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Brian Flores Says He Declined to Sign Dolphins NDA, Turned Down Millions of Dollars

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 22, 2022

Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said during an interview with Bryant Gumbel for HBO's Real Sports that the AFC East team offered him a non-disparagement agreement for millions of dollars after he was fired.

"Signing that separation agreement would have really silenced me," Flores said when explaining why he declined it.

Real Sports @RealSportsHBO

Tonight, Bryant Gumbel’s exclusive interview with Brian Flores, his first since being hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Stream <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RealSports?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RealSports</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/hbomax?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HBOMAX</a> <a href="https://t.co/1BM6KFQAWI">pic.twitter.com/1BM6KFQAWI</a>

Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and its teams alleging racist hiring practices and discrimination. Included in the lawsuit were allegations that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 per loss in an effort to improve the team's draft position during the 2019 season.

Flores also said Ross pressured him into recruiting a "prominent quarterback," which would have violated the NFL's tampering rules.

Ross denied the allegations and called them "false, malicious and defamatory."

The team also released a statement Tuesday, calling the NDA allegations "categorically false":

Marcel Louis-Jacques @Marcel_LJ

The Dolphins have released this statement in response to Brian Flores’ claim that he refused to sign an NDA following his firing on Jan. 10 <a href="https://t.co/tiQIrUh1TU">pic.twitter.com/tiQIrUh1TU</a>

Flores' attorneys responded to Miami's assertion:

WigdorLaw @WigdorLaw

In response to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dolphins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dolphins</a> calling Brian Flores' assertion of an NDA "categorically false," below are screenshots from the draft agreement &amp; payment termination notice.<br><br>If <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BrianFlores?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BrianFlores</a> had signed this, he would have been gagged and unable to talk about his experience.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> <a href="https://t.co/rlEgTXsd4I">pic.twitter.com/rlEgTXsd4I</a>

The Dolphins started 0-7 during the 2019 season and appeared on their way to the No. 1 pick, which could have given them the opportunity to draft Joe Burrow. Instead, they turned things around down the stretch and finished with a 5-11 record and the No. 5 pick, which they used to select Tua Tagovailoa.

The Dolphins improved to 10-6 in 2020 and 9-8 in 2021 to finish with back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2002 and 2003, but it wasn't enough to convince the team to bring Flores back for the 2022 campaign.

Flores also said the Denver Broncos and New York Giants conducted "sham" interviews with him regarding their head coaching vacancies in an effort to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least two candidates of color.

Flores also said New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick mistakenly texted him instead of Brian Daboll to offer congratulations for landing the Giants job. Flores had not yet been interviewed when he received the text message, and New York eventually hired Daboll.

Ari Meirov @MySportsUpdate

Former <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dolphins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dolphins</a> HC Brian Flores is suing the NFL and the Giants alleging racism in their hiring process. Flores has texts from Bill Belichick congratulating him for getting the job — but Flores had yet to interview. The text was meant for Brian Daboll. <a href="https://t.co/gmPUw9gHIq">https://t.co/gmPUw9gHIq</a> <a href="https://t.co/tyTztTf3br">pic.twitter.com/tyTztTf3br</a>

He told Gumbel he hasn't spoken to Belichick since filing the lawsuit but would be open to a conversation. Flores was on New England's coaching staff from 2004 through 2018.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have since hired Flores as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach.