When it was announced that former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was leaving to become the head coach of the New York Giants, the amount of devastation and love expressed by the Bills’ players, staff and fans spoke volumes of his character.
Daboll’s exit from Buffalo appeared to be on good terms, but that may not have been the full story, according to a class-action complaint filed by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, February 1.
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While the Bills franchise is not directly involved in Flores’ allegations, the lawsuit includes details from text messages concerning Daboll’s exit from Buffalo and hiring process with the Giants. According to the court document, a text message sent to Flores by Giants Co-Director of Player Personnel indicated that Daboll would’ve left even if it wasn’t for a head coaching position.
According to the lawsuit, “Ironically, during their January 11, 2022, text exchange, Mr. McDonnell also suggested that if Mr. Flores were hired as the Giants Head Coach, Brian Daboll might be interested in leaving Buffalo to serve as his Offensive Coordinator (‘Heard Daboll isn’t happy with Sean [McDermott] in Buffalo . . . might be able to get out if he doesn’t get a head job. . . thoughts?’).”
The Rift Between Between Daboll & McDermott Became Apparent Following the Bills’ Week 14 Loss to the Patriots
After the Bills’ frustrating 14-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football on December 6, McDermott was asked whether or not he believed Daboll was doing a good job, and his answer did not sound like a coach happy with his offensive coordinator.
“Well, I don’t think honestly we took advantage of our opportunities tonight,” McDermott said. “I really didn’t. The ball’s at the 40-yard line, we’re one in four in the red zone. So, we gotta figure that part of it out.”
Bills fans had also commented on what appeared to be a disconnect between McDermott and Daboll when it came to their offensive attack.
“The Bills aren’t the Bills until McDermott trusts this offense again,” one fan tweeted. “Say whatever you want, as long as Daboll is calling plays we won’t see it. It pretty much all falls squarely on the shoulders of 17 to get them out of this hole, and any holes that they fall in going forward.”
The Lawsuit Alleges That Text Messages From Bill Belichick Show the Giants Had Decided to Hire Daboll Before Flores’ Interview
In the lawsuit, Flores accuses the Giants of violating the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview “at least one or more diverse candidates” for any head coaching, general manager or “equivalent front office” positions.
Flores alleges in the lawsuit that he knew his impending interview with the Giants was a sham when Patriots head coach Bill Belichick accidentally texted him congratulations on the head coaching position — three days before the former Dolphins coach’s interview was set to take place.
Section 20 of the lawsuit states, “The Giants would likely have gotten away with this most insidious form of discrimination if New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick had not mistakenly disclosed it to Mr. Flores in the below text messages.”
“On Wednesday, January 26, 2022,” the lawsuit states, “Mr. Flores was forced to sit through a dinner with Joe Schoen, the Giant’s new General Manager, knowing that the Giants had already selected Mr. Daboll.”
Schoen, a longtime executive for the Buffalo Bills, was hired by the Giants as their general manager on January 22, 2022.
“Much worse, on Thursday, January 27, 2022, Mr. Flores had to give an extensive interview for a job that he already knew he would not get—an interview that was held for no reason other than for the Giants to demonstrate falsely to the League Commissioner Roger Goodell and the public at large that it was in compliance with the Rooney Rule,” Flores’ lawsuit states.
In addition to the NFL and the Giants, Flores’ lawsuit accuses the Dolphins and the Denver Broncos of racist hiring practices and flagrant violations of the Rooney Rule.