Dolphins owner Stephen Ross reportedly changing succession plan, passing franchise to daughter

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has changed his mind about succession plans for the NFL franchise. The 82-year-old has notified the league of his intention to change the Dolphins’ succession to his daughter, Jennifer Ross, according to Sports Business Journal. Prior to this development, Dolphins vice president Bruce Beale would have had the opportunity to become an owner of the club.

Of course, both Ross and Beale aren’t the first to see their names in headlines in recent months. On August 2nd, the two Suspended and fined by the NFL for “a tampering violation of unprecedented scope and severity.”

That punishment stemmed from the club pursuing both Tom Brady and Sean Payton. According to the league’s findings, the organization had “unauthorized communications” with Brady on two separate occasions. In August 2019, Beal got in touch with Brady when the quarterback was still a member of the Patriots. Both Beal and Ross then “actively participated” in discussions with Brady following the 2021 season, although future Hall of Famers were still with the Buccaneers.

Beal was suspended from league meetings for the remainder of the 2022 season and fined $500,000. Ross, meanwhile, said he was suspended until October 17, 2022, could not attend league meetings until 2023, was indefinitely removed from all league committees, and was fined $1.5 million. . The Dolphins also docked a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick.

The Sports Business Journal reports that Ross’ decision to leave his daughter to succeed him has nothing to do with the latest punishment by the league and likely predates the investigation entirely. That may be the case, but a move to Jennifer Ross, who already has ownership of the team, might be a cleaner approach.

In 2016, the NFL approved a plan that would give Beal the initial right to buy the Dolphins if Ross died or was sold. It should come as no surprise to learn that these tampering charges could have been a major speed bump.

In 2008, Ross purchased 50% of the Dolphins franchise, then in January 2009 purchased a further 45% for a total of $1.1 billion.

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