League finds Lions guilty of tampering with Chiefs

The NFL rarely finds that one of its teams has engaged in tampering.  Today, the NFL has found that one of its teams has engaged in tampering.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that the league has nailed the Lions for tampering with Chiefs players.  The Lions will lose a seventh-round pick acquired from the Broncos in 2011, and the Chiefs and Lions will swap fifth-round picks.

It’s a 14-spot jump for the Chiefs in round five, from 23rd position to ninth.

The charges first came to light in December 2010, arising from statements made earlier in the year by Lions defensive coordinator (and former Chiefs defensive coordinator and head coach) Gunther Cunningham.

“[Kansas City] keeps wanting to dump their players,” Cunningham said in February 2010.  “I would like to be there to catch a lot of them, because I know a couple of those guys.”

There’s likely more to the story, since the league typically won’t publicly brand one of its franchises a cheat unless the team is caught with one palm pressed against the bottom of the cookie jar while using the other hand to give the middle finger to the team that owns the cookies.

Per La Canfora, the two sides have until February 28 to appeal.  We wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs complain that the penalty amounts to a slap on the wrist.  In 2008, the 49ers lost a fifth-round pick and flipped third-rounders with the Bears after San Fran was found guilty of tampering with linebacker Lance Briggs.

UPDATE:  We’ve confirmed that the Lions have indeed been busted for tampering, along with the specifics of the penalty.

37 responses to “League finds Lions guilty of tampering with Chiefs

  1. Actions like this continue to show how incompetent the Lions are to this day. Gunther Cunningham should be relieved of his duties for costing the Lions a player. Good job Gunther.

  2. So getting caught with tampering means absolutely nothing.

    A.) The NFL makes it almost impossible to be caught (especially if you are the Jets)

    B.) In some cases it is totally worth tampering, if you get the player.

  3. Wow, well at least they’re trying. Millen wouldn’t have been smart enough to try a “scheme” like this.

  4. The loss of the 7th round pick and swapping out 5’s should be enough punishment. I mean, its not like they benefited from this with a playoff run or anything.

  5. This happens every year, and a lot worse than this. I’d like to see them call it on the Cowboys or Giants.

    For a league that loves paridy, they sure do pick their spots.

  6. Gunter should have done what the other frnachises do – send the players out to recruit for him. There is no rule about players calling up other players and telling them to sign with their team once they are cut!

  7. ocdn says:
    Feb 18, 2011 2:29 PM
    As a Lions fan, this is disheartening since it seemed they were on the right track doing the right things.
    ———————————————-

    Come on now, what’s it going to be…fans rag on them for losing and expect them to do whatever it takes to turn it around and get the W’s. Then when they do, everyone gets judgmental about how they get there. Fickle fickle!
    Rest assured that the spiteful a hole Haley is behind this. It was probably the players that begged Gunther to take them with him up to Detroit to escape incompetent Todd.

  8. Nice I would think that a certain Superstar Lying wife cheating picture taking sexter scumbag QB talking directly to COACHES FROM ANOTHER TEAM WOULD CONSTITUTE more tampering than this But what do you expect from the NFL who plays favorites all the time against teams that don’t have a rich owner or whose recent history isn’t a victorious one.
    The NFL loaned the Packers 13 million to refurbish the most storied stadium in the NFL arguably in pro sports 4.5 % of the cost. They loaned Jerry Jones 150 million or 13% of the cost.
    So all other fans of Smallmarket teams or one’s not winning don’t expect to be treated fairly your team will get screwed
    Way to be NFL
    Here’s some bad news for you Goodell ,too bad 150 million couldn’t buy 400 seats for legal ticket ho;ders, Green Bay Packers World Champs
    Up yours NFL instead of protecting scumbags protect the teams and fans legitimately screwed

  9. Brett Favre wasn’t involved. If he was then Goodell would’ve swept it under the rug like he did last time. He could’ve busted the Vikes twice tampering with but he wouldn’t pull the trigger on his meal ticket.

  10. “There’s likely more to the story, since the league typically won’t publicly brand one of its franchises a cheat unless the team is caught with one palm pressed against the bottom of the cookie jar while using the other hand to give the middle finger to the team that owns the cookies.”

