After six months of investigating the Miami Dolphins for tampering, the NFL has issued its decision on the team.
The team plays the stock price of team owner Stephen Ross and vice-president Bruce Beal.
Their conversations to lure Tom Brady and Sean Payton to Miami before their contracts expired led to tampering charges.
However, the Dolphins and their executives dodged a bullet with other allegations.
Allegations of tanking for a first draft pick did not have enough evidence to warrant a punishment.
But the team, Ross and Beal all suffered from their tampering with Brady and Payton.
Dolphins lose 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick
Because the team violated the NFL’s policy on player and coach tampering, the Dolphins lost two draft picks as a result of these actions.
The Dolphins will lose their first-round pick next year and a third-round pick in 2024. Also the following penalties for Stephen Ross and Bruce Beal: pic.twitter.com/p0c2P5F8gJ
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 2, 2022
While losing a 2024 third-round pick isn’t that bad, losing a 2023 first-round pick is a big blow.
However, the team still has a 2023 first-round pick, thanks to a trade to the San Francisco 49ers in 2021.
So the trade from last year’s draft saves them at least a first-round pick for next year’s draft.
But even with that draft pick, losing his own pick could be big, depending on how he finishes this season.
While the Dolphins’ only scratch was those draft picks, it could have been worse had the tanking allegations stuck.
Those allegations would have given the NFL reason to take even more draft picks away from the Dolphins.
However, the punishment for Ross and Beal is where the NFL has softened.
Ross’ punishment is a $1.5 million fine and suspension until October 17
With the allegations of tanking and offering money to Brian Flores for tank games, Ross is lucky to escape with only $1.5 million and a short suspension.
However, this punishment was only light as the NFL did not have enough evidence to cooperate with Flores’ charges.
But the league has remained soft on suspension time, keeping it away from all team events until Oct. 17.
The NFL discovered that the Dolphins had met Tom Brady 3 times
They fined the owner $1.5 million, suspended him until Oct. 17, and stripped the Dolphins of their draft picks
Now. If the Dolphins spoke with Brady, that means Brady spoke to them too
—NPO Sports (@npo_sport) August 3, 2022
The league is also barring him from attending league meetings until the 2023 annual meeting.
As he gets hit with a big, thin, short suspension, Beal gets away with less than Ross.
With Beal being the guy who does all the work for this, it’s shocking that his punishment wasn’t tougher.
Beal escapes with $500,000 fine despite talks with Brady
While Ross plays a huge role in tampering with Brady and Payton, Beal is the guy who started the conversation with Brady.
With that in mind, he is fortunate to be fined $500,000 for his involvement in Brady’s tampering.
However, the league did not punish him further as he kept Ross informed of all his discussions with the seven-time Super Bowl champion.
But they continue to suspend him from attending a league meeting in 2022.
While that’s something, it’s a small price to pay for his role in breaking NFL rules.
With the Dolphins and their managers facing these penalties, they are very fortunate that the other allegations against them did not result in an even worse penalty.