There are two distinct narratives about the Dolphins this off-season, and the differences are striking.

ONE:   Chris Grier looks to have done an outstanding job–simply superb–in bringing in upgrades at major positions of need, including superstar All Pros and not just “slight improvements.”  Even more important, at least in my opinion, is that he signed our own players who we needed to keep.  He made Xavien Howard happy, kept Emmanuel Ogbah on our line, and saw the franchise value of Mike Gesicki.   He did all of this while still saving cap room and not jettisoning our TWO first-round draft picks next year.

In addition, he hired a coach who I wasn’t sure about at first, but he’s been growing on me.  Yeah, I know the pundits said the same praise about Adam Gase, but it feels different with Mike McDaniel.  The bottom line is that even for a cynical Dolphin fan like myself, I have a really good feeling about this season.  It looks really promising.

TWO:   The excitement and enthusiasm about item #1 above is lessened, as usual, by Stephen Ross.  Granted, nothing I’m about to write here is proven or set in stone, but I think it’s all possible/probable, and this could spell big problems for the Dolphins.  As usual, when the Dolphins take a step forward, Ross comes into the picture and takes us two steps back.  The only thing different this off-season is Ross’s antics appear to be behind-the-scenes.  He’s not out there actively removing 20,000 seats from Hard Rock Stadium.   He’s not actively forcing us to play “home” games in Europe.   Those active, visible mistakes were in his past, but this time around it’s a bunch of hidden antics that could really hurt the team.

And let’s get this out there:  this is serious.   We could lose both of our first-round draft picks next year.  We could lose a lot more.

Here are the (recent) allegations:

  • Ross fired Brian Flores under dubious circumstances.
  • Ross bribed Brian Flores to lose games.
  • Ross tampered with Sean Payton of the Saints.
  • Ross tampered with Tom Brady of the Buccaneers.
  • Ross called DeSean Watson while he was a member of the Texans.

At this point, there is zero proof of any of this.  But is it possible?  Based on what we know about Ross, is he the type of man to skirt the rules and secretly go after what he wants, without even realizing it’s against the rules?   I mean, it’s not like he hopped on a plane a few years ago to meet with Jim Harbaugh while Tony Sparano was still his head coach, right?

If just one of those 5 points above has some merit, the Dolphins will likely be penalized.

My guess is there is some truth to all of it.  Did Ross and Tom Brady secretly meet on a yacht in a clandestine setting and whisper about illegal schemes to skirt the rules?   Very very doubtful to me.  But did Ross meet Tom Brady at some event and sorta kinda say with a smirk,  “Hey, you should come work for me.”    I can see something like that occurring, yes.

Did Ross formally offer a bribe to Flores?  In writing?  I doubt it.   But did he say with a smirk, “You know, we’re a lot better off in the draft if you maybe let the rookies play and don’t try so hard.”  Maybe something like that is more plausible.  We just don’t know.

If Stephen Ross truly and purposely colluded against the rules and really did tamper, it would not be shocking.  It’s like if we found out that Bill Belichick cheated last year; that too would not be a surprise.  It’s unfortunate that Ross’s reputation and history has me saying that these allegations might be true.  I wish  I could confidently say, “The allegations must be false because Ross is a savvy owner with a history of making all the right moves to help the Dolphins.  He would never do anything to the detriment of his own team.”

I wish I could confidently say that Flores and the NFL rumor writers are making it all up.  But no.  We’ve all seen Ross’s inept shenanigans over the years.  We know this stuff is possible.  And that, as always, would be an immense distraction from the excellent work Grier did this off-season.

 

6 Comments

  1. Three or four years ago Grier brought his father on board to help him with talent evaluation and strategy. If you remember his father spent most of his career with NE in the same capacity. To me that spoke volumes about Grier’s character and commitment to the Dolphins. Rather that being araggont and thinking he knows it all he brought in people who had more experience than he did in an effort to make the Dolphins better. We never get to glimpse behind the scenes to see how all of that worked out or how it played out but one thing is for certain and that is that every year since than Grier has become better and better in his role and that has dramatically helped the dolphins. We need all our coaches to have this same mindset! As far as Ross is concerned he can’t get the hell out of his own way. I’m sure there are truth to all the allegations but I’m not sure any of it can stick well enough to land us in trouble. I had such hope for Flores and he turned out to be a complete failure on every level.

    1. Author

      Yeah, Grier has been consistently good, with some bad exceptions. Charles Harris. But it’s way better than being bad with a few good exceptions. In his tenure, I still think his best pick was Minkah Fitzpatrick, but we all know Flores couldn’t get along with him.

      As for Ross, you are correct. He does not need to step in and help. He doesn’t need to improve the team. He just needs to step back. Stay away. Go to his home in NY City. Don’t worry about the Dolphins, and by all means…DON’T TRY TO HELP!

  2. Author

    I was reading the article below for fun, and I saw the name “Lynn Bowden” for like the 10th time this spring. He is the forgotten weapon slipping under the radar. Grier and McDaniel have had all the chances in the world to cut or trade Bowden, but they haven’t. I think he’s a sleeper superstar in the making. If Hill and Waddle clear the flat, that leaves a ton of room for Bowden to slip into that area and make some explosive plays. There’s a reason why an injured player is kept around by a new regime. It’s talent!!

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/dolphins-announce-jersey-numbers-players-221549526.html

  3. Author

    This is scary: In defending itself against the Brian Flores racial lawsuit, the NFL pointed out Flores’ own words about why he was fired.
    “Flores admitted that he didn’t think his race has to do with his firing. Instead he said his unwillingness to lose games on purpose caused his firing.”
    So the actual NFL itself is basically saying, “Flores wasn’t fired for race. He was fired for not accepting Ross’s bribes.”
    That’s like saying Ross isn’t guilty of shoplifting a Walmart because he was busy committing a bank robbery elsewhere.

    1. Well we didn’t give a home game away by playing in some other country where they couldn’t care about a football game so to make up for that lets see if we can screw ourselves by letting the NFL investigate us for this garbage. 1st if this was a better run organization they would be screaming from the rafters this is all untrue and the NFL should stay the hell out of their business.. kinda like the Patriots, the Cowboys and the Saints…. of course most of those teams were guilty but I’m just saying its like we just bend over.

      1. Author

        Well, Ross is denying everything in his own way, but Flores says he has PROOF of everything. Is Ross dumb enough to put his bribery attempts in writing? I sincerely think he is. 🙁

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