One of the biggest questions that has arisen following the league’s finding that the Dolphins obviously tampered with Sean Payton and Tom Brady concerns the compensation, or lack thereof, awarded to victims of the tampering.
The tampering policy makes the “offended club” (as used in the rule) eligible for compensation “if they certify a complaint which initiates an investigation against the offending club”. The policy also states that “if the offended club has refused or failed to certify such a claim after the facts of the matter became known or reasonably should have known to the offended club, the offended club cannot receive any potential compensation.” .”
This language, coupled with the lack of compensation for the Patriots (like Brady), Buccaneers (like Brady) or Saints (like Payton), suggests the investigation didn’t happen because of a complaint. or a certification made by one of these teams. It’s possible, if not likely, that the investigation was sparked by reference in Brian Flores’ lawsuit to an alleged effort by the team in 2019 to tamper with an unnamed quarterback. (PFT asked the league earlier this week for an explanation as to why the Patriots, Bucs and Saints did not receive compensation for Miami’s tampering. The league has not responded.)
There are good reasons that none of the three teams certified a tampering complaint. Surely the Patriots knew Brady had a head start in 2020 free agency. Surely the Patriots didn’t care. If they weren’t going to keep it (and they knew they weren’t), there was no reason to worry about technical policy violations. While it’s unclear if the Patriots knew the Dolphins were talking to Brady before the end of the 2019 season, or if the Patriots would have complained had they known, their desire to have a positive separation with Brady may have superseded any desire to pick a fight with a division rival – even if it’s a fight the Patriots would have won.
As for the Buccaneers, it would have been the height of hypocrisy if they had complained about the Dolphins tampering with Brady in 2021 and 2022, because the Bucs tampered with Brady in 2020. Plus, the fact that the The whole Payton/Brady package to Miami was made (only to be dropped by the Brian Flores lawsuit) means someone with the Buccaneers knew what was coming and also agreed to Brady’s possible compensation.
As for the Saints, again, Payton in Miami was done; a behind-the-scenes agreement had been reached for compensation. Miami general manager Chris Grier’s decision to call Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland about Payton coincided with conversations happening at a higher level. It would have been difficult for the Saints to complain about tampering when the Saints’ will facilitated a process to align Miami’s efforts to hire Payton.
Why were the victims of the Dolphins tampering scheme not compensated? originally appeared on Pro Football Talk