Brian Flores exposed NFL owners offering bounties for tanking, and he’s not the only coach who was asked to do it.
Brian Flores’ explosive lawsuit against the NFL and all 32 of its teams for racial discrimination in hiring practices levied several serious allegations against the league. Flores’ lawsuit had a damning accusation that he was offered a bounty to lose games to improve the Dolphins’ draft status. Tanking is nothing in sports, but we have never heard of a team paying their head coach to purposely lose. According to Flores, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100K for every game the team lost during the head coach’s first season in 2019 to improve draft position.
Soon after that, former Browns head coach Hue Jackson is said to be making arrangements to join that lawsuit after he alleged Browns owner Jimmy Haslam financially incentivized “tanking” for better draft position through the use of a bonus structure during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Because of that, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk called on the NFL to formally investigate allegations of tanking against the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns.
“The recent comments by Hue Jackson and his representatives relating to his tenure as our head coach are completely fabricated,” a Browns spokesperson said. “Any accusation that any member of our organization was incentivized to deliberately lose games is categorically false.”
The Dolphins released the following statement, per ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques, “We are aware of the lawsuit through the media reports that came out this afternoon. We vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organization. The implication that we acted in a manner inconsistent with the integrity of the game is incorrect. We will be withholding further comment on the lawsuit at this time.”
The 40-year-old was fired by the franchise in January after posting a 24–25 record over three years, narrowly missing the playoffs in his final two seasons. Per the complaint, the basis for his firing “was alleged poor collaboration.”
This is not one of those things where the NFL will be able to sweep under the rug. Huge ramifications can occur if anything is proven to be true.