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CBA makes coaches, teams jointly responsible for offseason violations


Some of you have asked why the NFL fined both the Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll for violating the rules prohibiting contact during offseason workouts.  It’s a new twist to the 2011 labor deal, which contains enhanced penalties for the team and the coach if/when offseason workouts result in contact.

Prior to 2011, the labor deal prohibited offseason contact, and a certain amount of it routinely was ignored.  Only in egregious cases would the league get involved, with teams losing one or more OTA days and fines rarely if ever imposed.

Carroll didn’t receive a fine when the Seahawks violated the rules two years ago, presumably under the portion of Article 21, Section 8 that allows the Commissioner to reduce or eliminate fines if the violation resulted from a good-faith interpretation of the rules or if the violation wasn’t “material.”

This time around, the Commissioner opted to fine Carroll more than $100,000 — but less than the $250,000 specified for a second offense.  The Seahawks were fined more than $200,000 for the second offense — but less than the $500,000 specified for a second offense.  This suggests that the Commissioner believed the certain circumstances justified a reduction in the fines contemplated by the CBA.

While the Seahawks reportedly have lost “at least two minicamp practices in 2015,” the rules contemplate the elimination not of minicamp practices but of a week of OTAs.  If two violations occur in the same league year, the team also loses a fourth-round draft pick.

Violations of the rules against offseason contact are inevitable, given that players are competing for roster spots and depth-chart position.  But the Seahawks have become the first team to receive a fine for violating offseason rules under the new CBA, and Carroll has become the first coach to personally be fined for an offseason workout violation.  Whatever happened was noteworthy, but also isolated.

Otherwise, the fines would have been much higher, and the Seahawks would have lost a fourth-round draft pick.

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39 Responses to “CBA makes coaches, teams jointly responsible for offseason violations”
  1. phillipalpha says: Aug 26, 2014 10:42 PM

    the 2011 and its limitations on practice time is severely limiting the quality of play imo, amazing how NFLPA can’t see that at all, i mean pre-season football was never pretty, but with this new CBA its just downright ugly.

    I’d even dare say that players are now more likely to get injured in games, and a lot of the illegal hits could be avoided if there were less restrictions on practice times.

  2. quietykillin says: Aug 26, 2014 10:44 PM

    This runied USC then bailed, he is doing the same crap in the NFL. If you want to prove a point take away multiple draft picks or impose cap penalties. Have some integrity

  3. livenbreathefootball says: Aug 26, 2014 10:50 PM

    Is anyone surprised that Pete Carroll plays fast and loose with the rules?

  4. goldbloodedindfw says: Aug 26, 2014 10:51 PM

    The funny thing is I read in a separate article that in order for all of this to happen a player had to have reported the contact in question. So one of their own players ratted Carroll out. I figure team meetings will be kinda awkward from now on.

  5. seabrawk12 says: Aug 26, 2014 10:57 PM

    Thanks for clearing that up. Can we get back to football now? Go HAWKS

  6. chawkup says: Aug 26, 2014 11:00 PM

    Bring on the jealous, petty haters. We’re used to it.

  7. pacificnw7722 says: Aug 26, 2014 11:04 PM

    Whatever….owner Paul Allen has mo money then he knows what do to with. He’ll pay the fines.


  8. kd75 says: Aug 26, 2014 11:08 PM

    Fine a $8 million a year coach $100k. Fine the co-founder of MSFT $200k.

    Like writing speeding tickets at the Indy 500.

  9. Ed says: Aug 26, 2014 11:09 PM

    Who is the snitch?

  10. revelation123 says: Aug 26, 2014 11:19 PM

    “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

    – Cheat Carroll

  11. goldbloodedpodcast says: Aug 26, 2014 11:21 PM

    Stay Classy Seattle

  12. GreenAndBlueMakesMeSpew says: Aug 26, 2014 11:24 PM

    PeteTheCheat says… haha, caught me again

  13. ponderrrrisnotaprobowler says: Aug 26, 2014 11:24 PM

    What about OTA’s on PED’s?

  14. tooz72 says: Aug 26, 2014 11:26 PM


  15. tinytoolalldrool says: Aug 26, 2014 11:34 PM

    The commissioner needs fined 10 million and banned from the league and I am not a Haws fan.

  16. billybone says: Aug 26, 2014 11:35 PM

    Curious who the rat is that informed the league and/or union.

  17. lunarpie says: Aug 26, 2014 11:40 PM

    Totally disagree. These are men and have earned every bit of their freedom to do as they please in the offseason. Its their own fault if they screw up, not the coaches.

  18. coachbeck says: Aug 26, 2014 11:57 PM

    Terrible rules. Thanks worthless union.

  19. trollhammer20 says: Aug 27, 2014 12:04 AM

    The violation took place on one single practice play. WR Bryan Walters made a diving catch, and Earl Thomas landed on top of him. On the play, Walters hurt his shoulder.

    This set off a war of words between DBs and WRs, which led to a fistfight between Sherman and WR Phil Bates after the next play (some of you may remember a PFT article about that a few months ago). Carroll then called the team together and asked them to refocus. The league asked for tape of the incident and issued the fine based on Thomas’ contact with Walters.

    When you have a team with the mantra “Always compete”, it can be hard to get them to tone it down. That said…anyone out there think Seattle is going to be fat, happy, and content after winning the SB, and therefore an easy target? Good luck with that.

  20. ceehawkfan says: Aug 27, 2014 12:22 AM

    That’s exactly what our coach Pete Carroll is doing to the NFL and to all you hating the Seahawks…pointing and laughing!! GO HAWKS!!

  21. ghostofgilchrist says: Aug 27, 2014 12:52 AM

    (thumbs up) The NCAA likes this!

  22. In Teddy We Trust says: Aug 27, 2014 12:59 AM

    They probably don’t care because they managed to cheat their way to a Super Bowl.

  23. Bryan says: Aug 27, 2014 2:12 AM

    It seems like the precedent for this kind of thing is on place… Shouldn’t the NFL apply this logic to the Irsay situation with the colts, even by at least naming and shaming Irsay when handing out the fine!

  24. RegisHawk says: Aug 27, 2014 3:33 AM

    League trying to level the playing field. Seahawks are too good, so now they have to do it with fewer practices. Keep winning and they’ll have to have blindfolds on.

  25. buttersdr says: Aug 27, 2014 4:49 AM

    There is so much grey area regarding this fine/offense. I’d like to view the tape for what constitutes competitive OTA practices vs. what the Seahawks have supposedly done.

  26. nyneal says: Aug 27, 2014 4:58 AM

    Carroll is as devious and arrogant as he is smart. He knew fully well that he was in violation of the rules. But he doesn’t care, because he’s Pete Carroll.
    And he’ll find a way to get around those practices that they’re supposedly taking away from him next year, too.

  27. dabears2485 says: Aug 27, 2014 7:02 AM

    Yes, the NFL has gone soft. What do they do at practice these days, sit around and sing “Kumbaya”?

  28. wtfru2 says: Aug 27, 2014 7:32 AM

    Pete cheated his way through the college coaching ranks, what makes you think he wouldn’t do the same in the NFL…..

  29. dmarado says: Aug 27, 2014 7:35 AM

    If you want to run your business year-round, I see nothing wrong with that. These people get paid to play football, let them get ready to do so. These aren’t kids who have to write papers for history class.

  30. broncostevenp says: Aug 27, 2014 7:52 AM

    No news here. Move along. Pete Carroll and cheating are no different than peanut butter & jelly, hot cakes & sausage, or Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire. They just all go together.

  31. irishgary says: Aug 27, 2014 8:05 AM

    Well he’s always been a cheater as we all know. It was just a matter of time before he was caught in the NFL.

  32. therealtruth210 says: Aug 27, 2014 8:13 AM

    Wow! Pete Carroll breaking the rules… SHOCKER!! The real question is has he ever won anything without cheating or breaking the rules? Total loser….

  33. bergencountyjc says: Aug 27, 2014 8:17 AM

    Looks like Seahawk fans are going to be paying a little extra for beer this season.

  34. tonys2lucky54 says: Aug 27, 2014 8:54 AM

    Pete the cheat at it again…..

  35. xinellum says: Aug 27, 2014 9:14 AM

    ” But the Seahawks have become the first team to receive a fine for violating offseason rules under the new CBA”. I remember the Ravens losing a whole week of OTA’s for violating the contact portion of the OTA’s.

  36. dlew28 says: Aug 27, 2014 9:33 AM

    Show me a team who hasn’t stretched the boundaries of the rules…and I’ll show you their empty trophy shelves.

  37. nflpoker says: Aug 27, 2014 9:33 AM

    Pocket change.

  38. realitycheckbaby says: Aug 27, 2014 9:40 AM

    Interesting all the other teams “not having contact practices” yet losing players to season ending injuries like Sean Lee.

    Let’s face it, the league is trying everything it can think of to knock the Hawks down because they realize no team can do so and the windows on Manning and Brady are quickly closing.

  39. jdrewsy says: Aug 27, 2014 10:46 AM

    In fairness, the league should take random samples of all teams off season practices. Otherwise, it looks like they are targeting the Hawks. Doesn’t matter. We will still kick your butt!

    Go Hawks!

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