MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 10: Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross talks to the media during a press conference at Baptist Health Training Complex on February 10, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. McDaniel will be replacing the Dolphins' former head coach Brian Flores, who was fired on January 10 after back-to-back winning seasons.

There are some people where every time they open their mouth they say something dumb. Perhaps the king of that is Michael Lombardi. You may know him for when he said this.

“Everyone knows that Doug Pederson isn’t a head coach. He might be less qualified to coach a team in the NFL than anyone I’ve seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL.”  

And of course, he was instantly eating crow as the Eagles became the best team in the NFL, and went on a miraculous Super Bowl Run, even without their starting QB. Jason Kelce accurately deemed him a “clown” in his famous speech at the Eagles parade. And Doug got an extra last laugh when he got to turn down an offer to let Michael Lombardi co-write his book. Side note, whoever had the temerity to suggest to Doug Pederson that he should write a book with the dude who publicly insulted him in such a disrespectful way should be ashamed of themselves.

But Lombardi may have outdone himself this time. Because he unleashed this all-time dumb take yesterday.

Okay, Mike. There are a few key differences here. Differences that you, a self-dubbed “Gridiron Genius,” should know. And certainly differences that a guy who worked in the NFL for 20 years should know. Let’s go down the list

1) What The Eagles Did Isn’t Even Close to What the Dolphins Did

Doug Pederson has not, as of yet, accused Howie Roseman of trying to pay him off to throw that game. Instead what happened was the Eagles took out their starters in the 2nd half of a meaningless game, like several other teams did that week. Why is it okay for a team in the playoffs to “tank” a game by removing starters, but a team already eliminated is expected to play everyone? Every year teams do it. And sometimes, it impacts the standings.

If the Bucs already have the 1st seed clinched, and they are playing a team still fighting for a playoff spot, is it wrong for the Bucs to sit their players? This argument was dumb when Joe Judge, Giants media members, Giants Players, and Giants fans were crying about it. It is even dumber now that Michael “I am Wrong About Everything” Lombardi is bringing it back up and comparing it to the Dolphin’s situation.

If you can’t see the difference between not trying hard in one meaningless game and offering to pay a coach to lose, you should stop talking about Football. What the Eagles did is nothing like what Stephen Ross wanted to do. If we want to talk about tanking, we can talk about how bad the Browns were the one chance Lombardi had to be GM of a team. But to be fair, everyone knew Michael Lombardi wasn’t a GM. He might have been less qualified to be a GM of a team in the NFL than anyone I’ve seen.

2) Tanking is Not What The Dolphins Were Punished for

Here is the important part. It is something a few people missed. But it is embarrassing for Lombardi to miss it given he is taking it as far as he is. The Dolphins were not punished just for tanking. Everyone assumed so at first because that was the big accusation against the Dolphins by Brian Flores. And while the tanking certainly played a role, the big issue here was tampering. Here are Roder Goodell’s own words.

“The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity. 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 Dolphins were working on bringing in both Tom Brady and Sean Payton, while both of them were still under contract with other teams. They were having contact with Tom Brady and his agent as early as 2019 when he was still with the Patriots. Those talks carried into 2021. They were speaking to Payton without the Saint’s permission. It was a multi-year conspiracy to unite those two in Miami for this season. These plans never came together. The Brian Flores lawsuit derailed them by sparking an NFL Investigation. But it was the conspiracy to do this that led to the NFL dropping the hammer on them. The Dolphins had hired Brian Flores and told him to tank with full knowledge they planned to eventually hire Sean Payton.

As far as I know, the Eagles never did this. They weren’t secretly reaching out to any coaches or QBs to replace Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson with another team’s players or coaches.

Conclusion

Lombardi needs to stop talking. He puts his foot in his mouth every time he opens it. He was stupid when he dissed Doug Pederson. It was dumb when he did the same thing to Nick Sirianni. And he is dumb for comparing the Eagles to what the Dolphins did. Not only was the Eagles’ form of “tanking” nothing like the Dolphins’ attempts, but he missed the fact that this wasn’t what the Dolphins were punished for. Lombardi has an impressive streak of 20 years without saying anything smart, and he continued it this week. At this point, he has a shot at the record for the longest streak of all-time. I have faith he can pull it off.