We’ve got a couple of things to mention regarding the fines imposed last week on the Jets, G.M. Mike Tannenbaum, and former coach Eric Mangini for failing to disclose the partially torn biceps tendon plaguing quarterback Brett Favre late in the 2008 season.
First, no one asked Favre about the situation after the Vikings-Lions game on Sunday. So he still hasn’t publicly expressed anything — remorse, satisfaction, regret, etc. — regarding the fact that his decision to keep talking about the situation ultimately forced the league to step in and fine everyone.
Second, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Sunday that the cumulative fines of $125,000 reflect a deliberate effort by the NFL to toughen up punishment for rules violations in the wake of 2007’s Spygate fiasco.
Third, Mort reported that the league office called the Jets when media reports were surfacing during the 2008 season regarding the possibility that Favre was hurt, and Mangini flat out denied it. To put it more bluntly, the report is that Mangini lied to the league office.
We’re having a hard time reconciling the last two aspects of the latest developments, especially since Mangini proved the adage that the cover up is worse than, well, the cover up.
If the goal is to smack down cheaters and if Mangini and/or the team had a chance to come clean and didn’t, the penalty should have been a lot more than $25,000 to Mangini, $25,000 to Tannenbaum, and $75,000 to the team.
So why didn’t it happen? Our guess is that the NFL realizes cheating on the injury report is rampant, since teams desperately want to preserve a competitive edge. Thus, if the Commissioner pushes the issue too heavily with the 32 teams that have hired him, the Commish might end up getting the Faye Vincent treatment.
Meanwhile, if Favre isn’t asked about the situation during his Wednesday press conference, he likely never will be.