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Holmgren's comments on Peppers look like tampering

M_Holmgren.jpgOn one hand, the NFL rarely if ever punishes teams for tampering.  (Other than the 49ers.)

On the other hand, few NFL teams ever commit clear, open violations of the letter and spirit of the tampering rules.

On Friday, Browns president Mike Holmgren said during comments to reporters that his new team has had discussions regarding the possibility of signing impending free agent defensive end Julius Peppers, according to Justin Hathaway of NFL.com.

The rule in this regard is clear:  “Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy.”

Peppers remains the exclusive property of the Panthers.  It doesn’t matter that he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in little more than six days.  Today, he’s under contract with the Panthers.

If Hathaway’s characterization of Holmgren’s comments is accurate, it’s hard to justify anything other than a finding that the rule was broken.  And if the league isn’t going to enforce the rule in situations like this, then the league should just get rid of the rule.

And give back the draft picks the league took from the 49ers as a result of the Lance Briggs tampering case.

UPDATE:  Rosenthal has passed along a partial transcript of Holmgren’s remarks on the issue, justifying at least half of Friday’s per diem.  “When we talk about possible
free agents, certainly Julius [Peppers] is one of the guys we talk about.  But then I have to put on my other hat a little bit,
because there are some financial ramifications there. “

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67 Responses to “Holmgren's comments on Peppers look like tampering”
  1. tommyjcaps says: Feb 26, 2010 9:05 PM

    you can’t seriously compare these two situations…
    lance wasn’t about to become a free agent
    i think common sense should prevail when applying this dumb rule…and that would entail no action against the browns
    it’s literally a matter of semantics that peppers is still on the panthers

  2. BradNFL says: Feb 26, 2010 9:11 PM

    Agreed. The league won’t push the issue sadly. They will only prosecute teams that don’t have the best relationships with league officials.

  3. BradNFL says: Feb 26, 2010 9:13 PM

    Lance wasn’t about to become a free agent??? Where were you? If the Panthers sign Peppers tomorrow then it would be the same sort of situation.

  4. Burnum says: Feb 26, 2010 9:22 PM

    Oh my god, yet another tampering claim by Florio. Seems like all he can think of is getting Duante Culpepper another job and accusing teams of breaking a rule that no one really cares about…

  5. promin1 says: Feb 26, 2010 9:22 PM

    Florio….who pissed in your corn flakes? Jesus Christ…give the tampering thing a break huh! Who the F cares. Peppers is about to be a free agent and your the only one making a big deal about it. You must have always been the whiney kid who always got picked last for kick ball weren’t you?

  6. Doc Fluty says: Feb 26, 2010 9:24 PM

    if a team openly says its not going to resign a player.. and its six days away from him being a free agent.. then who cares?
    briggs was under contract and still had years left on a team that wanted him… BIG DIFFERENCE

  7. SonOfNOLA says: Feb 26, 2010 9:25 PM

    It’d only be a legitimate case of tampering if Julius Peppers was a RFA, franchise tagged, or if Carolina had a team option on him and still pondering whether or not they’d want to pick it up. But it’s clear that he’s going to hit the open market and Carolina has already said to the media days ago that they aren’t bringing him back.

  8. fatfatuma says: Feb 26, 2010 9:27 PM

    Keep it up, Mike!!! Soon the geniuses at NBC are going to dump Chris Hansen, promote you (or at least your hair), and “To Catch a Tamperer” will make it’s debut, shattering the status-quo as we know it.
    You will be the messiah that leads the ice-dancing network back to the promised land of milk, honey, and non-stop Five Dollar Foot-Long commercials. Oh, wait…

  9. Lex Luger says: Feb 26, 2010 9:28 PM

    common sense doesnt apply to being or talking like a lawyer

  10. Occam says: Feb 26, 2010 9:28 PM

    Oh Florio. Everything looks like tampering to you. Want a cookie?

  11. this class sucks says: Feb 26, 2010 9:36 PM

    Yeah the Niners got screwed. Rules are rules. What about all the teams that may have tampered with Crabtree that the league refused to investigate.

  12. Sonoco says: Feb 26, 2010 9:36 PM

    The only way it will happen is if the Panthers act like whiney bitches as the Bears did and actually file a grievance against the Browns.

