Adam Schefter’s report from earlier in the day regarding the fact that the 49ers and unsigned rookie wideout Michael Crabtree have still had no communication in, as we recently reported, more than two weeks reminded us of something we recently heard regarding the tampering charges that the 49ers filed against the Jets.
An investigation will be conducted, and the league will appoint two security managers from other teams to handle it.
The procedure for determining the teams whose security personnel will investigate the claims isn’t known. We assume that the selection will avoid an actual or apparent conflict of interest. For example, the history of acrimony between the Jets and the Patriots, including tampering charges made in 2006 by the Pats against the Jets and the Spygate brouhaha, suggests that the Patriots’ head of security won’t be one of the two selected officials.
Once the determinations are made, it will be up to the designees to shape the investigation.
And perhaps the most important decision to the outcome of the investigation will be whether Deion Sanders will be interviewed and, if he declines, whether his refusal to cooperate will affect his employment with NFL Network.
Sanders was represented during his playing career by Eugene Parker, who represents Crabtree. And Sanders popped off on NFLN about the existence of two teams that would pay Crabtree $40 million.
The questioning of Sanders also should, in our view, include a broader examination of any current business relationships between Sanders and Parker. In this regard, possible questions include whether Sanders has a role in recruiting clients for Parker and, if so, whether Sanders is compensated via a piece of Parker’s fee.
Though not technically relevant to the tampering case, the NFL should be separately concerned about its analysts having such arrangements on the side, and in this case Deion has blown enough smoke to justify an effort to determine whether there’s any fire.
We don’t know one way or the other whether there is. But we think that the question should at least be asked.