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Chiefs penalties reflect another failed attempt to change culture

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 16: Detailed view of Kansas City Chiefs helmets on the sidelines before the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 16, 2012 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 15-0. Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) Getty Images

By targeting the well-respected head coach of a bedrock NFL organization, the NFL’s recent decision to smack the Chiefs and coach Andy Reid for violating the rules of the legal tampering period in 2015 can be seen as an effort to scare everyone else straight. But targeting one team for punishment when most if not all teams are doing the same thing continues to be the wrong way to address a widespread problem.

As former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue explained in the ruling that struck down suspensions imposed on players by Commissioner Roger Goodell in the Saints bounty scandal, changing culture requires something more nuanced and less sudden than finding one culprit and imposing harsh punishment. In making the case for more subtle change, Tagliabue explained the manner in which former Commissioner Pete Rozelle implemented steroids polices in the 1980s, with education first and punishment later.

Here, the NFL singled out one culprit, imposed strenuous punishment (stripping a third-round pick in 2016 and a sixth-round pick in 2017), and apparently hoped that it would get others to behave moving forward.

While that may work come 2017, the fact that the league didn’t disclose the punishment until after the 2016 tampering period ended at a minimum compels the league to investigate not just one team that has provided probable cause to suspect a violation but every team. As Peter King of TheMMQB.com recently wrote, one agent admitted that two of his free-agent clients had contact with coaches on teams that hoped to sign the players before the free-agency period opened.

Setting aside whether it even makes sense to prohibit direct contact between teams and impending free agents during the tampering period (King suggests that the league believes the Chiefs had contact with Jeremy Maclin even before the 2015 legal tampering period began, although the NFL’s announcement doesn’t say that), picking out a team that doesn’t have a track record of sketchy behavior with a head coach who would be likely to contact a former player the coach drafted and proving that a violation occurred ignores the strong possibility that every other team is doing the same thing. If the league is serious about solving the problem, the league should investigate all 32 teams immediately.

Which quite possibly could end up in the third round of the 2016 draft and the sixth round of the 2017 draft disappearing entirely.

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42 Responses to “Chiefs penalties reflect another failed attempt to change culture”
  1. dawsonleery says: Mar 15, 2016 11:04 AM

    Chiefs cheated and should be punished, it’s that simple.

  2. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:07 AM

    everyone that live in the continental US needs to turn over their cell phones to the NFL right now so we can sort this tampering mess out once and for all.

  3. TB12RALLYCRY says: Mar 15, 2016 11:09 AM

    More like the NFLs targeting of the Patriots is more like it……..There have been several other teams punished for ” rule violations ” according to the NFL. The Broncos have been punished more then any other organization since 1990 but the Patriots ” violations” are on a banner on the newsfeed in bold print going across the TV for two weeks straight….then when ESPN admitts errors ..its a one sentence news release at 3 in the morning….Sell it to someone else I aint buying it

  4. granadafan says: Mar 15, 2016 11:09 AM

    It’s like the highly flawed PED and drug testing by the NFL. They announce when they’re testing, thereby giving players time to get off the roids/ Adderall/ masking agents or stop smoking. In reality the drug tests are nothing more than an intelligence test, catching those too stupid to get off the drugs.

    If you’re going to change something, go all in and test randomly year round. Likewise, go after all the teams for tampering.

  5. oiler1980 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:09 AM

    Put another notch in Goodells ego stick and chock up one more owner who wants him out…

    Just a couple more Roger and you’ll be ousted and I’ll be buying rounds at the bar..

    Go Pats!!!

  6. TB12RALLYCRY says: Mar 15, 2016 11:10 AM

    Chiefs cheated and should be punished, it’s that simple.

    Thats right because Goodell said they did……I forgot hes a man of integrity and can be trusted ………NOT

  7. beattention says: Mar 15, 2016 11:13 AM

    “Chiefs cheated and should be punished, it’s that simple.” Coming from a faider fan.

  8. herrcules13 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:13 AM

    “Which quite possibly could end up in the third round of the 2016 draft and the sixth round of the 2017 draft disappearing entirely.”

    And that would defeat the purpose of punishment…entirely. I’m presuming the Chiefs’ penalty will be reduced? The league probably presumed that too, and they’re just hoping it sends a message. Crappy way of “leading” an organization. Goodell doesn’t lead. He administers. And while he may have done a few things that are good for the league (not sure what), his tactics undermine the respect for the organization that the employees and customers should have. But as long as the $$ keep rolling in and he continues to be a puppet and punching bag, the owners will keep him (and pay him handsomely). It’s a shame.