  13. Phokus says: Feb 26, 2010 9:38 PM

    No, it’s literally that Peppers is under contract with the carolina panthers until they release him
    ——————————
    tommyjcaps says: February 26, 2010 9:05 PM
    “it’s literally a matter of semantics that peppers is still on the panthers”

  14. toddm6d says: Feb 26, 2010 9:38 PM

    nod nod wink wink goes Roger Goodell…

  15. VoxVagina says: Feb 26, 2010 9:42 PM

    @tommyj
    Lance was about to be a free agent. You’re wrong. Btw why would anyone sign as a free agent with the Browns. He’s not gonna have his last payday by cleveland and give up his chance at a ring

  16. Rick says: Feb 26, 2010 9:48 PM

    the Panthers already said they will not tag him. It isn’t tampering if no team holds his rights. And please don’t say the Panthers still have him for another week. Do you really think they are close to a deal and the Browns saying they are interested is going to make Peppers walk away from the Panthers?

  17. Wick says: Feb 26, 2010 9:51 PM

    Why does PFT always get their panties in a bunch when something appears as though it just might be “tampering???”
    Seriously. Over the last near decade or so, PFT has launched about 13 million “provocatory” pieces about how their Sherlock-esque sleuthing has uncovered what just might be “tampering.” Then, they proceed to try to “build their case.”
    It’s basically like some liquored up douchebag on a street corner who spends all of his sunlight hours repeatedly ripping off long blasts on one of those obnoxious airhorns – and continually screams to anyone who’ll listen garbage like: “Heyyy, that guy, yeah that guy over there in the khaki pants, yeah him, yup that’s him, that’s the guy —- he just jaywalked!!! Who else saw it? I did. That rotten bastard just crossed on a yellow light!”
    Kill the tampering stories. No one gives a rat’s ass. Or tell us why we should care.

  18. tommyjcaps says: Feb 26, 2010 10:25 PM

    @Phokus
    Not true actually…they don’t have to release him…he becomes a free agent on march 5th
    @Vox
    touche…my bad on the free agent thing
    i guess the broader point is that the panthers have said they are planning on letting him go to free agency…AND it’s only a week or so away
    the bears never said such a thing…and they would have franchised him again if they didn’t sign him

  19. salty says: Feb 26, 2010 10:33 PM

    Florio – check the rules… what Holmgren said isn’t tampering. Tampering is when a team indicates interest in a SPECIFIC player. If your teams says “we have interest in signing a free agent defensive tackle” – that is NOT tampering b/c no specific player was identified. Lisaten to the video – Holmgren does NOT identify Julius Peppers… he merely identifies “Julius” – and there are more than one Julius who will be a free agent. Therefore, no specific player was mentioned… no violation.

  20. East Bay Ray says: Feb 26, 2010 10:41 PM

    Burnum says: February 26, 2010 9:22 PM
    “Oh my god, yet another tampering claim by Florio. Seems like all he can think of is getting Duante Culpepper another job and accusing teams of breaking a rule that no one really cares about…”
    Florio’s obsession with the Rooney Rule and whether teams “violated the spirit of it” also qualifies in the category of “things Florio posts a bunch of stories on when nobody cares”.

  21. clevefan1 says: Feb 26, 2010 11:01 PM

    >>>Oh my god, yet another tampering claim by Florio. Seems like all he can think of is getting Duante Culpepper another job and accusing teams of breaking a rule that no one really cares about…

  22. realitypolice says: Feb 26, 2010 11:13 PM

    Wick says:
    February 26, 2010 9:51 PM
    It’s basically like some liquored up douchebag on a street corner who spends all of his sunlight hours repeatedly ripping off long blasts on one of those obnoxious airhorns – and continually screams to anyone who’ll listen garbage like: “Heyyy, that guy, yeah that guy over there in the khaki pants, yeah him, yup that’s him, that’s the guy —- he just jaywalked!!! Who else saw it? I did. That rotten bastard just crossed on a yellow light!”
    =======================
    Awesome. I have been getting more and more annoyed with these ridiculous tampering posts by Florio and after reading this one was racking my brain trying to come up with the perfect analogy that would combine my thoughts on the situation with the appropriate amount of ridicule for Florio. But you scooped me, my man. This is perfect.
    We all know that one super annoying person who clings to the letter of the law in all situations because they lack the intellectual ability to see shades of gray, or to understand that sometimes the intent of the rule, not the letter, is what is important. They just sit there with their arms crossed, shaking their head while reasonable people try to bring some level of sanity to the debate.
    While the lawyer that runs this site may have nothing better to do than micro analyze every thing a coach or GM says searching for tampering, I would say that the lawyers who work for the NFL probably do.

  23. budman999 says: Feb 26, 2010 11:15 PM

    quit acting like a lawyer,it’s ruining this site.the worst thing that ever happened in america is when we let lawyers advertise,and take cases on a contingincy basis,now nobodys responsible for their own actions,it’s somebody elses fault,cut me a check.lawyers suck

  24. Florio-is-a-tool says: Feb 26, 2010 11:37 PM

    You want to punish Holmgren for wanting to spoon with Peppers? Get outta here.

