One of the most fascinating developments in a week full of them occurred when NFL Network, the media operation partially owned by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, reported that an unnamed witness heard Ross offer former Dolphins coach Brian Flores $100,000 for each game he lost in 2019. The report, delivered on the air by Cameron Wolfe, became an article posted at NFL.com.
Now, the article is gone. The link is dead. The stack of news stories at NFL.com no longer includes it.
It’s unclear when it disappeared. I checked to see if it was still alive after Ross issued an aggressive statement late Wednesday, describing the allegations as “false, malicious, and defamatory.”
Currently, it’s gone. (The original link appears in the story we posted early Wednesday evening.)
It’s no surprise. Ross faces potential criminal liability under the Sports Bribery Act. The real surprise is that the story ever was published in the first place. Did the folks who put it on the air and on the web realize they were jumping onto a third rail, or did they accidentally trip over it?
Even though the story is gone, the truth remains that an employee of the NFL is aware of the name of a witness who can corroborate Flores’s claim for Ross offering cash for losses. It will be interesting to see whether the league or anyone else (like, you know, a prosecutor) wants to know the person’s name.