It hasn't been a slow news week in the NFL, that's for sure. On Monday, the ruling and suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was announced. A day later, another punishment was dished out.
The Miami Dolphins are being docked a first-round selection in 2023 and a third-round selection in 2024 after an NFL investigation found the organization tampered with Tom Brady and Sean Payton. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has also been suspended through October 17 and fined $1.5 million.
Ross disagreed with the result of the investigation in a statement that was released through the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday.
"The independent investigation cleared our organization on any issues related to tanking and all of Brian Flores' other allegations. As I have said all along, these allegations were false, malicious, and defamatory, and this issue is now put to rest. With regards to tampering, I strongly disagree with the conclusions and the punishment. However, I will accept the outcome because the most important thing is that there be no distractions for our team as we begin an exciting and winning season. I will not allow anything to get in the way of that."
Regardless of the spin cycle that Ross is trying to put out to the public, it's been proven that the Dolphins knowingly violated the integrity of the game. They contacted Brady not once, but twice while he was playing for two different teams. The original contact occured when Brady was still in New England. Miami reached out again during the 2021 season and after it while he was a member of the Buccaneers.
It was found that Brady did nothing wrong during the investigation. He's not set to receive any type of discipline and is fully cleared for the 2022 campaign. The loss of two premium draft picks could hinder Miami's quest to build a team around Tua Tagovailoa.
Tampa Bay will do its best to move on from another offseason distraction. The Buccaneers have dealt with plenty of them over the last few months. From Tom Brady unretiring to Bruce Arians stepping down and Todd Bowles stepping up in his place, it's been a busy six months.
Stick with BucsGameday for more coverage on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the offseason.