Skip to main content

NFL Confirms 1 Team Had Impermissible Contact With Tom Brady

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 02: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after a pla in the fourth quarter of the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on January 02, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The NFL announced significant punishments for the Miami Dolphins following their investigation's findings into tampering and tanking allegations.

According to the league's statement, the Dolphins had "impermissible communications" with Tom Brady while he was a member of the New England Patriots. Those talks began as early as August of 2019 and lasted throughout the season and playoffs.

Following the six-month investigation led by Mary Jo White, the NFL has stripped the Dolphins of their 2023 first-round draft pick and a third-round selection in 2024. Owner Stephen Ross is suspended through October 17.

The NFL's memo said Brady had discussions with Dolphins vice chairman Bruce Beal, who kept Ross and other team executives in the loop. He was fined $500,000 and prohibited from attending any team meetings during the 2022 season.

White's investigation also uncovered contact between the Dolphins and head coach Sean Payton before he retired in January 2022. The team did not request permission from the New Orleans Saints before their preliminary talks.

The investigation did not corroborate Brian Flores' tanking allegations. While no mention of offering Flores $100,000 per loss was deemed a legitimate proposal, Ross said the team's 2020 draft positioning "should take priority" over their record.

Brady played his 20th and final season with the Patriots in 2019. Based on these findings, he had contact with the Dolphins during his final playoff run in New England.

Following his short-lived retirement this year, rumors emerged of the Dolphins scheming to bring Brady and Payton on board. Brady would have reportedly joined as a minority owner before coming out of retirement to play for them.

Brady didn't confirm or deny the speculation in June, telling reporters he's "had a lot of conversations with a lot of people" about potential opportunities. He instead ended his retirement to re-join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.