Report that unnamed witness heard Stephen Ross offer Brian Flores $100,000 for each 2019 loss disappears from NFL.com

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One of the most fascinating developments in a week full of them occurred when NFL Network, the media operation partially owned by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, reported that an unnamed witness heard Ross offer former Dolphins coach Brian Flores $100,000 for each game he lost in 2019. The report, delivered on the air by Cameron Wolfe, became an article posted at NFL.com.

Now, the article is gone. The link is dead. The stack of news stories at NFL.com no longer includes it.

It’s unclear when it disappeared. I checked to see if it was still alive after Ross issued an aggressive statement late Wednesday, describing the allegations as “false, malicious, and defamatory.”

Currently, it’s gone. (The original link appears in the story we posted early Wednesday evening.)

It’s no surprise. Ross faces potential criminal liability under the Sports Bribery Act. The real surprise is that the story ever was published in the first place. Did the folks who put it on the air and on the web realize they were jumping onto a third rail, or did they accidentally trip over it?

Even though the story is gone, the truth remains that an employee of the NFL is aware of the name of a witness who can corroborate Flores’s claim for Ross offering cash for losses. It will be interesting to see whether the league or anyone else (like, you know, a prosecutor) wants to know the person’s name.

30 responses to “Report that unnamed witness heard Stephen Ross offer Brian Flores $100,000 for each 2019 loss disappears from NFL.com

  1. Or possibly the NFL report was wrong and they realized that in retrospect and removed it.

  2. I think that someone realized that “sources say” isn’t going to fly on this story so they got it the heck out of there.

  3. “the truth remains that an employee of the NFL is aware of the name of a witness who can corroborate Flores’s claim for Ross offering cash for losses.”

    This is a complete projection and possible falsehood. If you don’t know who the person is then you cannot claim it is a fact. I can’t believe you don’t know better than to make a statement like this.

  4. Now this is even more interesting. A correction is one thing but it was out right removed. Starting to look like there’s smoke…

  5. The link was here a minute ago, where did I put it? Let’s see, I checked my other pants, I guess someone must have thrown it away. Really I’m very, very, sorry. Honestly.

  6. I must admit I was late in believing this was truly going on. Call it being naive or just not wanting to buy into believing the game I love was anything less than genuine from a competition standpoint. The game the NY Jets blew in the 2020 season against the Raiders made me a believer. An 0-12 Jets team calls a zero blitz giving the raiders their only shot to win. Granted Williams was fired shortly after due to the negative PR. But, you couldn’t convince me this doesn’t happen

  7. Well, if Flores gets this to trial/discovery, pretty sure Wolfe is going to be called. He’s a guy who’s been in the industry, what, a decade or so now, though, so I doubt Wolfe is going to put up something fake. Just depends on whether his source was telling the truth, or pulling a Hue Jackson and exaggerating a bit.

  8. I often watch Good Morning Football on NFL Network, and I was curious how they’d handle the Flores lawsuit story the next morning, since they are a league-owned outlet. The show started with several minutes about the Bengals. Then there was a newsbreak describing the suit, and it surprisingly included the allegations about Ross and the Elway/Broncos-related stuff. Then, back to the studio, where Kyle, Peter and Kay put on their very serious faces and each read those hard pushback statements from the NFL, Dolphins and Giants. They read them with curious emphases, as if they had been instructed not to seem like North Korean prisoner confessions–even though they were clearly doing the reading under command. Weird stuff.

  9. Lets just say this. It’s legal for the NFL to do this. It’s ONLY a story because if fans figure this out then the NFL as you know it will decline rapidly.

    The reason the Cowboys don’t win? IMO the reason is simple. The NFL is allowed to fix or script games or tell refs to officiate a game in a certain way. The Cowboys do NOT need to be in the playoffs or SB because they are the #1 franchise in sports so people don’t require this to keep the dollars rolling in. IF they start losing money you WILL see them in the playoffs and SB’s PDQ.

    Notice that this year there are teams that either haven’t been there in a long time or haven’t been there period? Think.

    The NFL and owners aren’t going to leave a 16 Billion dollar business to chance. Each owner buys a team as an investment. They expect a return. The millions they pay players pale in comparison to what each owner makes.

    Follow the money… always follow the money.

  10. Someone “overheard” this. Even if the overheard part is true, unless money was actually exchanged, & paid to Flores, then there isn’t a crime. And if Flores accepted the money, which I presume he did not, then he would be involved in the act of accepting a bribe. As it’s been said, “show me the proof”. If he can’t bring forth proof, this is all just hearsay. Flo is shooting off his mouth even before any formal preceedings are taking place. I’m sure his lawyers are trying to reel him in. Never show your hand in battle. Shock your enemy. It sounds alot like ‘ throw crap at the wall, & see what sticks’.

  11. Whether it is reporting about, managing, coaching, or playing football, never ascribe to conspiracy that which can be more easily and sensibly attributed to incompetence.

  12. If Flores has exaggerated these claims with little or no proof he should be banned from the nfl indefinitely. These are potentially irresponsible claims and they should have severe consequences.

  13. the wayback machine has 5 captures of that article:

    NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported Wednesday that he spoke with a witness who said he heard Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offer former head coach Brian Flores $100,000 for every loss during the 2019 season.
    Wolfe also reported that Flores’ team says it has evidence including messages from general manager Chris Grier that corroborate the allegations against Ross.
    Flores, who is Black, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Manhattan federal court against the NFL and three of its teams, alleging a pattern of racist hiring practices by the league and other forms of racial discrimination. Included in the lawsuit was an allegation that Ross offered Flores money to lose games during the coach’s first season because he wanted the club to “tank” so it could get the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which was eventually used by the Cincinnati Bengals to select quarterback Joe Burrow.
    “We are aware of the lawsuit through the media reports that came out this afternoon,” the Dolphins said in a statement Tuesday. “We vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organization. The implication that we acted in a manner inconsistent with the integrity of the game is incorrect. We will be withholding further comment on the lawsuit at this time.”
    Speaking Wednesday on CBS Mornings, Flores said that his decision to not go along with Ross’ plan hurt his standing within the organization and “ultimately was the reason why I was let go.”
    “This game changed my life,” Flores explained. “To attack the integrity of the game, that’s what I felt was happening in that instance, and I wouldn’t stand for it.”

  14. I can’t figure out if Ross is really dumb or incredibly stupid. After wallowing in the basement for years, his team finally starts trending in the right direction and he decides to upset everything and fire the coach and the whole thing blows up in his face. Dumb or stupid? Perhaps both?

  15. In other news, the Texans have reportedly offered Flores a whopping $500K per loss. Flores was quoted as saying “a guaranteed $8.5 million annual salary is awfully tempting”

  16. Why wouldnt that person come out and say, ya I was there I witnessed this? Its not like the witness is going to get any money, or is he? hint hint hint

  17. Anyone stop to think that because Flores is a minority, and expendable, that he was the one ownership felt they could manipulate into accepting such a scheme? I mean certainly Caucasians are too competitive and morally superior to even consider approach with such a proposal…

  18. Who else thinks this will all just go away as soon as the lawyers start talking to one another for real.

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