clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Can we end this story about Stephen Ross already?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

This week’s headlines around the Miami Dolphins have focused on owner Stephen Ross. Suddenly, he is being described as a meddling owner who is trying to make football decisions and ignoring the people he hired to make those decisions. He is the worst type of owner, and he is overshadowing owners like Dan Snyder of Jerry Jones.

This all springs from a blurb in an article from the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin. The former Dolphins beat writer who now covers the New England Patriots, put together a piece that included several anecdotes and bullets about several of the teams throughout the 2018 NFL Draft. Included in the “Extra Points” section was a two-sentence piece on the Dolphins.

Volin wrote, “A well-placed league source tells us that the Dolphins had the pick of Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick all ready to go at No. 11 when owner Stephen Ross stepped in and implored his team to trade back, both to acquire more picks and to save money on the first-rounder. Ross’s football people talked him out of it, and the Dolphins went ahead with the Fitzpatrick pick.”

From that, Ross has become a meddling owner and the stories have come rapidly and extensively. There have been discussions about how he is trying to become more of a decision maker when it comes to football operations. There are stories about what the Dolphins could have done if they had traded back. And there are talks that Ross is more concerned with saving money than putting out a competitive product.

Except, Ross has never been Jeffrey Loria or Derek Jeter, and the Dolphins have never been run like they are the Miami Marlins. Ross has paid for every player the team has wanted. He has agreed to sign the checks for Ndamukong Suh, Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler, Lawrence Timmons, Dannell Ellerbe, Gibril Wilson, and Mario Williams. He has spent over half-a-billion-dollard to improve the stadium. He has poured millions into the team’s training facilities and he is willing to spend millions more if the team moves those facilities in the next few years.

Ross has never shied away from spending money to try to help the Dolphins win. Why would he suddenly want to “save money on the first-rounder?”

Ross emailed the Miami Herald this week about that impression. According to Armando Salguero, Ross agreed that he was interested in seeing if the team could add additional draft picks, but the price tag for the 11th overall pick was not a consideration. “Correct,” Ross said according to Salguero. “Saving money will never be an issue when it comes to winning.

With the idea of needing to find a cheaper draft pick out, that leaves Ross “meddling” to try to trade back in order to pick up the extra picks that would come with that move. Ross “implored” the decision makers to trade back. He wanted to make a move that a lot of fans wanted the team to make. He wanted to get more picks so that the team could bring in more talent to try to win more.

So, Ross is a horrible owner because he wanted to get better?

And, he is a horrible owner because he “implored” but did not demand the team trade back.

And, he is a horrible owners because he “implored” but did not overrule his football decision makers.

“We’ll see,” Ross told Salguero about the team’s draft. “Nobody knows for sure with this stuff.”

Maybe Ross “implored” the team to trade back. Maybe he simply asked if they had considered a move. Maybe he heard about a team wanting to trade up and he just wanted to make sure Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum, General Manager Chris Grier, and Head Coach Adam Gase were properly considering the offer.

Maybe Ross just wants to see his team win.

This story has been running like crazy for five days now. It is a May story, not an actual story. Ross wants to see his team win. He wants the Dolphins to be an elite team in the NFL. He asked his football decision makers to make sure they were considering all options. He “implored” them to consider a trade back.

But he did not force it. He allowed his football people to make a football decision. He did not meddle - he asked.

And, can we now let this “story” die?