Panthers aren't the only victim of Peppers tampering

We know what many of you think.  With the Panthers making it clear that they don’t want defensive end Julius Peppers, there’s no harm in letting the Bears meet with agent Carl Carey to discuss Peppers a week or so before Peppers hits the market.  (The version of the story that has made its way to ESPN is even more sinister, with the early-morning pre-SportsCenter update desk anchor characterizing the Chicago Tribune — incorrectly — as reporting that Peppers himself met with the Bears.)

That’s one of the reasons why the NFL has been considering a change in the rules that would allow conversations between the agents for looming free agents and potentially interested teams before the clock strikes 12 on the first day of the new league year.  The league knows that tampering is rampant.  It’s so bad that, as we’ve said in the past, some teams that previously followed the rules realized that they were putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage by doing so.  And so they started tampering, too.

Thus, even though the tampering rules speak only in terms of the team that holds the player’s rights, the other victims of this dynamic are the other potentially interested teams.  If the Bears are able to reach a consensus now on key terms like guaranteed money and average annual pay and then the Bears push hard as of midnight Friday to get the deal done quickly, other teams that had not yet spoken to Carey will be scrambling to catch up.

The message, then, to any other team that hopes to pick a peck of pickled Peppers (man, I’ve been waiting eight years to use that one) is that the time for action has come.

Even now, it might be too late.

Meanwhile, if the Bears have indeed talked about Peppers with Carey, the 49ers have every reason to be even more pissed off about the fact that they were the most recent scapegoat for the rampant tampering problem.  It was, after all, the Bears who cried to 280 Park Avenue about the fact that the 49ers had spoken to the agent for linebacker Lance Briggs about a possible contract extension at a time when the 49ers and the Bears were engaged in serious talks regarding a trade for Briggs, who at the time was playing under a one-year franchise-tag deal.  (The irony is that the contract, by rule, couldn’t have been extended by the Bears or the 49ers until after the season had ended.)

Last year, the Redskins faced a tampering inquiry regarding the acquisition of former Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth due in part to a Scouting Combine meeting between owner Daniel Snyder and Haynesworth’s agent.  But since Chad Speck also represents Redskins receiver Malcolm Kelly, the two sides were able to claim that they were talking only about Kelly.

This time around, it could be harder for the Bears to explain themselves, since Carey has no other client on the Bears.  And no other client at all.

But nothing will happen unless the Panthers pitch a fit.  With the owners determined to remain united for the purposes of the ongoing labor dispute, we’d be shocked if Panthers owner Jerry Richardson pushes the issue.  Instead, the Panthers will likely turn the tables on the Bears at some point, and if the Bears cry again to the league office the Panthers will make it known privately (and, if necessary, publicly) that the Bears got away with tampering in 2010.

23 responses to “Panthers aren't the only victim of Peppers tampering

  1. “(The version of the story that has made its way to ESPN is even more sinister, with the early-morning pre-SportsCenter update desk anchor characterizing the Chicago Tribune — incorrectly — as reporting that Peppers himself met with the Bears.)”
    Sh*t-SPN make a mistake ? Really ? People still watch those idiots and consider them relevant ? Really ?

  2. Pick a peck of pickled Peppers…Beat ya to it, Florio, last year when reporting on Pep.
    So what’s the point in having the rule then, right?
    Once a team makes it clear they are moving ahead without said player, that should allow other teams to interview him or his agent.

  3. This situation is not comparable to the Briggs situation. Briggs was under contract, he wasn’t being released, and they were in the middle of trade negotiations. THAT is tampering.
    Why was Carey even allowed to be at the combine if no one is allowed to talk to him?

  4. PFFFFT says:
    March 3, 2010 9:50 AM
    The Tribune did report the story first, Florio. Ya douche.
    What are you trying to say, Douche? Florio wrote that the Tribune reported first, and ESPN inaccurately characterized the Tribune’s report……. So you are arguing with Florio that the Tribune reported it first, after Florio reports that the Tribune reported first???? Really?
    More proof that you dont need intelligence to call someone a douche…… Let me gues, you also say things like:
    “your an idiot”

  5. “…to pick a peck of pickled Peppers ” Should have waited 8 more years.
    It’s become quite humorous when Florio gets his panties in such a bunch over this tampering thing.

  6. My view is that would adding that extra window really help ?
    Would it matter if my agent isn’t allowed to talk before Feb-21 or Feb-28 ?
    As far as I see it, they will keep talking no matter the deadline. It is impossible to police it Florio. Leave it. There is no way behind-the-scene discussions (or tampering as you like to call it) between agents & clubs will go away.
    People do it at normal offices(one of my favorite Profs went to a top school by interviewing w/o anybody’s knowledge). Why would it be any different for the world of NFL ?

