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Dolphins owner suspended, team losing first-round pick

The Miami Dolphins got a whole lot of trouble dropped on their plate on Tuesday, one day after the NFL news regarding Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson hit the headlines.

After a six-month investigation led by former US Attorney and SEC Chair Mary Jo White and, a team of lawyers from the Debevoise law firm, the league has leveled serious penalties against the Dolphins franchise.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Dolphins would be stripped of their 2023 first-round draft pick and 2024 third-round pick for violating the integrity of the game. In addition, owner Stephen Ross has been suspended through Oct. 17 and fined $1.5 million. Vice Chairman Bruce Beal is barred from attending league meetings for the remainder of the season and has been fined $500,000.

The news relates to Miami’s involvement in illegally attempting to recruit quarterback Tom Brady and former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to the team on different occasions. The term used by the NFL was “impermissible communications.”

The kicker: the Dolphins never ended up landing Brady or Payton.

The investigation did not substantiate the claims made by former Miami coach Brian Flores regarding tanking in the 2019 season, his first as head coach of the Dolphins. The probe, however, did find that “on a number of occasions during the 2019 season, Ross expressed his belief that the Dolphins’ position in the upcoming draft should take priority.”

Flores, who also opened a lawsuit against the Dolphins related to racist hiring practices, alleged that Ross offered him $100,000 per loss as an incentive.

While Miami does lose their own 2023 first-round pick, the team does hold the one formerly owned by the San Francisco 49ers.


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Story originally appeared on Bills Wire