The NFL investigation into allegations made by Brian Flores accusing Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross of offering Flores money to lost games could lead to an unprecedented outcome.
Never in NFL history has a team owner been removed from the league. When Jerry Richardson sold the Carolina Panthers in 2018, following numerous accusations of sexual harassment and racist behavior, the NFL only encouraged him to sell the team.
However, the allegations made by Flores against Ross put the NFL in uncharted waters. During the week leading up to Super Bowl LVI, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Flores’ claims, saying any instance of a team incentivizing losing would damage the integrity of the game. He also revealed that NFL bylaws allow the league to remove an owner, if necessary.
An investigation into the allegations made against Flores is underway, but any evidence providing validity to the claims will reportedly have severe consequences for Ross.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that if the NFL investigation finds Ross offered Flores money for each loss in 2019, the discipline will be very severe and could end in fellow owners voting Ross out of the league.
Ross has denied the claims, pushing back against any suggestion that he incentivized losing and offered Flores money for each loss that helped Miami’s effort to land the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
While an owner has never been removed, it’s clearly on the table. An NFL source told Rapoport that a three-fourths vote under “the most dire circumstances based on league rules” could lead to an owner being dismissed from the NFL.
Ross might not be the only NFL owner in jeopardy of removal. Washington Commanders majority owner Daniel Snyder is facing new allegations of direct misconduct months after a prior investigation into Washington’s toxic culture ended in a $10 million fine. While Snyder survived removal in 2021, he is reportedly losing support around the league and could be at risk of removal based on the results of an upcoming independent investigation.