The Miami Dolphins may be able to put all this Brian Flores stuff behind them but for Bruce Beal, it may not be that easy.
First, Stephen Ross isn’t being forced to sell the team and isn’t expected to any time in the near future. Second, we have to realize that Ross is 82 years old and he isn’t going to be around another two decades maybe not one.
The rumored plan of succession has Vice Chairman and limited partner, Bruce Beal in line to take over the franchise when Ross sells his majority ownership. The NFL had already approved Beal as a potential owner but that vote isn’t definitive and does not make Beal an approved owner.
At some point, Beal is going to have to sit in front of the league owners and hope he is approved. Will that be an easy decision by the league? Not anymore.
Today’s news includes a $500,000 fine and a full 2022 suspension for Beal. The statements released by the NFL conclude that Beal was not only party to the tampering allegations but one of those directing it, knowing full well that was against the league rules.
This will make for interesting NFL history as the league has never faced approving an ownership transfer to someone who has been found guilty of violating league rules and policy. Why? Because it has never been an issue before.
Miami Dolphins fans will probably have no problems with Beal not being granted ownership at some point down the road but the league may also not have a problem with Beal taking majority ownership over the team and may feel as though his punishment was just and served.
To be clear, I don’t know what the league may do and I don’t know what Ross plans to do with his ownership. The NFL plays by its own set of rules and that isn’t likely going to change. Beal may be viewed as someone the league can control or simply someone they know rather than someone new.
One thing should be certain, however, the league will likely take a little longer to decide when that time arrives and it will be in the back of everyone’s minds.