Dolphins docked draft picks for Brady, Payton tampering

The Miami Dolphins forfeited their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick on Tuesday after an NFL investigation found the team violated tampering rules with quarterback Tom Brady and coach Sean Payton while both were under contract with other teams, the league announced.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was also suspended until Oct. 17.

The six-month investigation found that the Dolphins had impermissible contact with Brady in 2019-20 while he was with the New England Patriots, and again in 2021 during his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those discussions are said to have focused on making Brady an ownership partner and possibly a football executive, and “at times” included the possibility of him playing for the Dolphins.

Brady briefly retired earlier this offseason before announcing he’d return to the Buccaneers for the 2022 season.

The NFL says Payton’s agent was contacted by the Dolphins in January 2022 with interest in having the long time New Orleans Saints coach take over in Miami. Payton later retired from his position with the Saints.

Also noteworthy was the investigation’s findings that the Dolphins didn’t engage in “tanking” to improve their draft position. Former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said he was offered $100,000 per loss by Ross, but the NFL said Tuesday that the comment “was not intended or taken to be a serious offer.”

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