Storm clouds gather for Stephen Ross

USA TODAY Sports

Washington owner Daniel Snyder isn’t the only American oligarch who has to be concerned about the possibility that he’ll be forced to sell one of his most cherished possessions. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross suddenly finds himself in a potential jackpot with his partners, too.

Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores has accused Ross of offering $100,000 per loss in 2019, in order to improve the team’s draft position in 2020. As mentioned during Sunday’s Super Bowl pregame show, there’s a belief that the league’s investigation will conclude that Ross did indeed make the offer.

Ross apparently knows it. Already, there’s a sense emerging that Ross will claim he was joking. Beyond the fact that it’s one of those jokes with no obvious punchline, it’s also a topic on which joking probably shouldn’t occur, like joking about having a bomb on an airplane.

As one source opined, “I doubt Roger [Goodell] will have any sympathy for that defense.”

If the allegations are proven, it won’t be good for Ross. Already, NFL.com is pushing the idea that Ross could lose his team over it. NFL.com, which is owned and operated by the NFL.

Previously, NFL.com reported that an unnamed witness heard Ross make the offer. The report later disappeared. Still, everything NFL.com generates on this matter is significant, because NFL.com and NFL Network and NFL Media are the NFL. And the NFL will be investigating Ross, making a decision as to whether he did it and, eventually, passing judgment.

That could be the least of his concerns. If/when an ambitious prosecutor with jurisdiction over the matter behind poking around, Ross could be indicted.

52 responses to “Storm clouds gather for Stephen Ross

  1. This is a felony and sort of proves what I’ve been saying. Goodell is knowingly sitting at the top of a league that has been committing consumer fraud.

    The Colts and Browns have also been involved in throwing games as well. Indy did for Luck and Haslem for Mayfield, as funny as that sounds.

    It happened again last night in the SB in the waning moments.

  2. Stephen Ross isn’t going anywhere and there is no prosecutor going after him given the team of high priced lawyers that Ross could bring to bear in his defense.

  3. The league cannot force him to sell but they can essentially kick the team out of the NFL if he doesn’t comply with a forced sale and add an expansion team in place

  4. I hope the new owner will take up residence in the Miami area and make the team their first priority.

  5. If Washington doesn’t have to sell after years of being operated like a fraternity house the dolphins will be in the same hands for years to come. But the new coach will be gone before Ross

  6. honest question… Is there an NFL League rule that prohibits purposely losing games?? Because we have seen this happen in many years by more than a few teams… Colt being a blatant example

  7. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, but it’s hard to see how a new Dolphins owner could be any worse than Ross. Ironically, one of the best moves he ever made was hiring Brian Flores.

  8. Ross could unequivocally admit that he offered the payments and the Flores haters still would not believe it. They would claim that Ross was forced to make the admission.

  9. Teams run out scrub players every year to improve draft positions. A couple years ago the Eagles benched their QB for a guy who will never play. Don’t get all shocked, everyone knows it happens

  10. How far can the league really push? My gut says Ross and Snyder will fight back if cornered, and I bet they have info/stories/other damaging info about the league. Goodell may need to tread lightly.

  11. Being facetious of course, but I wish someone was smart enough to be able to somehow drag Woody Johnson as an accomplice into this craziness and then force him to sell.

  12. If you read what Flores claims Ross said, it actually does read like it was a joke. Paying some $100,000 to go on a vacation and skip a game? Sorry if I don’t think that sounds like a real offer.

  13. Now that the big game is over,the off field news cycle is cranking up. If Ross did indeed offer money for losses,and it can be proven, he is in deep trouble.

  14. It might be enough to get Ross kicked-out of the NFL, but it won’t be enough to get him indicted. The rich and powerful can do pretty much whatever they want, because the Rule of Law doesn’t apply to them.

  15. This is nowhere near as bad as what Dan Snyder did. All Ross did was say the quiet part out loud (and offer to pay for results).

  16. I don’t believe anything will happen to Ross. He’s an NFL owner. Nothing ever happens to them. They have their goon in the Commissioner’s office to make sure nothing happens.

  17. If Ross is forced to sell…. Tom Brady.

    He is building a mega mansion in an area of Sourh Florida known as “Billionaire Row”.

    He, Gisele and some well funded partners could get it done.

