The New York Jets have issued a statement in response to the $125,000 in fines imposed as a result of the team’s failure to list quarterback Brett Favre on the injury report during the final five weeks of the 2008 season.
It’s a short message: “We have been fully cooperative with the League throughout this investigation and respect their decision.”
Possible translation: “We’ve really got nothing to say, because we were stone-cold busted.”
Of course, the Jets could have played the “everyone does it” card, and they would have been accurate if they had done so.
Meanwhile, it’s a bit surprising that G.M. Mike Tannenbaum and coach Eric Mangini were fined equal amounts of $25,000. Though Tannenbaum is ultimately responsible for the football operations, it’s the coach and not the G.M. who typically supplies the raw information required by the league regarding injuries.
In fact, there’s a belief in some circles that Tannenbaum came clean last week in part because he had no other choice, and in part because he believed that Mangini might make matters worse for himself by telling the league office that the reports fully complied with league rules, an approach he employed during a routine press conference conducted in the aftermath of Brett Favre’s bout with verbal diarrhea. (It’s one of the symptoms of swine flu.)
Still, we believe that the Jets were punished only because failure to do so would have made a public mockery of the system, unlike the other violations that only make a private mockery of it.