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League tight-lipped on lockout contact fines

Kenny Britt,  Domonique Foxworth AP

The NFL won’t say much about our report that three teams have been fined for having contact with players during the lockout.  The NFL will say that the Titans weren’t one of the three teams.

And here’s where it gets confusing.  The source for our initial report was unequivocal that two of the three teams were the Buccaneers and the Titans.  And, without disclosing the source, we’ll say that the source is impeccable, and in a clear position to know the truth.

In fact, the source was appropriately careful with the information.  Since the source wasn’t 100 percent certain about the identity of the third team, we didn’t identify the team that the source believes to be the third team.

As a result, we’ve got a dilemma.  Do we retract the report as it relates to the Titans in blind reliance on the Titans’ and the league’s public denial that the Titans were fined?  The fact that the league refuses to identify any of the three teams that were fined (and we are 100 percent certain that three teams were fined) makes it impossible to rule out any of the 32 teams in the league.

Then there’s the fact that Titans receiver Kenny Britt has said that he heard from receivers coach Dave Ragone during the lockout.  Given that the Buccaneers were fined for identical conduct involving coach Raheem Morris and multiple players, it would be a shock if the Titans weren’t fined.

So, in the end, we’ll simply present what we know.  We know that we have an impeccable source with knowledge of the situation who says that the Titans were one of the three teams.  We know that the Titans deny it, and that the league agrees with the Titans.  We also know that the league won’t identify the three fined teams, and that Britt already has outed the Titans as violating the lockout rules in the same way that one of the fined teams, the Bucs, violated the lockout rules.

The league has been extremely reluctant to say anything about this situation, ever since Charley Casserly of CBS first reported 12 days ago that the Bucs will be fined.  Given that the league apparently doesn’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to the notion that three teams were caught cheating during the lockout (and that, possibly, 29 others cheated but didn’t get caught), we doubt that there will be any further information divulged.

In contrast, the league has no qualms about announcing to the free world any and all pertinent information regarding a player who has been fined or suspended.  And that’s troubling.  If the league and the teams are committed to secrecy regarding discipline imposed against teams, there’s no way that anyone will ever know with certainty that a team has done something wrong.

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14 Responses to “League tight-lipped on lockout contact fines”
  1. Andre's Johnson says: Sep 23, 2011 11:56 PM

    Don’t sweat it. You do what you can, and if you trust your source then you run with it.

  2. trbowman says: Sep 23, 2011 11:58 PM

    Dave Ragone says he didn’t actually call Kenny Britt, someone else did claiming to be him. Possibly the same person who hacked Kenny’s twitter account.

  3. odecut says: Sep 24, 2011 12:17 AM

    Don’t blame the patriots, I know its easy …

  4. nesuperfan says: Sep 24, 2011 5:03 AM

    We should find out when they all lose a first round draft pick, right?

  5. lwbjag says: Sep 24, 2011 8:19 AM

    It’s only $$$
    If the NFL had been serious it would have been draft picks …
    Not saying the league plays favorites …

  6. FinFan68 says: Sep 24, 2011 9:55 AM

    Fine them a draft pick and make all fines public. Why hide it? The mystery of which teams cheated does more damage than just identifying them and moving on. Why add to the speculation that 29 teams could have cheated…um, ok, were dumb enough to get caught.

  7. grogansheroes says: Sep 24, 2011 10:07 AM

    Must be the Jets. I mean GODell does nothing but protect them. Look at all the violations last year, with nary a slap on the wrist. Now if the Pats had done anything like the Jets, 4 first round picks and $10m fines.

  8. Picked_Off says: Sep 24, 2011 10:47 AM

    So calling a player to congratulate them on the birth of a child is cheating? Did I miss something here?

  9. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Sep 24, 2011 11:15 AM

    Titans called “Cam’s Dad” not Cam therefore it was “perfectly within the rules”.

  10. balewsquare says: Sep 24, 2011 11:50 AM

    Wow, a lot of mandatory coaching firings are coming.

  11. vikefan says: Sep 24, 2011 12:20 PM

    …….well not really if you are reporting about it

  12. Deb says: Sep 24, 2011 1:11 PM

    This makes no sense. The league is imposing the fines as punishment for breaking the rules–and presumably to send the message to other teams that these rules should be taken seriously. So what good does it do to fine teams in secret? They should issue a public statement explaining which teams were fined, exactly what kind of contact occurred, and how it violated the rules. Handling it this way is reminiscent of the bizarre secret-police stuff that went on when the league was trying to forcibly detain people at the hotel during the Combine.

  13. jagerbmb says: Sep 24, 2011 2:41 PM

    Someone is flabbergasted

  14. realfann says: Sep 24, 2011 4:25 PM

    Probably the 49ers.

    Goodell just likes punishing them on principle.

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