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Dolphins disciplined by NFL over tampering violations involving former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady – WCVB Boston

Dolphins disciplined by NFL over tampering violations involving former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady - WCVB Boston
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Attempts to woo quarterback Tom Brady to the Miami Dolphins while he was still under contract with the New England Patriots are among the violations uncovered by a six-month investigation commissioned by the NFL.In a statement Tuesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Dolphins would face discipline following the conclusions reached by a six-month investigation led by Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney and SEC chairperson. The investigation was charged with looking into whether the Dolphins had tampered with personnel under contract with other clubs and whether the team’s leadership intentionally lost games to improve their position for the 2020 draft. In February, former Patriots assistant coach and former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a class-action lawsuit which included allegations that he was fired by the Dolphins because “he refused his owner’s directive to ‘tank’ for the first pick in the draft” and because he refused “to recruit a prominent quarterback in violation of League tampering rules.”The investigation found that the Dolphins did have “impermissible communications” with Brady from Aug. 2019 through the subsequent post-season. According to the NFL statement, those “numerous and detailed discussions” were conducted by Dolphins vice chairman and limited partner Bruce Beal, who kept chairman and managing general partner Stephen Ross informed. Brady and his agent, Don Yee, were again the subjects of impermissible communications after the 2021 season when Brady was under contract with the Buccaneers. The investigation found both Ross and Beal were participants in the effort.”Those discussions began no later than early December 2021 and focused on Mr. Brady becoming a limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive, although at times they also included the possibility of his playing for the Dolphins,” the NFL statement said.A third violation detailed by the league statement involved the Dolphins contacting Yee about another client, New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton. The Dolphins sought to have Payton become their next head coach, but the investigation found that the team did not seek consent from the Saints to hold those discussions.At the time, Payton has not yet announced his decision to retire. After his retirement, the Dolphins asked permission but were denied by the Saints. “The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” Goodell said in a quote provided by the league. “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.”On the allegations of “tanking,” however, the investigation found that the Dolphins organization “did not intentionally lose games” during the 2019 season. “One such comment is a claimed offer by Mr. Ross to pay Coach Flores $100,000 to lose games, as to which there are differing recollections about the wording, timing, and context. However phrased, such a comment was not intended or taken to be a serious offer, nor was the subject pursued in any respect by Mr. Ross or anyone else at the club,” the NFL said. Based on the findings of the investigation, the Dolphins organization will be required to forfeit its first-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.Ross is suspended through Oct. 17, 2022, during which time he may not be present at any club facility or league event. He will not be allowed to attend an NFL Annual Meeting until 2023 and will lose his seats on league committees. Ross is also being fined $1.5 million. Beal may not attend any league meeting for the remainder of the 2022 season and is being fined $500,000.

Attempts to woo quarterback Tom Brady to the Miami Dolphins while he was still under contract with the New England Patriots are among the violations uncovered by a six-month investigation commissioned by the NFL.

In a statement Tuesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Dolphins would face discipline following the conclusions reached by a six-month investigation led by Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney and SEC chairperson. The investigation was charged with looking into whether the Dolphins had tampered with personnel under contract with other clubs and whether the team’s leadership intentionally lost games to improve their position for the 2020 draft.

In February, former Patriots assistant coach and former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a class-action lawsuit which included allegations that he was fired by the Dolphins because “he refused his owner’s directive to ‘tank’ for the first pick in the draft” and because he refused “to recruit a prominent quarterback in violation of League tampering rules.”

The investigation found that the Dolphins did have “impermissible communications” with Brady from Aug. 2019 through the subsequent post-season. According to the NFL statement, those “numerous and detailed discussions” were conducted by Dolphins vice chairman and limited partner Bruce Beal, who kept chairman and managing general partner Stephen Ross informed.

Getty Images/Eric Espada

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross

Brady and his agent, Don Yee, were again the subjects of impermissible communications after the 2021 season when Brady was under contract with the Buccaneers. The investigation found both Ross and Beal were participants in the effort.

“Those discussions began no later than early December 2021 and focused on Mr. Brady becoming a limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive, although at times they also included the possibility of his playing for the Dolphins,” the NFL statement said.

A third violation detailed by the league statement involved the Dolphins contacting Yee about another client, New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton. The Dolphins sought to have Payton become their next head coach, but the investigation found that the team did not seek consent from the Saints to hold those discussions.

At the time, Payton has not yet announced his decision to retire. After his retirement, the Dolphins asked permission but were denied by the Saints.

“The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” Goodell said in a quote provided by the league. “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.”

On the allegations of “tanking,” however, the investigation found that the Dolphins organization “did not intentionally lose games” during the 2019 season.

“One such comment is a claimed offer by Mr. Ross to pay Coach Flores $100,000 to lose games, as to which there are differing recollections about the wording, timing, and context. However phrased, such a comment was not intended or taken to be a serious offer, nor was the subject pursued in any respect by Mr. Ross or anyone else at the club,” the NFL said.

Based on the findings of the investigation, the Dolphins organization will be required to forfeit its first-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Ross is suspended through Oct. 17, 2022, during which time he may not be present at any club facility or league event. He will not be allowed to attend an NFL Annual Meeting until 2023 and will lose his seats on league committees. Ross is also being fined $1.5 million.

Beal may not attend any league meeting for the remainder of the 2022 season and is being fined $500,000.

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