Jump to content

Why the 2023 NFL Draft only has 31 picks in Round 1


Recommended Posts

Round 1 of the NFL Draft typically possesses a first-round pick for each team. Of course those picks can be traded, but there’s at least a slot set for each team based on how it finished in the previous season.

So under normal circumstances, the 2023 NFL Draft would have 32 slots and 32 picks given that’s how many teams are in the league. But that’s not the case this year.

This year’s draft will only have 31 picks and 31 slots. That’s because the Miami Dolphins forfeited their 2023 first-round pick (No. 21 overall), as well as a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Here’s a look at the circumstances that led to the Dolphins forfeiting picks.

NFL’s allegations around Brady, Payton

The NFL sanctioned the Dolphins in August 2022 for impermissible contact with quarterback Tom Brady while he was with the Patriots and the Buccaneers and impermissible contact with the agent of former Saints head coach Sean Payton while Payton was still with the Saints. 

The league also suspended Dolphins owner Stephen Ross through Oct. 17, 2022. Ross also wasn’t allowed to attend any league meetings prior to the annual owners meetings in March 2023. He was removed from all league committees indefinitely and fined $1.5 million.

Bruce Beal, the Dolphins’ vice chairman/limited partner, was fined $500,000.

Neither Brady nor Payton will be sanctioned by the league. Brady is now retired. Payton is now the Broncos head coach.

“The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement when announcing the sanctions in August 2022. “I know of no prior instance of a team violating the prohibition on tampering with both a head coach and star player, to the potential detriment of multiple other clubs, over a period of several years. Similarly, I know of no prior instance in which ownership was so directly involved in the violations.”

The NFL’s investigation “conclusively established violations of the anti-tampering policy on three separate occasions.” Here are the details from the league:

  • The Dolphins had impermissible communications with Brady in 2019-20, while he was under contract to the Patriots. Those communications began as early as August 2019 and continued throughout the 2019 season and postseason. These numerous and detailed discussions were conducted by Beal, who in turn kept Ross and other Dolphins executives informed of his discussions with Brady.
  • The Dolphins again had impermissible communications with both Brady and his agent during and after the 2021 season, while he was under contract to the Buccaneers. Those discussions began no later than early December 2021 and focused on Brady becoming a limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive, although at times they also included the possibility of his playing for the Dolphins. Both Ross and Beal were active participants in these discussions.
  • In January 2022, the Dolphins had impermissible communications with Don Yee, the agent for Payton, about having Payton serve as Miami’s head coach. Miami did not seek consent from New Orleans to have these discussions, which occurred before Payton announced his decision to retire as head coach of the Saints. Following that announcement, Miami requested permission to speak to Payton for the first time, which New Orleans declined to grant.

“I strongly disagree with the conclusions and the punishment,” Ross said in a statement after the league announced the sanctions. “However, I will accept the outcome because the most important thing is that there be no distractions for our team as we begin an exciting and winning season. I will not allow anything to get in the way of that.”

The 2023 NFL Draft order for Round 1

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...