The NFL will investigate allegations by Brian Flores and there is, while slim, a possibility that Stephen Ross will be forced to sell. It won’t be easy.
Forcing the Dolphins owner to sell the Miami Dolphins is not going to be easy. There will need to be a large amount of votes from the other owners who will, in the process, set up a precedent that they themselves may face during their time as an owner. Remember, they tend to protect their own.
More likely is a large, really large, fine. More likely is the penalization of draft picks. Multiple draft picks, and there may be more penalties leveled against Ross. If it did, however, come down to forcing him to sell, it is going to be a lot tougher than just the Dolphins.
Selling a football franchise is actually pretty easy when it comes down to it. The Broncos are up for sale and while the NFL will take their time approving new ownership, we shouldn’t expect the process to last beyond the 2022 calendar year. In the case of the Dolphins, a succession plan is already in place and approved by the league. Bruce Beal is in line to own Miami. But what if the NFL finds that he too had knowledge of the the accusations? What if the NFL decided they are going to pull out of that plan?
For starters, selling the Miami Dolphins goes way beyond selling a football team. Stephen Ross owns more than just the team. He owns the stadium. Through his stadium he has the upcoming Formula 1 racing series. He has the Miami Open, and more apparently is on the way. Selling the Dolphins will not likely include the rest of Ross’ affiliated ownership and that is where things could get interesting.
If we assume the worst case scenario plays out and Ross is forced to sell and if we go a step further and assume that Beal is also taken out of the picture, selling the franchise to someone else would come with some interesting twists.
Will Ross relinquish Hard Rock Stadium to the new owner? He can’t be forced to do so because the NFL does not have any rights to the stadium. The training facility is also owned by Ross and if my information is correct, is not part of the Dolphins ownership.
Ross could and I would have to imagine would, keep HRS and the facility separate of any deal. It would also seem likely that Ross would ask for an enormous amount of money to include every aspect of both the football side and stadium side of his business.
This is really more or less theorizing. Ross could very well just walk away and throw his hands up and accept the NFL’s decision or he could try and fight it. Then again, it is far more likely that nothing happens outside of losing draft picks and fines. That seems far more the direction the NFL wants to go and that should be the absolute worst outcome fans should hope for regardless of their feelings about the teams owner.
Brian Flores and his attorneys have repeatedly stated that they have convincing proof of the allegations that they have made but will that proof be enough to force the sale of the team? I don’t believe it will and if it does, it has to be really convincing.