NFL Offseason 2022

It’s only been 2 days.

I was counting Monday as well but either way the league had until 9am EDT to appeal. I suppose they could have waited until first thing in the morning, but it looks like they timed this for the end of the business day so they could to still get it in the news cycle tonight.

The NFLPA has until Friday to respond to the appeal and they’re probably going to do so. Whatever their personal feelings, they do have to represent their own members.

I’m guessing Goodell will strongly consider appointing himself to hear and decide on the appeal, which is apparently something he can do.

And why did Flores blow it up?

Because he thought the Giants were going to make him head coach, then was told that they had just interviewed him as a token gesture?

And how did Flores find this out?

Because Bill Belichek “accidentally” texted the wrong person to congratulate them on the Giants job.

Accidentally…sure,

That Belicheck truly is a genius.

No snark, he really is and I wouldn’t be shocked if he foresaw some of this.

I know tempers can get heated at training camp but Trevor Penning should probably start to control his.

I have not seen this anywhere else, and it’s just a rumor, but now there is some speculation about the Broncos potentially tampering in the Russell Wilson deal.

It might just be nothing though. It seems like an offhand comment from Mike Florio on a talk show and might not amount to much of anything. But I guess it’s out there now.

That seems like exactly what it is. He’s not offering any special knowledge, just saying “hey, this happens with everyone.” It’s not really an accusation.

It wouldn’t make sense to me to say that a player is guilty of tampering. To me, the concept of tampering is trying to poach a player already under contract with another team. As in, offering money to players who are already under contract is bad. How could a player be guilty of that?

If a player is calling other teams while under contract without permission seeking a trade, what would it be called? If it’s not technically tampering, it’s synonymous.

I believe the answer is supposed to be “pointless.” As in, all 31 teams will only say “We’re not allowed to talk to you while you are under contract with another team.” And then hang up. No problem to solve.

I could see a player being guilty of tampering with a different player. Like if a quarterback starts trying to recruit a receiver on another team by saying management would pay them whatever, then the player could be guilty of tampering on the team’s behalf, I suppose.

But you can’t tamper yourself; you’re not offering yourself any money. Sort of like an attorney can’t divulge your privileged conversations, but you can.

I guess what I’m saying is it’s a management rule that only applies to management. At least it feels that way to me.

Here are the actual tampering rules.

That is what it means to the NFL as well.

The term tampering, as used within the National Football League, refers to any interference by a member club with the employer-employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissibly induce a person to seek employment with that club or with the NFL.

Here is what the point of the rule is, in their own words.

The purpose of the NFL Anti-Tampering Policy, as it applies to tampering with players, is to protect member clubs’ contract and negotiating rights, and, at the same time, to allow the intra-League competitive systems devised for the acquisition and retention of player talent (e.g., college draft, waiver system, free-agent rules under an operative collective bargaining agreement) to operate efficiently. As the Policy applies to tampering with non-players, its purpose is to strike a balance between protecting the rights and maintaining the organizational stability of employer clubs, and
providing realistic advancement opportunities for employees if other clubs desire their services.

The clubs all need to follow the same rules and be on the same playing field (so to speak). If Tom Brady calls up other organizations and tries to work a back-room deal, the other clubs are obligated to refuse to talk to him. And as long as the various organizations are following the rules, it doesn’t matter what Tom or any other player does. It takes two willing sides for any deal to take place, and the NFL has the stance that it’s one side’s responsibility to follow those rules, and doesn’t care about the other side.

It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Players are part of a pretty strong union. The front offices aren’t. You can put the hammer down on a front office for misbehavior and who is going to protest? The other teams? So you lean on the side that you can comfortably lean on, and you still get the result you want but without the headache of dealing with the NFLPA.

To me, that feels like a semantic issue. So look at it this way: think of the tampering not as with a player, but against a team. In this case, Miami committed tampering against the Patriots by illegally negotiating with Brady; and Brady committed tampering against the Patriots by participating substantively in those negotiations, which are contractually not permitted. Similarly, Miami and Payton committed tampering against the Saints. That’s how I see it, anyway, but it appears the NFL may hew more to your view.

On preview, I see Atamasama has posted the relevant rules, which I look forward to reviewing. Thanks for that.

I admit to being slightly amused that the rules don’t seem to bother to say anything about tampering with, say, the XFL or USFL or any other minor football league.

Probably because by the time they include the mention in the rules, the league has already folded. Also, those are likely not places where NFL teams are eager to grab talent.

It makes no difference the way I look at it. In my mind, the prohibited action is offering money. Players do not offer money, and therefore cannot violate the rule.

Another way to view it IMO is as a management rule. But again here, players aren’t management and are thus not bound by it.

The top line of the rule as quoted by Atamasama solidifies this second one nicely:

Players are not member clubs and thus not subject to this rule.

The word “poaching” crystallizes if for me: If an out-of-season or protected animal wanders into your campsite and attacks you – maybe it’s diseased – and you are forced to kill it in self defense, you may or may not be found guilty of poaching. But the animal is not guilty of poaching. Poaching rules don’t apply to animal behavior in any way.

But they aren’t animals, they are people! PEOPLE!!!

(Now I’m thinking of a joke… What’s the difference between the NFL and the wild savannah? Nobody is poaching Lions in the NFL.)

All kidding aside, that’s a pretty good analogy I think. Especially if you want to think of it from the NFL’s point of view.

I mean, you’re absolutely right according to the rules as linked. And indeed there was no punishment for Brady. So I can’t argue.

But I think in the larger picture that’s just how the NFL has decided to define and enforce tampering, as Atamasama said.

All that said, I still think a player who participates in these kind of impermissible negotiations is “morally” guilty. It takes two to tango.

You get no argument from me. It’s sort of like being a single person messing around with a married person. You’re not the cheater, but it’s still wrong.

I don’t know that I agree.

Imagine a tech company wants to target a smaller competitor by poaching their best talent. If they make a significantly better offer, I do not fault the talent being poached in any way. I do not consider them morally or ethically compromised for accepting a better job to advance their career. The company that poached them, however, I would consider scummy.

Adultery from the perspective of the person who isn’t married is a pretty good counter-argument. Not sure my response to that.

I consider myself a pretty avid NFL fan but just realised tonight is the Hall of Fame game.

Yeah, I’ll watch the 1st quarter or so.

Same!

I then saw it was Raiders/Jaguars… Meh.