Dolphins assistant coach says team hasn’t received a direct order to tank

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Earlier this year, the former Miami Dolphins Head coach Brian Flores alleged that team owner Stephen Ross wanted to pay Flores $100,000 for every loss during the 2019 season.

The allegations were enough for the league to investigate Ross, who was suspended for tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton.

However, the tanking directive was never given to Flores or anyone else, according to their running coach.

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A general view of the Miami Dolphins logo prior to the game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on January 28.  February 9, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

A general view of the Miami Dolphins logo prior to the game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on January 28. February 9, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(Mark Brown/Getty Images)

“From top to bottom, [the goal was] winning football games and getting ready and getting ready to go – that’s how it’s always been,” Eric Studesville said Wednesday, by ESPN. “That’s how I think this game is fair. That’s what we do, that’s what I owe to the game, every time we have the chance to compete, we try our best. He has never been anything more than that expressed for us or for me.”

The investigation found no evidence that the team refueled deliberately. However, it was discovered that Ross felt that losing games was best for the team’s future and should take priority over winning.

But “that’s just not how we’re wired. None of that has ever been shared,” Studesville added.

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks to Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross during practice before an NFL football game against the New York Jets , Sunday, November 11.  3, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

FILE – Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores talks to Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross during practice before an NFL football game against the New York Jets , Sunday, November 11. 3, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

BRIAN FLORES SUES NFL, GIANTS AND DOLPHINS FOR ALLEGED RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

“The Dolphins intentionally did not lose any games during the 2019 season,” the NFL memo reads. “Nobody at the club, including Mr Ross, asked Coach Flores to do it. No witness testified to the contrary. worsening Miami’s position in the 2020 draft.”

The NFL also said Ross’ advances to Flores were “not intended or considered a serious offer, and the subject was not pursued in any respect by Mr. Ross or anyone else at the club”.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross before the game against the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Miami Florida.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross before the game against the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Miami Florida.
(Mark Brown/Getty Images)

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Flores’ lawsuit alleges the league discriminated against him and other black coaches on racial grounds, barring them from being hired as head coaches, general managers and other important positions on all league teams. .

After investigation, Ross was fined $1.5 million and suspended for six games. The Dolphins also lost their 2023 first-round pick and their 2024 third-round pick.