Last week, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reported that players and assistant coaches routinely have been in contact, estimating that 25 percent of all teams are breaking the rules prohibiting contact during the lockout. Later in the week, Rodney Harrison told PFT Live that he knows players and coaches are talking.
In response to Freeman’s report, the league said it would look into the matter. And the league has looked into the matter.
And the league has found no improprieties.
“Not at this point,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Clark Judge of CBSSports.com. “It’s not an investigation, per se. We’re monitoring what’s taken place and follow up on various reports, then follow up on any specific information.”
We’re not quite sure what that means. But we are sure that the NFL realizes that it would be unfair to pluck one sacrificial lamb from the barn when they’ve all got dirt on their wool. Unless a team admits it or gets reckless with the communications, it simply wouldn’t be fair to launch an investigation that uncovers one violation without engaging in a similar violation as to every other team, and without punishing every team that is guilty.
The league gains nothing from having such information make it into the media, especially during the lockout. So, as Aiello said, it’s “not an investigation, per se.” Indeed, it’s not an investigation, at all.