  18. Ross will get exiled, but it’s a perfect scenario for the NFL. This opens the door for a new owner and his name is Tom Brady

  19. If the NFL uncovers any truth to the Ross tanking allegations; are they legally responsible to disclose it to law enforcement.

  20. If the NBA can force a guy to sell because of what he said in an illegally taped private conversation, do not think for a second an NFL owner will not be forced to sell a team.

  21. Please make it happen. There’s no one more incompetent and clueless about football than this guy. That’s the reason GM Chris Grier still has a job after passing on Hebert to select Tua along with the other 2020 three first round busts. What a joke.

  22. People in the comments saying they can’t force him to sell when they just pushed out Jerry Richardson is laughable. It’s not like it was a long time ago. It was like 5 years ago.

  23. I can believe Ross said that to Flores, but absent proof, its one persons word against another’s and that is insufficient to take action.

  24. Funny part to me is Flores’s lawsuit is about racism and lack of diversity in the coaching ranks. Yet everybody agrees the Dolphins are actually a model of diversity, probably the most people of color/women/minorities in positions of authority in the NFL. And yet he throws them under the bus for significant, but not racially associated, issues on his way out the door. The black GM that fired him hired a biracial replacement.

    If Ross goes down and sells the team, Flo will have had removed one of the best owners in the league regarding diversification. In fact, the new Dolphins, under new ownership, could easily end up less diverse. (Not ignoring Ross’s other violations, but they are pretty clearly not racially motivated).

    Add to that his back handed compliment to Lovie Smith, a proven black coach that beat him out for the Denver job, saying that obviously he should have been hired instead, and you start to wonder how altruistic his intentions really are.

  25. frankly, the thought of losing draft picks scares me way more than the thought of Ross having to sell the team.

  26. When you buy a ticket to an nfl game, it promises you a game. That’s it. There are no rules that say it’s not to be scripted or pushed a certain way.

  27. First off, you will need a local prosecutor in Florida to bring charges or initiate a probe or investigation.

    In Florida. Not California. Not NY. Not NJ.

    As for the fanbase, we tagged “Tank 4 Tua”, not the owner. If anything his issue was actually listening.

    As for LV lines concerning sports betting. Bettors from coast to coast knew exactly what Miami and yes, CINCY, were doing in that QB rich draft.

  28. Legal Question – Could a season ticket buying fan make a fraud claim against a team that is tanking or not trying to win. Honest Services? Fraud?

  29. Flores and his witness; his Private Secretary boy are not gonna prove anything even if this occurred. Money, money, and high priced lawyers always win. Ross will not be forced to sell the team.

  30. It’s day old news already….the Super Bowl is over, all the new coaches have been hired, and most NFL fans will now tune OUT till the draft in Late April.

  31. To say this is a dumpster fire of an organization would be a step up from where they sit right now.

  32. The fact that the league is worried they will find proof makes me wonder if this isn’t the first time they’ve heard about this?

  33. There is a reason Snyder skates. It is because how much money he gives to politicians and in turn the government funnels money to him.

  34. What you have is an accusation of a disgruntled former employee. If a thorough investigation shows such charges to be true then the full weight of the commissioner’s office must be brought to bear.

  35. They lost 11 game in 2019. Is there a record of him getting 1.1 mil? Should be pretty easy to find an audit trail. Or was it a bag of all 20’s?

  36. Trying to lose intentionally has been going on for decades now. The difference here is money I suppose. Good luck proving a he said she said case on this matter. The NFL knows teams have been tanking for decades. Just like the NBA and to a much lesser extent the MLB. Hockey seems to be the most violent sport left and yet also has the most class. No tanking there. So where do we draw the line Roger? The Eagles tanked a game just last year. Where do we take this? I’ll tell you, as far as the other owners want to. Flores has no evidence of anything, and if he wasn’t fired none of this would be going on. And that is why he’s NOT some hero for coming forward. This was a matter of convenience, not racism.

  37. There is a difference between the NFL internal bylaws and a criminal matter. I’m too lazy to read the NFL internal documentation, but certainly there are clauses that permit disassociation under certain terms (a civil matter) regardless o whether the NFL owner is guilty of criminal behavior. It happened with Richardson. I wouldn’t be surprised if not only the Broncos, but also the WFT and Dolphins have new owners in a couple years.

  38. Please get your jersey jets implanted self off the books before we get all of our draft picks taken away. Great job Mr Ross!

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