Why don't the Dolphins have a 2023 first-round pick?


The Miami Dolphins won’t have a first-round pick in the NFL draft in consecutive seasons. 

With an 11-6 win over the New York Jets in Week 16 and the New England Patriots falling to Buffalo, the Dolphins grabbed the AFC's No. 7 seed, but they won't have their own first-rounder when the 2023 draft commences in April.

After landing Jaylen Waddle No. 6 overall and Jaelan Phillips No. 18 overall in the 2021 draft, Miami accelerated its intentions to contend by trading for star wideout Tyreek Hill in March. The Dolphins sent Kansas City their 2022 first-, second- and fourth-round picks, a 2023 fourth-rounder and a 2023 sixth-rounder to land Hill. 

Then, ahead of the 2022 trade deadline, Miami bolstered its defense with the acquisition of Bradley Chubb from Denver, parting ways with a 2023 first-round pick via San Francisco, a 2024 fourth-rounder and running back Chase Edmonds. 

Miami had its own 2023 first-rounder, but on Aug. 2, 2022, the NFL announced the team would have to forfeit that selection, along with its 2024 fourth-round pick, after an investigation into the team revealed it had violated league policies “pertaining to the integrity of the game.”

The six-month investigation, initiated after former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit in federal court on Feb. 1, 2022, alleging a pattern of racist hiring practices and discrimination in the NFL, looked into if Miami had violated tampering rules with quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Sean Payton while they were under contract with other franchises. It also focused on if the Dolphins intentionally lost games in 2019 to improve their draft position.

The investigation “conclusively established” that Miami had “impermissible communications” with Brady in 2019-20 when he was a Patriot and again in 2021 when he was a Buccaneer. The investigation also found that Miami had “impermissible communications” with Payton’s agent in January of 2022 to become its head coach, but did not seek permission from New Orleans. 

Brady and Payton did not face any league discipline, but Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was fined $1.5 million, removed from all NFL committees indefinitely and barred from attending any league meeting prior to the annual one in 2023. He was also suspended until Oct. 17, 2022.

Miami, the investigation found, did not intentionally lose games in 2019. The Dolphins currently have their own first-rounders from 2024 and beyond. 

In 2023, they have their own second-round pick, third-round pick, third-rounder via New England (acquired in the DeVante Parker trade), sixth-rounder via Chicago (acquired in the Jakeem Grant trade) and their own seventh-rounder.

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