    Or you know, they have actual video evidence. And then they will offer to destroy the tapes for you.

  11. @ klunge
    I’m not being judgmental nor fickle. As a life long fan, I was hoping they would be ethical and take the high road. Winning by cheating is a lose in my book. If they cheated, they need to be held accountable, no matter how much of a fan i am. Enough said?

  12. people act like this doesn’t happen across the entire NFL. fact is the chiefs switched to a 3-4 scheme a couple years back and were/are stacked with 4-3 personnel…turk mcbride (thanks again KC), glen dorsey, derrick thomas…players whom gunther is very familiar with so i don’t blame them for going after those players. I’m assuming the tampering charge came about when KC put page on the market.

    KC you had a solid season (in the 2nd worst division in all of football mind you), but i’ll take my chances with the team schwartz is building over that nut job todd haley any day.

  13. Haven’t the Lions been screwed a lot this year by the NFL? Lions should get an award for being the NFL pincushion.

  14. @ “detroitfootsketball says:
    Feb 18, 2011 3:30 PM
    i no lions fans word on street is that we are “pathertic””

    “know” you are pathetic.

  15. detroitfootsketball says: Feb 18, 2011 3:30 PM

    “i no lions fans word on street is that we are “pathertic””

    I don’t know what that means, but it sounds pretty bad if you had to invent a word for it.

  16. So let’s see, undermine another team by telling their players if you shoot your way out of town, we have a job waiting for you warrants losing a 7th rd pick. But if you tape another team from the wrong location, a location where all of the stadium and America can view the same thing costs $750,000. and a first round pick. Someone please splain this to me?

  17. @surname:

    “KC you had a solid season (in the 2nd worst division in all of football mind you)”.

    What year are you looking at for standings? If you were looking at this most recent season, the AFC West is NOT the second worst division in the NFL, FYI.

  18. Fire The Commish Now!

    Pats do something EVERY team does, be it on tape or notebook paper, and we lose the 31st pick in the first round. The Lions are caught actually cheating and they get a slap on the wrist. The Jets go nuts all season ad nothing. Arrahhhh I give up I hate football now. Time to watch Baseball again.

  19. ocdn says:
    Feb 18, 2011 3:14 PM
    @ klunge
    I’m not being judgmental nor fickle. As a life long fan, I was hoping they would be ethical and take the high road. Winning by cheating is a lose in my book. If they cheated, they need to be held accountable, no matter how much of a fan i am. Enough said?
    ———————————————–
    I didn’t mean it to be a personal statement about you, it was intended to make the point that for many fans the Lions can do no right. Obviously I’d also like to see them make a legitimate (and metoeric) rise to contention. But as has been pointed out, every team pulls little stunts and rarely is anything done about it, even by the team that was supposedly ‘victimized’. There was no effect on KC by the alleged act, they are just being vindictive.

  20. So let’s see, undermine another team by telling their players if you shoot your way out of town, we have a job waiting for you warrants losing a 7th rd pick. But if you tape another team from the wrong location, a location where all of the stadium and America can view the same thing costs $750,000. and a first round pick. Someone please splain this to me

    —————————-

    Sure, i’ll help you out. You can’t film coaches’ signals from ANY location. The Patriots’ sanction had zero to do with camera “location”. I know that’s a popular excuse among Pats fans, but it is quite incorrect.

  21. There’s a major distinction between the Briggs situation and the Page situation.

    Briggs was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent the following season. The 49ers tampering had the potential to cost the Bears more money to keep Briggs.

    Page was under contract and traded to the Patriots for a conditional draft pick. There’s no evidence that the Lions alleged interest in Page affected the trade market for Page. Arguably, the fact that more than one team was interested probably enhanced the compensation KC was able to secure for his services.

  22. the Lions organization is good at being an example to the rest of the league. They were also the only team get sanctioned for violating the Rooney rule when they couldn’t find a token interviewee when they hired Steve Mariucci.

  23. No penalty no foul. Maybe the league should make da lions forfeit any games the tampered player participated in. Wait, they haven’t won enough games in the last 5-10 years to matter anyway.

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