  25. subadai says: Feb 27, 2010 12:01 AM

    Damn, Florio. You are getting crushed.
    I’d like to think you’ll learn your lesson here. But you won’t.
    In the immortal words of Boss Jim Gettes:
    “You’re gonna need more than one lesson. And you’re gonna get more than one lesson. “

  26. Zaggs says: Feb 27, 2010 12:04 AM

    It wouldn’t be tampering because it does not affect the situation between Peppers and the Panthers. Once the Panthers announced that he is going to be released no one can tamper with Peppers because it doesn’t affect anything between the Panthers and Peppers.

  27. City_Native says: Feb 27, 2010 12:21 AM

    Mike, Thanks for sticking up for the Niners! The Niner Empire appreciates it.

  28. rasalas says: Feb 27, 2010 12:22 AM

    >>>I’m guessing that consistantly breaking stories before a huge network like ESPN does is what’s really bringing us back for more.

  29. Youngone says: Feb 27, 2010 12:46 AM

    All these hoes on this site need to pipe down. There is a crazy standard in place for enforcing the tampering rules. Anyone who thinks otherwise just wants to hate on florio’s sweet haircut.

  30. NinerNation says: Feb 27, 2010 1:18 AM

    Everyone who is annoyed with his posts on tampering are not fans of the Niners. I promise you that if your favorite team got blasted the way the Niners did based on almost zero evidence, you’d all feel pissed off at the blatent tampering that occurs each and every year and goes unpunished. Goodell is a tool.

  31. Biglardawg says: Feb 27, 2010 2:39 AM

    But if this were the Steelers that said it, Florio would be posting about how smart their front office is…

  32. spyboots says: Feb 27, 2010 4:57 AM

    Putting words into his mouth? He doesn’t say they talked to Peppers or his agent. He said the TEAM DISCUSSED it. (I take that to mean they discussed it amongst themselves whether they should consider it.)

  33. Carolina Homie says: Feb 27, 2010 6:32 AM

    @Rick He is in fact under exclusive contract to the Panthers for another week. And the Panthers hava an offer on the table that reportedly would make him the highest paid DE in the league by a million $ or so. He’s not signing MAYBE because high officials of other teams making public statements like this lead him to believe that he can get more?

  34. Floyd the Barber says: Feb 27, 2010 6:45 AM

    Florio… Tampering again? Don’t you have some Extra Strength Tylanol capsules to investigate?

  35. Burnum says: Feb 27, 2010 7:01 AM

    @ East Bay Ray: Yeah sorry, I forgot about the Rooney Rule…
    Makes it 3 things that Florio is obsessed with: Rooney Rule, tampering and marrying Duante Culpepper.

  36. last starfighter says: Feb 27, 2010 8:29 AM

    # Burnum says: February 26, 2010 9:22 PM
    Oh my god, yet another tampering claim by Florio. Seems like all he can think of is getting Duante Culpepper another job and accusing teams of breaking a rule that no one really cares about…
    Lets not forget his obsession with overtime rules that don’t bother the vast majority of fans . . .

  37. mburger13 says: Feb 27, 2010 8:35 AM

    I thought Florio was a lawyer??
    “statement of interest”
    is an internal discussion regarding a player necessarily equate to interest in signing them? Nope. the discussion could easily result in a decision not to persue a given player. Did Holmgren express an interest in signing Peppers? Nope. Just said they had discussed it….maybe the result of the discussion was that they are interested, but he didn’t state that.
    LAWYERED!

  38. FinFan says: Feb 27, 2010 8:38 AM

    Dont count out Parcells tampering as well!!! That man wanted Peppers several times including last year!!!

  39. Geetee52 says: Feb 27, 2010 8:40 AM

    Why jump on Florio? I hate what fine-printing lawyers have done to society as much as the next guy but all the guy is doing is questioning why HAVE the rule when obvious violations of it are ignored? It sounds like a perfectly valid issue to me.

  40. mnmaverick says: Feb 27, 2010 8:47 AM

    That’s why Spielman and the Vikes are keepingt their mjouths shut. They learned from the Brett Favre thing.

  41. billybengal says: Feb 27, 2010 8:54 AM

    Why dont you loosen up a little. In high school my “smoking in the boys room” didnt affect you yet you were the type to rat. Which of course led to the daily ass kicking I’m sure you received.
    Dont be that guy.

