The Dolphins Will Lose Their 2023 First Round Pick After Tampering With Tom Brady And Sean Payton

The Miami Dolphins enter the 2022 season with high expectations and high hopes coming off a 9-8 year in 2021 and plenty of chatter this offseason about improvement from young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who has a new star receiver in Tyreek Hill and new head coach in Mike McDaniel.

However, if it were up to owner Stephen Ross, Tua would not be under center for the Dolphins this season, and they would instead have Tom Brady suiting up in Miami. We know that for certain after the NFL investigated the allegations from fired Dolphins coach Brian Flores that Ross wanted him to tank in 2019 and help recruit Brady to Miami while he was still in New England — and then again last year while Brady was in Tampa. The NFL released the findings of that investigation on Tuesday, in which they found no firm evidence of Ross offering Flores $100,000 for every game he lost in 2019 (although, the Dolphins pretty clearly were tanking that year), but did find “tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity.”

The Dolphins were found to have tampered with Tom Brady in 2019 and 2021 — seemingly confirming the report that Brady’s retirement last year was part of a scheme to end up in Miami in 2023 — as well as having impermissible contact with Sean Payton’s agent in an effort to pair the now-“retired” coach with Brady next year. The penalties for those violations are a $1.5 million fine to Stephen Ross, a suspension through mid-October (whatever that means), a $500,000 fine for the team’s vice chairman Bruce Beal, and, most notably to fans, the loss of their 2023 first round pick and 2024 third round pick.

Given the importance of first round picks to building a team (either through the draft or through trades), that’s a significant loss for the Dolphins, particularly when you consider they didn’t even succeed in landing the player or coach they tampered to get. What’s most fascinating is what happens in the near future with Brady and Payton. Payton is still retired but most expect him to return at some point, but you have to think the NFL would not be pleased if he still ended up in Miami next. Brady likewise changed course, unretiring to stick with the Bucs and one would think any plans he had to join the Dolphins on the field in the near future will also not be able to happen.