  7. Hopefully this tampering with a Panthers player will turn out good for the Bears. Last time they tampered they ended up with Muhammad, (signed 15 minutes or so into free agency?)and he didn’t do much of anything in Chicago.
    I’d rather the Bears get Rolle, and throw an incentive laden contract at Kampman. I’m not a fan of investing so much into one player.
    We’ll see how it goes.

  8. This is yet another example of the NFL picking and choosing which of its rules it wants to enforce and to whom they would like them to apply.
    The problem, for all you who don’t think this isn’t any kind of a big deal, is that with this attitude of “wink” at some rules and “throw the book at ’em” with others is that players and teams are left to wonder what they need to follow and why.
    If you are going to have a rule, enforce it and do so equally. If you don’t intend to do that, get rid of the rule or at least change it so that it is functional and understandable.

  9. # rhage13 says: March 3, 2010 9:56 AM
    you are obsessed with the tampering topic. i find it lame.
    I have to disagree. If something is broken, fix it. I read the article and felt much more knowledgeable as to why this topic is so important. It does put teams abiding by the rules at a significant disadvantage and San Francisco should be pissed as well. Hopefully they amend the current rule for next year…

  10. Couldn’t early contract discussions with the Bears potentially hurt Peppers by keeping other teams from driving up the bidding for his services?

  11. @NYBEARSFAN – Moose was released prior to free agency and was signed before free agency even began.
    Has anyone checked to see if Peppers was given permission to speak to other teams?

  12. jd asked “Why was Carey even allowed to be at the combine if no one is allowed to talk to him?”
    He has only one client (Peppers) so he may have been trying to recruit more.

  13. With all the talk about the Bears tampering, there a few distinct differences no one has mentioned.
    1. The Panters have stated they WILL NOT Sign him, instead he can test FA.
    2. The Bears never said they would not sign Briggs in fact they were working a deal when the 49ner’s made contact with the agent.
    So there is a difference in circumstances. One team doesn’t want the player anymore and the other the team was working on a huge deal!!
    Also, if I’m not mistaken Pepper and another player I think Westbrook have been given permission to speak with other teams !!!

  14. There were no “victims” of the dreaded peppers “tampering”. My God, what an over-dramatic diva you can become on certain topics.
    Part of me wants to give you the benefit of the doubt- that you don’t really give a crap about any of this and write the way you do because you know we will all go crazy, like the predictable sheep we are. And now you just sit back and watch the vitriol roll in.
    The other possibility- that you actually do care this much about irrelevant nonesense- is too painful to contemplate.

  15. @LT2_3
    Yeah, you’re right, but that was a case that everyone knew he was going to be cut because of the 10 mil bonus owed, and seeing how the Bears signed him only a few hours after he was cut, it just seems extremely likely that they were in talks before he was officially cut.

  16. The Bears and Peppers? Aren’t there enough crybabies on that team?
    The douche will fit right in with that jewel they got from Denver.

  17. “Has anyone checked to see if Peppers was given permission to speak to other teams?”
    Nobody cares about that angle and I can’t figure out why. What would be the point of the Panthers being dicks about it? All it does is make other free agents wary of the screwed-up, spiteful way that things are done in a given organization. While I’m on the subject, it’s entirely possible that the Panthers gave Peppers permission to talk with just the Bears, any team that’s not in their division, or all other teams. Here’s the bottom line. If the Panthers DO NOT file a tampering charge, that’s a tacit approval.

  18. I think if the Bears are the team that signs Peppers the Panthers should indeed file tampering. What other reason does anyone in the Bears organization have for meeting with Peppers agent? Snyder of the Redskins atleast met with an agent that was already representing a player on his team.

  19. I think most of us knew that this would be a disaster from square one. Mike Martz’ offense is a complete joke, they had one or 2 good seasons and that had more to do with these guys named Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, Issac Bruce, Orlando Pace and Marshall Faulk, does Chicago have a roster like that? Look what happened in San Francisco and Detroit? Many top quality players were missing and the quarterback got hammered constantly. Complete disaster in the making in Chicago. The only successful Quarterback in his system, Kurt Warner is known as a guy who likes to take pressure and get hit to make the throw, these other quartbacks dont play like that, we know how bad Cutler can be under pressure and the mistakes he makes. Cover your eyes Bears fans, this is going in the wrong direction for Cutlers progression.

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