The Brian Flores lawsuit has sparked an unexpected skirmish regarding whether the Miami Dolphins did or didn’t try to silence him.
Flores told Bryant Gumbel that the three-year head coach left a “lot” of money on the table by declining to sign a document that would have “silenced” him. The Dolphins issued a statement specifically denying that team owner Stephen Ross presented Flores with a non-disclosure agreement and spoke to Flores about it.
In response, the lawyers representing Flores posted the documents that Flores opted not to sign. The materials show that Flores specifically waived his buyout by not signing the documents that would have required him to forfeit any legal claims.
Another portion of the documents posted appears to be the standard non-disparagement clause from the head-coaching contract. Flores would have been bound by that term, if he has accepted a buyout.
Thus, even if Ross wasn’t specifically involved in the communications regarding what Flores could and couldn’t say or do (oligarchy, after all, has its privileges), someone apparently was.
Flores ultimately chose the ability to sue and to speak over the standard buyout that coaches who have time left on their contracts receive. Whatever the label the team tries to apply to his decision, the fact remains that his buyout was contingent on not pursuing litigation and otherwise not speaking his mind about the things he believed happened while he worked for the team.