Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross Under NFL Investigation, Ownership At Risk

Syndication: USA TODAY
Allen Eyestone / USA TODAY NETWORK

After former coach Brian Flores claimed in a recent lawsuit that team owner Stephen Ross offered him money to lose games, the NFL launched an investigation into the Miami Dolphins.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, if the league inquiry shows Ross promised Flores $100,000 for each defeat during the 2019 NFL season, as Flores claims, the punishment could be severe, including Ross losing his club by a vote of other owners.

Last Wednesday, Goodell spoke on the idea of an owner being voted out, saying, “I do believe that clubs do have the right to remove an owner from the league.”

Ross responded to allegations with a statement at the time.”With regards to the allegations being made by Brian Flores, I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let them stand without responding,” Ross said.

Ross has firmly denied offering Flores money for every loss in exchange for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals ended up picking their star quarterback Joe Burrow with that pick.  

NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe said on February 3rd that he talked to a witness who said he heard Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offer Brian Flores $100,000 for every loss during the 2019 season.

Flores stated that he turned down Ross’ claimed tanking offer. Flores was dismissed by the Dolphins on Jan. 10 after three seasons with the team.

Wolfe also reported that Flores’ legal team says it has evidence, including text messages from GM Chris Grier, which confirm the allegations against Ross.

“I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known,” Ross continued in his statement.

“His allegations are false, malicious and defamatory. We understand there are media reports stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully. I welcome that investigation and I am eager to defend my personal integrity, and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins organization, from these baseless, unfair and disparaging claims.”

Meanwhile, Roger Goodell was questioned about the investigation and possible penalties.

Goodell was careful not to speculate and remained focus on finding the facts of the investigation.

“And when we know what those facts are and the impact it has on our game, we’ll deal with it very seriously, just as we will if there’s any discrimination in the league. They will be dealt with very seriously.”

Flores is currently in the process of suing the NFL. The lawsuit alleges racial discrimination throughout the interview processes with the Denver Broncos and New York Giants and his firing by the Miami Dolphins last month.

He alleged in his lawsuit against the NFL that Ross pressed him to break the league’s tampering regulations, and that when Flores refused, Ross “set him up” by putting him on a boat with a high-profile potential quarterback to compel the meeting.

Flores claims he was called difficult to deal with and stereotyped as a “angry black guy” when he refused. Flores was fired for a variety of reasons, including a lack of communication and collaboration.

The former Dolphins coach was fired in January by the organization after leading them to an impressive 9-8 record in 2021 after an ugly 1-7 start. Flores was 24-25 in three years and was coming off of two consecutive winning seasons.

League of Justice will have more coverage on the Brian Flores lawsuit and the investigation into Stephen Ross’ tanking offer as they move forward.