There have been a lot of questions about the NFL’s anti-tampering policy, and what it all means. Hopefully, this will answer a lot of questions.
Here it is, folks, the official NFL anti-tampering policy, as it pertains to players:
* * *
* * *
NFL Players. No club, nor any person employed by or otherwise affiliated with a club, is permitted to tamper with a player who is under contract to or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by another club. The following provisions amplify and clarify this general policy concerning NFL players:
Example of Tampering. The following chain of events is enumerated here as one example of a violation of the policy against tampering with another club’s players:
1. A club’s representative, or a third-party intermediary of that club (Club A), is involved in a private meeting or conversation with a player (or his representative) who is under contract to, or whose negotiating rights are held by, another club (Club B); and
2. The League obtains substantiation that after or during the above contact with the player, Club A has stated, publicly or privately, its interest in obtaining his services; and
3. Contract problems or other disputes subsequently arise between the player and Club B (for example, the player’s failure to report on time to Club B). In circumstances like those of the example above, tampering will be found even in the absence of a demonstrated cause-and-effect relationship between the player’s contract problems and his prior involvement with the other club. In other words, a club will not be able to defend a tampering charge in these circumstances by asserting that its private contact with a player (or the player’s representative) did not involve any expression of interest in the player or was not related in any way to the player’s subsequent contract problem with his club.
Any violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy will subject the involved club and/or person to severe disciplinary action by the Commissioner. The League office will promulgate to all clubs the details of any penalties imposed for tampering.
* * *
* * *
There you have it . . .
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruled the 49ers were guilty of violating the league’s anti-tampering policy based on their alleged contact with Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs, in October of 2007.
The 49ers had for forfeit a fifth-round draft pick in 2008. The only compensation Bears received was an improvement of five spots in the third round. The commissioner ordered the 49ers, originally scheduled to select seventh in the third round of the ’08 draft, to switch spots with the Bears, who were scheduled to pick 12th.
So if the league determines the Jets violated the policy with illegal contact with Michael Crabtree of any of his representative, it’s anybody’s guess on how (or if) the 49ers will profit.
* * *