Of the six double-spaced lines and 80 legal words of Article 166, it is there, set out for all to read.
Wherever he goes now.
Brian Flores wrote a letter dated December 4, 2019, about Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross feeling the pressure of losing games, that paragraph alleges the former coach’s amended lawsuit.
“In this letter, Mr. Flores detailed the toxicity that exists within the organization and explained the unfair positioning of team ownership and by upper management,’ concludes paragraph 166.
The letter was sent to team president Tom Garfinkel, general manager Chris Grier and senior vice president Brandon Shore. You see, the net has widened. The stakes are increasing. Which is why this latest legal move is undone as a whole.
It’s not just that Ross is accused of being part of some game-fixing scheme that could undermine his NFL ownership, bring him under a Congress or FBI investigation, and make Bullgate sound like a child’s play.
Everyone who drives dolphins is now involved. Again: whatever it is and wherever it goes. If anywhere He is still front and center on the table.
Because when Flores’ lawyers dropped the idea of a letter, they didn’t show the letter at all. He did not elaborate on what Flores wrote. He did not say, for example, if the letter mentioned a $100,000-a-loss payout, as Flores alleges that Ross said in the conversation.
We don’t know if the Dolphins Front Office sent the letter to the NFL as well. It would have been wise and legally necessary to do so. Not only would this have covered his career, but the game-fixing scheme should have been disclosed in accordance with the NFL’s bylaws.
Here’s what we know from this latest filing: Flores had the presence of mind to write a letter about “dangerous demands” by Ross to lose the game, as the lawsuit now points out.
“If what he wrote wasn’t true, how does he keep his job for two more years?” asks Daniel Wallach, a sports lawyer who practices in South Florida.
The point is, Ross should have fired a coach who falsely accused him of seeking to lose the game. But Wallach needs to see the letter, read the words before Ross is in trouble.
The letter’s timestamp is three days after the Dolphins defeated Philadelphia for their third win. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 365 yards that day – the most by a Dolphins quarterback since Ryan Tanhill in the second game of the 2016 season. That’s what it took to win that awesome team of 2019.
What the letter shows, Wallach says, isn’t Flores’ allegation, “just a bare allegation. It’s memorable even in a contemporary written document. Who knows whether it was accurate or self-serving, but in December of 2019, Flores was told Was aware of what they saw in the memorandum.”
Issues still remain, only deposits can be resolved. Here’s one: What does Adam Gase say? Gasse left the team because he “wants to win now,” Ross said at the end of the 2018 season.
That quote can cover a lot of ground. Did the gas not agree to the reconstruction at all? Don’t want to trade quarterback Ryan Tanhill? Did Ross suggest that he wanted or didn’t want to tank the game in gas in a way that could support or weaken Flores?
The mystery remains how Flores was hired without, as he has said, asked what he thought about tanking a season. You didn’t even have to say the T-word. Ask: How would you feel about playing on a team of all young players?
For now, the dolphins remain on an oddly double course. He bought big names like Tyrek Hill and Taron Armstead in a way that improved his offense and gave hope for the season.
Off the field, legal winds are swirling on them and no one knows whether it’s bad air or bad accusations. But for the good of everyone – the Dolphins, the fans, the league – will have to play one paragraph 166 at a time.
Everyone in the dolphin hierarchy received Flores’ letter. This raises the stakes of what is in the letter.