  42. Priest says: Feb 27, 2010 9:03 AM

    Bears brought up tampering charges against the 49ers. You think the Panthers are going to bring up tampering charges when they’ve admitted they’re letting Peppers go? Doubt it.

  43. Opie says: Feb 27, 2010 9:12 AM

    After reading the post about Florio commenting to a high school classmate, “I know of no profession that requires the skill to have a strong bench press …..”
    and now this posting…….
    I now know why Florio has a “Hair Helmet.” He keeps getting pushed into things (lockers, door jams, shopping carts) and his mommy doesn’t want her precious cargo to become ruined by a contusion.
    “Hey Ms. Teacher, he’s doing it again. He’s doing it again, He’s doing it again, He’s doing it again, He’s doing it again, He’s doing it again, He’s doing it again, He’s doing it again, He’s doing it again, He’s doing it again -
    annoying isn’t it?

  44. CYGNUS X-1 says: Feb 27, 2010 9:30 AM

    there is a difference between saying you like a player who is about to become a free agent to actualy negotiating with him or his agent which is in fact what the 49ers did with briggs. they had phone records to prove it. so unless holmgren or any other team has done something more than say we would be interested then it is not tampering. this is why I called him a whiney bitch about his constant ranting on the overtime rule.yes he is entilteled to his opinion but he is like like a spoiled kid who whines and cries constantly when he doesn’t get his way. the league won’t change the ot rule wa!it needs to be changed cause I don’t like wa! he mentioned another player tampering wa! the league won’t due anything about it wa! how about putting a separate page with your opinions on them to keep them separate from the actual news and rumors? would make reading news and rumors page much more fun.

  45. Laxer37 says: Feb 27, 2010 9:47 AM

    Haven’t the Browns been punished enough by having to look at an empty trophy case everyday they come to work?

  46. FreeAgentPro says: Feb 27, 2010 10:11 AM

    Didn’t the UPDATE foonote make this story moot?

  47. danlinker says: Feb 27, 2010 10:17 AM

    And yet ANOTHER typical florio article. You can tell by the headline who wrote it. Always trying to stip something up. The guy is full of shit. A frustrated half ass wanna be attorney on his best day. What a joke.

  48. ispysomething7 says: Feb 27, 2010 10:24 AM

    The league should hire you Florio. You must be jockeying for a spot!

  49. Denny Royale says: Feb 27, 2010 10:31 AM

    Laxer37 .. FU
    League championships (8)
    * AAFC Championships (4)
    1946, 1947, 1948, 1949
    * NFL Championships (4)
    1950, 1954, 1955, 1964

  50. BBB82 says: Feb 27, 2010 10:31 AM

    If someone so much as mentions Pepper’s name, Florio is going to claim they are tampering. If he was an actual reporter, I’d call this Yellow Journalism.

  51. Thingamajig says: Feb 27, 2010 10:39 AM

    My guess is 30 other teams “discussed” the same thing.

  52. JoeSixPack says: Feb 27, 2010 10:48 AM

    cheaters….
    2010 Cleveland Browns
    2-14*

  53. JoeSixPack says: Feb 27, 2010 10:52 AM

    UPDATE: Holmgren and Mangini were able to quickly craft a plausible excuse and evade NFL Tampering Penalties, stating that they were simply fantasizing about a large lunch at [Orange] Julius.

  54. bradleygator says: Feb 27, 2010 10:59 AM

    Some day Florio is going to figure out how to blame Urban Meyer for NFL tampering, and then that’s all we’re going to read about.
    OMG! NFL general managers are having discussions with their staffs about whether they should sign one of the top pass rushers in the league who everyone knows is about to be available! Stop the friggin’ presses!

  55. Gunther69 says: Feb 27, 2010 11:01 AM

    So, the spirit of the rule is not talking about free agents? In general, like you roasted Gunther or specific like you are roasting Holmgren. Peppers own team has stated they aren’t going to re-sign him. All this is happening within a week of the player becoming a free agent? Only a lawyer obssessed beyond control of a subject can come to that conclusion. What a one trick pony.

  56. realitypolice says: Feb 27, 2010 11:13 AM

    Carolina Homie says:
    February 27, 2010 6:32 AM
    @Rick He is in fact under exclusive contract to the Panthers for another week. And the Panthers hava an offer on the table that reportedly would make him the highest paid DE in the league by a million $ or so. He’s not signing MAYBE because high officials of other teams making public statements like this lead him to believe that he can get more?
    ==========================
    Laughable. Do you honestly think that one of the top pass rushing DE’s in the league needs to hear public statements from the GM of another team to think there MAY be some interest in him in the free agent market?
    He is not signing because he has no incentive to sign, no matter what the Panthers offer now. He will most likely never have this opportunity again- to go out as a truly unrestricted free agent at the top of his game and see what he is worth. He would be crazy not to do it.
    The Panther money will be waiting, he can always come back and get it.

