The Miami Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross were punished for tampering, but the New England Patriots were heavily involved in the results of an investigation done by the NFL.
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Patriots fans found out that the Dolphins had tampered with Tom Brady throughout his final season with the team.
“The Dolphins had impermissible communications with quarterback Tom Brady in 2019-20, while he was under contract to the New England Patriots,” the league report states. “Those communications began as early as August 2019 and continued throughout the 2019 season and post-season. These numerous and detailed discussions were conducted by Mr. (Bruce) Beal, who in turn kept Mr. Ross and other Dolphins executives informed of his discussions with Mr. Brady.”
Miami’s punishment for its crimes against the “integrity of the game” may seem quite light to some. The Dolphins lost their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick due to the tampering charges.
Ross will be fined $1.5 million and suspended through Oct. 17 and is not allowed to be present at the Dolphins’ facility. He also was removed from all NFL committees indefinitely. Bruce Beal, the Dolphins vice chairman, will be fined $500,000 and is not allowed to attend league meetings this season.
Did the Dolphins Stop Tampering?
As Patriots fans will remember, 2019 was the final season that Brady played in New England. He became a free agent and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. The Dolphins once again tampered with the quarterback after his first season in Tampa Bay.
“The Dolphins again had impermissible communications with both Mr. Brady and his agent during and after the 2021 season, while he was under contract to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” the report stated. “Those discussions began no later than early December 2021 and focused on Mr. Brady becoming a limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive, although at times they also included the possibility of his playing for the Dolphins. Both Messrs, Ross and Beal were active participants in these discussions.”
Who Do the Patriots Play in Week 1?
After the NFL released their findings, Week 1 got a lot more interesting for Patriots fans. New England will be heading down to Miami to play the Dolphins.
While the Patriots are focused on training camp with head coach Bill Belichick declining to answer a question from Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald asking if Belichick was aware of the tampering, fans will be hoping to get one over on Miami after messing with the legendary quarterback while he was a Patriot.
It appears that the news of Brady having discussions with the Dolphins hasn’t sat well with Patriots fans. At the time of publishing, a poll run by the Boston Herald asked fans how the news affected their opinion of him. With 129 responses, over 50 percent of respondents selected the “screw him” option.
Brady reportedly won’t be punished by the NFL.
So, it appears that the once impeccable reputation of Brady has taken a hit after being caught in the crossfires of the Dolphins tampering investigation.