  9. 6ball says: Mar 15, 2016 11:13 AM

    .
    32 names go into a hat and one is drawn for sanctions . What’s the problem?
    .

  10. nhpats says: Mar 15, 2016 11:13 AM

    Just more arbitrary justice doled our by der Furher Goodell.

  11. FinFan68 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:15 AM

    That’s because they don’t punish everyone involved. Players and their agents are encouraged to contact teams because only the team faces any consequences. That’s like 3 guys conspiring to rob a bank and the city the bank is in has a policy stating only the getaway driver will get punished if they get caught.

    To fix this, the league and NFLPA (in charge of agents and players) need to establish a clear policy and outline severe punishments for any team, player or agent involved in any violattion of the rules. If an agent crosses the line, the player should also be held accountable since the agent works directly for the player. Any dispute will be handled between player and agent since it has no bearing on the league.

    Allow teams exclusive rights up to the combine. Allow non-binding conversations between agents, teams and players to take place from the combine forward but prohibit signed contracts. This allows players to discuss offers with their current teams. Teams could then make a decision to match or exceed that offer and the player can chose to sign with whatever team once then FA period actually begins. Ensure that all parties are aware of the rules so nobody is butthurt when things don’t go their way.

  12. mongo3401 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:17 AM

    If one team is doing it you can safely bet the other 31 teams are doing it. Does not take rocket science to figure it out. 31 other teams just did not get caught doing it.

  13. sb44champs says: Mar 15, 2016 11:17 AM

    There was no bounty scandal… Just motivational rhetoric to pump up the locker room…..TRUTH

  14. mmack66 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:19 AM

    dawsonleery says:
    Mar 15, 2016 11:04 AM

    Chiefs cheated and should be punished, it’s that simple.
    —————–

    True, but that has nothing to do with Goodell’s arbitrary punishments.

    He’s a complete disaster as the NFL commissioner.

  15. tylawspick6 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:20 AM

    Arrest, try and convict Roger Goodell for fraud, collusion, sabotage and defamation.

  16. jag1959 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:22 AM

    The Chiefs punishment wasn’t just arbitrarily heavy handed, given it’s timing it was capricious as well. The Niners lost a 5th and swapped 3rds with the Bears for tampering with Briggs before there was even anything as lenient as a legal tampering period. If the goal of hitting the Chiefs with an unprecedented punishment was pour encourager les autres why wasn’t it announced right after the SB? Isn’t the purpose of punishment supposed to be deterrence? 345 Park Ave is consistent though, absent any guidelines they ignore precedent and kill flies with a howitzer rather than a swatter whether it be a team or a player.

    Gotta whack these guys ’cause integrity! While in the meantime stealing $100M plus from the pool of shared funds…

  17. a072455 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:23 AM

    The Jets …. I mean the NFL front office have to punish somebody. Yeah right! The Jets owner was caught with foot in mouth and all they forfit was some $$$, coffee money for the Jets owner. You have here a Coach reaching out to his former player and it’s a major offense. They lost a 3rd and 6th, wonder what it would be if the Patriots were the one, properly a 1st and 2nd next year.

  18. therealtrenches says: Mar 15, 2016 11:26 AM

    Isn’t it possible that the league already is monitoring all teams, since there’s been a rule in place for awhile now, and the Chiefs were found guilty? Isn’t it possible that it simply is what it appears to be?

  19. jag1959 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:27 AM

    sb44champs says:
    Mar 15, 2016 11:17 AM
    There was no bounty scandal… Just motivational rhetoric to pump up the locker room…..TRUTH
    _______________

    Yet you support the fraudulent conclusions of the Well$ report wholeheartedly…smh

  20. usa98j30t4 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:32 AM

    Hunt must not be sucking up to the commish like most of these morons. McNair, Jones…Woody Johnson…..

    Double standard………..

  21. mogogo1 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:32 AM

    Stupid rules that are broken by absolutely everybody. They would literally require the player’s agent to put his hand over the phone and get questions from his client and then ask them of the team since the player himself would be banned from the conversation. But this is the sort of thing that sounds reasonable for a commissioner who thinks defining a catch is a 13-step process that requires Powerpoint slides.

  22. joetoronto says: Mar 15, 2016 11:39 AM

    Penalize them again, it looks good on them.