  57. This is not news says: Feb 27, 2010 11:47 AM

    Yawn.

  58. Wick says: Feb 27, 2010 12:09 PM

    Thanks Reality Police. I thought I might’ve been the only one who thought the “suspected tampering” agenda has been a bit overblown at this site. Looks like many others are like-minded with us as well.
    That stated – still love PFT …. just wish they’d ease up on a few angles they play a lot. A whole lot.
    Another one I wish they’d chill on is how they seem to constantly try to drive a wedge between the players and the NFLPA; the players and the League; the League and the NFLPA; even current players versus former players; the team doctors versus the independent medical community; the agents and basically everybody; plus the TV networks.
    Instead of highlighting the points toward unity, progress and harmony – it has long appeared as though PFT seeks to ignite friction at every turn in this context as well.
    I’ve read about sociopathic arsonists who would blush at how much misery is drummed up by third party instigation.
    Be cool Reality Po’.

  59. pfii63 says: Feb 27, 2010 12:39 PM

    I don’t often have Florio’s back, but in this case it is merited.
    The rule is simple… either honor the effing rule or change it.
    You know, all you pathetic whiners who keep bitching about the Patriots’ “cheating” would be well advised to be consistent on issues of rules infractions.

  60. Denny Royale says: Feb 27, 2010 1:20 PM

    pfii63,
    Wrong. wrong, and did I mention, wrong.
    Few rules are simple. Words can be twisted and interpreted to mean almost anything. Example from former president Slick Willy “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the—if he—if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement”.
    People can argue all day about the exact interpretation of the words.
    However, what we ALL know to be true is that the spirit of (or the reason for) the rule was not violated. The Pathers already said they do not plan to keep him and Holmgren did not say anything that implies that he wants him, he only said it was discussed.
    Get real.

  61. Deb says: Feb 27, 2010 1:22 PM

    Thingamajig says:
    My guess is 30 other teams “discussed” the same thing.
    ———————————————-
    What they discuss in their private war rooms is irrelevant. Holmgren discussed it with the media. So he let Peppers know an offer might be pending. THAT’S what makes it tampering. Does it seem a bit nitpickey? Yeah. But that’s the RULE. And the NFL needs to eliminate the rule or enforce the rule equally.
    This isn’t rocket science guys. If you’re going to have rules and penalize some teams, then you need to penalize all teams. Florio didn’t make the rule. He’s just pointing out the inconsistency of zapping some teams and letting others slide.

  62. Dawgpound2009 says: Feb 27, 2010 4:16 PM

    Worry about finding a quarterback first Holmgren! Not someone who was overrated and overpaid for sacking one.

  63. pfii63 says: Feb 27, 2010 10:29 PM

    Deb hit the nail on the head.

  64. BOO3LEGS says: Feb 27, 2010 11:24 PM

    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.
    Teams talk about impending free agents all the time whether it be players being available the next season or 2 or 3 years down the road. It is called “planning for the future”. If Peppers actually signs with the Browns, then the case of tampering would hold merit.

  65. OLDCRACKER says: Feb 28, 2010 7:59 PM

    Enough with all of the lawyer talk!
    The fact that Peppers has 6 days on his contract, or that Holmgren didn’t mention him by rank and serial number is all lawyer nit-picking.
    If the Panthers feel that the Browns tampered with their player, they will file a complaint with the NFL officials. (They are not stupid) However, if they don’t have a problem with it, why should we?
    I’m sure all the clubs will evaluate Pepper’s performance, if he can fit in with their plans, and assess a dollar value to it. You gonna punish everyone of them?
    The Bears/Niners issue was apparently different enough for the Bears to push the issue.
    Any form of laws or rules are subject to interpretation. That is why we have lawyers and courts. Leave that nit-picking, “he said/she said” crap for the courts.
    Florio, if you were so smart as a lawyer, why are you here? Just report the facts.

  66. tobago says: Feb 28, 2010 9:19 PM

    Florio is truly a jack of all (asses)

  67. matt69923 says: Mar 1, 2010 1:35 PM

    What’s the issue here? If you look at the intitial quote it really does look like tampering. The update corrected the misconstrued quote, which is why it was posted. Florio, it’s a good site and I know when more facts come out in a situation, I’ll get them. But the “Rumor Mill” is exactly as it would imply…rumors. That’s why we come to the site.

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