Report: Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross could lose team over tanking allegations

Stephen Ross Miami Dolphins

A new report indicates that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross could be in danger of losing the team.

The NFL is investigating claims made by former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores that Ross offered him incentives to lose games in order to improve the team’s draft position. The league’s findings could have a major impact on what the future holds for Ross.

“Sources informed of the league’s investigation say the probe has only just begun, and investigators plan to speak with all relevant parties — including Flores — as soon as possible,” NFL insider Ian Rapoport wrote. “It’s clear the league takes the possibility of tanking extremely seriously — seeing it as a threat to the integrity of the game — with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying last Wednesday during his pre-Super Bowl LVI news conference that ‘if there were violations, they won’t be tolerated.’

“Case in point: If the league investigation finds Ross offered Flores $100,000 for each loss during the 2019 NFL season, as Flores alleges, the discipline could be severe, up to and including Ross losing the team by a vote of fellow owners, per sources. Goodell addressed the concept of an owner being voted out last Wednesday, noting that ‘I do believe that clubs do have the authority to remove an owner from the league.’

“A league source confirmed that owners could, in fact, vote a fellow owner out under the most dire circumstances based on league rules, which would require a three-fourths vote.”

The explosive claims made by Flores following his dismissal were part of a lawsuit he filed alleging racial discrimination. Ross emphatically denied Flores’ claims after they were made, though the league wants to investigate in an effort to clear the air.

Flores was fired on Jan. 10, one day after the conclusion of the Dolphins’ season. The move was considered surprising. After a 1-7 start in the 2021 season, the Dolphins won eight of their final nine games and narrowly missed a playoff berth.

Flores spent three seasons with Miami. Overall, he went 24-25.

Flores is claiming that Ross was willing to pay him to lose games in an effort to obtain the top overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. That selection ultimately went to the Cincinnati Bengals, who chose quarterback Joe Burrow. The Dolphins ended up choosing Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick.

The league’s investigation will be a very interesting story to keep an eye on.