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Why don’t the Dolphins have a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft?

The Dolphins were punished for tampering violations involving Tom Brady and Sean Payton.

Indianapolis Colts v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Draft is fast approaching with the first round taking place on Thursday, April 27. A team that will not be participating in the Day 1 festivities is the Miami Dolphins, who will not be making a selection until the 51st pick in the second round. While it’s common to see a team not have a first-rounder due to a prior trade, the Dolphins do not have one this year as a punishment for tampering.

The NFL stripped Miami of its first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft as a result of making impermissible contact with Tom Brady and Sean Payton. The Dolphins were supposed to have the No. 21 overall pick and instead, they will simply be skipped over with the Los Angeles Chargers making the next selection. The Dolphins were also stripped a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The league determined that the organization contacted Brady multiple times, first in 2019 when he was playing for the New England Patriots and then in 2021 when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They discussed the possibility of bringing Brady in as a team executive and a quarterback on the roster. The team also contacted Sean Payton’s agent in January of 2022 while he was still the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. It was determined that this came right before Payton announced his retirement from the organization and the team did not request permission from the Saints to have these discussions.

The investigation stemmed from former head coach Brian Flores’ federal lawsuit, alleging racist hiring practices in the NFL and that Dolphins owners Stephen Ross incentivized him to tank during the 2019 season. The investigation cleared the team of the tanking allegations, but Ross was still slapped with a $1.5 million fine and a suspension for his active role in the aforementioned tampering violations.

Barring any trades, Miami’s 2023 draft haul will be incredibly thin as they own picks in just the second, third, sixth, and seventh rounds.