Miami/Munich – A few weeks before the start of the 2022 regular season, the NFL has its latest scandal.
At the heart of the action: the Miami Dolphins and their owner Stephen Ross. In 2019, the Florida franchise had talked without permission with superstar quarterback Tom Brady about a possible move to the southern United States.
The Miami Dolphins violate NFL rules multiple times
Not a big deal at first glance, but Brady was still under contract with the New England Patriots at the time. When contacted a second time after last season, Brady was still officially a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Dolphins violated the so-called “anti-manipulation” rule.
In addition to the playmaker, Ross and the Dolphins are said to have had “inappropriate discussions” with Sean Payton in January 2022 about a possible appointment as a new head coach. Like Brady, Payton was still under contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Miami Dolphins: An unprecedented sentence for attempted manipulation
As a result, the NFL announced an unprecedented penalty: Miami forfeited two draft picks, including their first-round pick next year.
In addition, owner Stephen Ross was fined $1.5 million and suspended until October 17 this year.
However, one question remains: Why wasn’t Tom Brady punished by the NFL for “tampering”? Especially since there have long been reports of mutual interest between the quarterback and the Miami Dolphins?
BREAKING: The one #dolphins forfeits a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft and third-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft and owner Stephen Ross is suspended until October 17, 2022 following a league investigation.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) 2 August 2022
“Anti-Tampering-Rule”: The focus is always on the teams involved
The answer is relatively clear: the “Anti-Manipulation Rule” focuses on the behavior and initiative of the teams in both directions.
If the Dolphins contacted the playmaker first, they were the ones breaking the rule. But if Brady was the first contact, it’s up to the franchise to report the violation.
Even if the first contact should come from the player and he absolutely wants to force a change, under no circumstances should the affected team start negotiations.
If, on the other hand, the team with which the player is under contract gave their best player permission in advance to seek talks with other teams, there would be no violation of the league’s official rules.
It was thus at no time Brady’s responsibility to report the violation. The same applies to long-time Saints head coach Sean Payton, who also cannot expect a punishment from the NFL.
Tom Brady and the Miami Dolphins: A hot offseason flirt
The flirtation between Tom Brady and the Miami Dolphins was one of the big topics of the offseason.
Both parties were very interested in working together, and the Dolphins were even willing to install Brady as part owner of the franchise.
A mega trade for the quarterback was even close to being completed before former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’ lawsuit brought down the house of cards. Sean Payton was thought of as a possible sideline drag.
Tom Brady: The future is still open
The seven-time Super Bowl champion is officially under contract in Tampa Bay until the end of the 2022 season.
Apart from a future engagement as a pundit for the American television company “Fox”, Brady seems to be open to all possibilities.
Maybe eventually he will actually be drafted to Miami.
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