  23. patsfan says: Mar 15, 2016 11:41 AM

    next up

    “Goodell has announced that all conversations will be monitored for tampering and the results will be made public.”

    followed by:

    “It was just a spot check to make sure that the league rules were being adhered to. Nobody was caught.”

    as 26 other teams breathlessly await their turn to be railroaded.

  24. edelmanfanclub says: Mar 15, 2016 11:41 AM

    The thing bothers me is the inconsistency. I fully believe that the Chiefs tampered, and maybe there was more evidence against them than when the Jets tampered with Revis. However, tampering is tampering shouldn’t they have the same punishment? Why is one 100,000 and one a fine and loss of a draft picks for the same act of “cheating.” Likewise with New England, I don’t have the time to go through other equipment violations but I am aware there were incidents with SD and MIN? I forget the teams, but both used some sort of substance/device on the balls for a better ability to grip it. I think one team was fined and the other was issued a warning, another lack of consistency but nothing compared to the equipment violation by New England. The thing that bothers me with the NFL aren’t their sanctions (although they are stupid too), it’s just how they play favorites and have no consistency. That’s all on Goodell and he should be removed.

  25. pastanow says: Mar 15, 2016 11:48 AM

    As much fuss is being made by this particular writer it would appear he’s friends with the KC head coach. There’s no other reason to spend so much time trying to explain away his violations as “everyone else is doing it,” so why go after him.

  26. redlava316 says: Mar 15, 2016 11:49 AM

    To those claiming that the Eagles are the aggrieved party here: didn’t they just tamper with the Chiefs to get their head coach by announcing Pederson before the Chiefs were out of the playoffs? If the Eagles get the Chiefs’ forfeited draft picks this year, do the Eagles lose them next year and give them back to the Chiefs?

  27. weepingjebus says: Mar 15, 2016 11:54 AM

    There cannot be a clearer example of tampering than the Jets tampering with Revis immediately after he won a SB with a division rival, after which he left and joined the Jets for more money. Better still, the Jets then accused the Patriots of tampering — for saying they wished they still had the player the Jets stole. Grand total punishment for Jets: $100,000, zero picks. Fire Goodell.

  28. torebear says: Mar 15, 2016 12:02 PM

    Perhaps the NFL will strike down on everyobody who has done it this year. It might be 5 teams, it might be 25, but at least there are consequences for rulebraking.

  29. ( . Y . ) says: Mar 15, 2016 12:02 PM

    According to the comments of PFT posters after Spygate, Bountygate, and Deflategate, this punishment conclusively proves that only one team violated the rule. Not 32 teams, one team. If more than one were doing it, then more than one would have been punished. Just saying others are doing it does not count. And that team should be disbanded. The coach should be sent to live on Mars. The owner should be jailed. And all of the fans of the Chiefs are terrible people.

  30. kevpft says: Mar 15, 2016 12:07 PM

    How many consecutive issues can Goodell, Vincent & co. bungle before they are deemed hopelessly incompetent?

  31. jetsfan136 says: Mar 15, 2016 12:10 PM

    Jets tampering was the owner standing at a podium going ‘we’d like to have him’. After he signed with the Jets, Kraft was up behind a podium and said ‘We’d like to still have him’. So yes, they could have had the same $100,000 penalty the Jets received.

  32. ( . Y . ) says: Mar 15, 2016 12:19 PM

    weepingjebus says:
    Mar 15, 2016 11:54 AM
    There cannot be a clearer example of tampering than the Jets tampering with Revis immediately after he won a SB with a division rival, after which he left and joined the Jets for more money. Better still, the Jets then accused the Patriots of tampering — for saying they wished they still had the player the Jets stole. Grand total punishment for Jets: $100,000, zero picks. Fire Goodell.
    ===================

    You make a strong point, but you missed one of the strongest aspects of the idiocy of this Chiefs punishment.

