The NFL has been hit with significant suspensions the past two days. On Tuesday, the league concluded an anti-tampering investigation and found the club liable for meddling with Tom Brady and former Saints head Sean Payton. The franchise had inappropriate contact via conversations with Brady and Payton's representative.
The NFL's official statement regarding former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton:
"In January 2022, the Dolphins had impermissible communications with Don Yee, the agent for Saints head coach Sean Payton, about having Mr. Payton serve as Miami's head coach. Miami did not seek consent from New Orleans to have these discussions, which occurred before Coach Payton announced his decision to retire as head coach of the Saints. Following that announcement, Miami requested permission to speak to Coach Payton for the first time, which New Orleans declined to grant."
Rumors existed within the NFL of the Dolphins' interest in Payton before he decided to step down as the Saints' head coach. The NFL's probe verified Miami's interest and violated policy by contacting his agent Don Yee while still under contract with the New Orleans Saints. Any team interested in Payton must first contact the team for them to either grant permission or decline the interest.
The league has reprimanded the Miami Dolphins organization and suspended Dolphins Chairman and Managing General Partner Stephen Ross until October.
The Dolphins' penalties:
- Miami will not have a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and must forfeit its 2024 NFL Draft's third-round selection.
- Stephen Ross is suspended until Oct. 17, fined $1.5 million, and must not represent the Dolphins at its facilities or team events. He is prevented from attending any league meeting before the NFL's league meetings in 2023.
- Bruce Beal, Miami's vice chairman, is fined $500,000 and isn't permitted to attend official league meetings for the remainder of 2022.
Sean Payton, 58, will join the Fox Sports broadcast team for the 2022 season. He stepped down from his position with the New Orleans Saints in February after 15 seasons as head coach, nine playoff appearances, and winning Super Bowl XLIV.