Dolphins general manager Chris Grier is alleged to be the person who informed Flores of Ross’ apparent unhappiness.
“In 2019, on the heels of his outstanding performance with the [New England] Patriots, Mr. Flores was offered the Miami Dolphins Head Coach position,” Flores’ complaint read. “By all accounts, Mr. Flores did a fantastic job in three seasons from 2019-2021. In his first year, Miami’s gutted roster won five games despite many experts predicting an 0-16 season and one of the worst teams in NFL history.
“The Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross, was unhappy with this performance not because it was under-performing. To the contrary, Mr. Ross wanted Mr. Flores to ‘tank’ the season to put the team in a position to secure the first pick in the draft. Indeed, during the 2019 season, Mr. Ross told Mr. Flores that he would pay him $100,000 for each game lost that year. Then, when the Dolphins started winning games, due in no small part to Mr. Flores’ coaching, Mr. Flores was told by the team’s General Manager, Chris Grier, that ‘Steve’ was ‘mad’ that Mr. Flores’ success in winning games that year was ‘compromising [the team’s] draft position.'”
Flores was beginning his first season as Dolphins head coach in 2019 and endured a brutal start to his tenure with losses in his first seven games. The first four of those defeats witnessed the Dolphins being outscored, 163-26.
With the Dolphins having collected high draft picks for the 2020 NFL Draft and beyond, that rough beginning seemingly assured the team of getting the top pick in 2020.
However, after splitting their next four games, the Dolphins closed with three wins in their final five contests to finish at 5-11 a year. That surge resulted in the team getting the fifth overall pick, which it used on University of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The highly controversial charge by Flores will undoubtedly be denied by Ross, which means that Flores and his legal team will have to prove it if and when the lawsuit reaches the courtroom.
Flores was dismissed the day after the Dolphins won their regular season finale on Jan. 9, ending his tenure with a 24-25 record over three seasons.
Since that dismissal, Flores has been linked to other coaching jobs, such as those of the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. While the Bears’ job has since been filled, Flores’ chances with the Saints or other teams may be in limbo since he’s suing all 32 NFL teams as part of his lawsuit.
The Dolphins have yet to name Flores’ replacement, with that eventual hiring potentially being obscured by this current controversy.