    Darrelle Revis signed a 2 year contract with the Patriots. It is true that there was virtually no chance that the Patriots were going to pick up the option that would have paid Revis $25million (don’t remember exactly, but it was an astronomical amount of money). But they controlled his rights at the time of tampering (not to mention it was DURING the season). On the other hand, the Chiefs coaching staff had impermissible contact with a player who had an expiring contract. There was no option that could have been exercised, and he knew he was not going to be receiving an offer to stay with his team. Revis was under contract, and when his option was declined, he received offers through negotiation with the Patriots. He wasn’t a player that they didn’t want, as was the case with Maclin, he wasn’t part of the Eagles plans. The Patriots wanted Revis back (within their budget). Revis ultimately went to the Jets, but when comparing Revis/Jets to Maclin/Chiefs, I think the Jets’ actions were worse. And they received virtually no sanctions at all. If I were an owner and I wanted to steal a top player from my key rival, and it was only going to cost me $100k fine, I’d take that any day of the week

  33. mmack66 says: Mar 15, 2016 12:25 PM

    edelmanfanclub says:
    Mar 15, 2016 11:41 AM

    The thing bothers me is the inconsistency. I fully believe that the Chiefs tampered, and maybe there was more evidence against them than when the Jets tampered with Revis. However, tampering is tampering shouldn’t they have the same punishment? Why is one 100,000 and one a fine and loss of a draft picks for the same act of “cheating.” Likewise with New England, I don’t have the time to go through other equipment violations but I am aware there were incidents with SD and MIN? I forget the teams, but both used some sort of substance/device on the balls for a better ability to grip it. I think one team was fined and the other was issued a warning, another lack of consistency but nothing compared to the equipment violation by New England. The thing that bothers me with the NFL aren’t their sanctions (although they are stupid too), it’s just how they play favorites and have no consistency. That’s all on Goodell and he should be removed.
    ———————-

    It’s because all of those other teams you mentioned that aren’t the Patriots are mediocre and don’t upset the parity apple cart season after season.

    That, and the fact that 97.3% of the people working at the NFL league office are formerly affiliated with the Jets organization. That’s why they just get a slap on the wrist for actually doing the things that the Patriots have hammered for.

  34. 6ball says: Mar 15, 2016 12:46 PM

    .
    Don’t you Chiefs fans have any fight in you? Stop being so ” Midwestern Nice ” and fight back. It’s a sad commentary that this post is full of Patriots fans defending their recent playoff foe, while KC takes it in the shorts willingly.
    .

  35. fireroger says: Mar 15, 2016 12:51 PM

    dawsonleery says:
    Mar 15, 2016 11:04 AM
    Chiefs cheated and should be punished, it’s that simple.
    ===========================
    Let’s try reading the post again …

    “But targeting one team for punishment when most if not all teams are doing the same thing continues to be the wrong way to address a widespread problem.”

  36. jetsfan136 says: Mar 15, 2016 12:53 PM

    Only there was no impermissible contact with Revis. That’s the difference in the two cases

  37. fireroger says: Mar 15, 2016 12:55 PM

    therealtrenches says:
    Mar 15, 2016 11:26 AM
    Isn’t it possible that the league already is monitoring all teams, since there’s been a rule in place for awhile now, and the Chiefs were found guilty? Isn’t it possible that it simply is what it appears to be?
    ========================
    It could very well be. The problem is the very unlikely occurrence of the same not being the case for all the other teams. It’s not only not believable but not even remotely realistic.

  38. fireroger says: Mar 15, 2016 1:56 PM

    jetsfan136 says:
    Mar 15, 2016 12:53 PM
    Only there was no impermissible contact with Revis. That’s the difference in the two cases
    ==================
    There’s 100,000 $1 reasons that suggests otherwise.

  39. sb44champs says: Mar 15, 2016 2:24 PM

    Yet you support the fraudulent conclusions of the Well$ report wholeheartedly…smh
    ========================
    That’s what happens when evidence presents itself… The Wells report was a disaster but that doesn’t mean Brady/Patriots didn’t cheat to win…

  40. dobberdubinsky says: Mar 15, 2016 8:40 PM

    Consistency has never been the NFL’s forte, especially since Goodell’s taken over.

  41. Damidwesterner says: Mar 15, 2016 11:14 PM

    Killing the third round just means the teams won’t be paying 3rd round salaries to those players who are now drafted in the 4th round. It’s a win for the teams involved from a cap perspective. Same with the 6th.
    It also means there’s at least two rounds of players who are now UDFAs, open to any team who wants to sign them. Think of any 5th rounder in the past that was a good depth guy currently and consider him to be the kind of guy that might be a UDFA if two rounds are gone. Because you know the league isn’t going to add an 8th and 9th round to make up for it.

  42. babygaga19 says: Mar 17, 2016 2:37 PM

    Bottom line is the Chiefs got caught and now they are punished. Their defense that “everybody is doing it” falls on deaf ears. Try playing that card the next time you are pulled over for speeding.

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