Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Suspension over, Stephen Ross is back in charge of the Dolphins

With Tua Tagovailoa expected back on the field and the Steelers coming off a big win over the Buccaneers, Week 7's edition of Sunday Night Football promises to be a fun one.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has regained the ability to (checks notes) rarely enter his team’s workplace.

Ross, a notorious absentee owner who lives and works in New York, has had “full ownership privileges” restored, now that Week Six has come and gone. It really doesn’t mean much for Ross, since he isn’t the kind of owner who is around the team on a regular basis. Given that he was still permitted to attend games (and to keep the money his team made during the suspension) it wasn’t much of a suspension at all.

That’s a point made in Playmakers. (I’m linking it to get you to buy it.) When a player is suspended, he loses his salary and, in plenty of cases, has to pay back bonus money he has already received. When an owner is suspended, the revenue stream is not interrupted.

Thus, the only thing Ross lost is the ability to call, text, email, etc. those who ran the team in his absence. Skeptics around the league believe he continued to communicate with team executives as much as he wanted. No one can prove it; if Ross was discreet, there would be no way to do so.

Of course, it was lack of discretion that sparked the suspension. Like most if not all other teams, the Dolphins engaged in tampering violations. The problem is that the Dolphin weren’t sufficiently careful about keeping things quiet and/or covering their tracks.

Ross, who still can’t attend today’s ownership meeting but can be present at the next one, returns just as former coach Brian Flores does. The Dolphins host the Steelers on Sunday night. And it was the Flores lawsuit that derailed the achievement of the goal of the team’s tampering -- securing the services of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Tom Brady.