Following a six-month investigation that concluded in August 2022, the league found the Dolphins -- primarily team owner Stephen Ross and vice chairman/limited partner Bruce Beal -- violated the anti-tampering policy on three occasions from 2019 to 2022 in conversations with quarterback Tom Brady and the agent for then-New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.
In addition to the first-round pick, the Dolphins forfeited their 2024 third-round selection. Ross was fined $1.5 million and suspended through Oct. 17, 2022. Beal was fined $500,000.
The investigation found that Beal spearheaded impermissible communications with Brady, then the New England Patriots' quarterback, while he was still under contract; Ross and other Dolphins executives were informed of the content of those conversations. Both Ross and Beal tampered with Brady once again following the 2021 season, when he was under contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This time, the conversation centered on Brady joining the team as a limited partner and possibly a football executive -- although the possibility of him playing for the team was discussed, according to the league's investigation.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called the league's findings "unprecedented."
The Dolphins had another first-round pick in the 2023 draft, which came from a trade with the San Francisco 49ers in 2021, but they dealt it to the Denver Broncos in November 2022 for edge rusher Bradley Chubb. Their top selection now comes at No. 51 overall. They also own pick Nos. 84, 197 and 238.
Information from ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques and Kevin Seifert was used in this story.