Report: Fellow NFL Owners Could Force Stephen Ross to Sell Miami Dolphins

League rules would require a three-fourths vote to force Ross to put his NFL franchise on the market

Stephen Ross of the Miami Dolphins talks to the media. A new report states that fellow NFL owners could vote Ross out of his position if the allegations from former Dolphins coach Brian Flores are true.
Stephen Ross of the Miami Dolphins talks to the media.
Joel Auerbach/Getty

With rampant allegations of sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct within the Washington Commanders organization continuing to haunt the franchise, it is possible team owner Daniel Snyder’s reign of mediocrity and losing may finally be coming to end.

And with the Broncos currently on the market and expected to fetch upwards of $4 billion in an auction (possibly with Black private-equity tycoon Robert F. Smith as the top bidder), it’s a certainty there will soon be new ownership in Denver.

As it turns out, a third NFL team could be in play for a new owner.

If former Dolphins coach Brian Flores’s allegations about being offered money to lose games in order to secure the team a higher draft pick are proven true, Miami owner Stephen Ross could be forced to sell his team by his fellow NFL owners.

Per a lawsuit Flores filed at the beginning of the month that contains a number of bombshell claims, Ross wanted Flores to “tank” during the 2019 season and offered him $100,000 for each game the team lost that year. Flores claims he declined that offer and the team won far too many games to be in the mix for the No. 1 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, which the Cincinnati Bengals eventually used to select quarterback Joe Burrow. 

Ross, 81, has vehemently denied Flores’s allegations.

“With regards to the allegations being made by Brian Flores, I am a man of honor and integrity and cannot let them stand without responding,” Ross said in a statement at the time of the allegations. “I take great personal exception to these malicious attacks, and the truth must be known. His allegations are false, malicious and defamatory. We understand there are media reports stating that the NFL intends to investigate his claims, and we will cooperate fully. I welcome that investigation and I am eager to defend my personal integrity, and the integrity and values of the entire Miami Dolphins organization, from these baseless, unfair and disparaging claims.”

However, if Flores’s “very disturbing” tanking allegations are found to be true, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that such a violation would not be tolerated and that he believes team owners have the authority to vote out another owner. “When we know what those facts are, and the impact that it has on our game, we’ll deal with it very seriously,” Goodell said.

Per the NFL Network, the manner in which the NFL would deal with Ross paying his head coach to lose games would be for his fellow owners to take a vote about whether or not to remove him. “A league source confirmed that owners could, in fact, vote a fellow owner out under the most dire circumstances based on league rules, which would require a three-fourths vote,” according to the NFL Network.

Given the skeletons owners throughout the league likely have stashed in their closets, a vote against Ross, who completed his purchase of 95% of the Dolphins franchise for $1 billion in 2009, seems unlikely. But at least it’s possible.

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