The Miami Dolphins were stripped of their 2023 first-round pick, among other penalties, after an investigation found them guilty of “unprecedented” abuse of star quarterback Tom Brady.
Miami owner Stephen Ross and vice chairman Bruce Beal lost their 2024 third-round pick after being found to have violated the NFL’s anti-trust rules.
ESPN reported that Beal was behind “unauthorized communications” with Brady during his contract with the New England Patriots.
Brady was offered from August 2019 through the offseason, with “numerous and detailed discussions” taking place with Beal.
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The seven-time Super Bowl champion was touched again while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before briefly retiring after the 2021 season.
Those discussions centered around Brady becoming a limited partner and executive on the Dolphins, as well as the team’s quarterback.
The six-month investigation concluded that the Dolphins interfered with rival coach Sean Payton after having a conversation with his agent, Don E., that violated league rules.
Ross was fined $1.5 million, and will not be able to visit the Dolphins’ facility or represent the club at NFL meetings until Oct. 17 after being suspended by the NFL.
“The investigators found violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I don’t know if a ban on a team’s head coach and star player has come so many years ago because of the damage it has done to so many other clubs.
“Similarly, I am not aware of any prior direct involvement in the patent infringements.”
Beal was fined $500,000 through the 2022 season and suspended from league meetings.
While Ross disagrees with the NFL’s punishment, he said he does not oppose their decisions.
The Miami owner believes it is in the team’s best interest not to take the matter any further.
“Regarding tampering, I disagree with the findings and the sentence,” Ross said in a statement.
“But I will accept the result because the most important thing is that there are no distractions for our team as we start an exciting and winning season.
“I won’t let anything get in my way.”
Allegations of money laundering, including financial incentives and other incentives to lose games on purpose, by former Dolphins coach Brian Flores against Ross, were not punished.
“The investigation supports Flores and is concerned about the comments made by Ross, but understands that there were no serious offers made to reward games lost.