payton's agent before his retirement without seeking permission from the New Orleans Saints.