NFL warning coaches not to talk to players during lockout

Although the NFL is downplaying the significance of today’s big meeting with all 32 head coaches and general managers, the league office does have an important message for the bigwigs who run every team: Once the lockout starts, cut off all contact with players.

Last month Charley Casserly of CBS, who was a Redskins executive during the 1982 and 1987 players’ strikes, pointed out that there was sure to be some contact between coaches and players during the looming 2011 lockout. Casserly also noted that such contact would be cheating, and the league would discipline the involved coaches.

Today Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that coaches and executives will be reminded at today’s meeting that they’re not allowed to have any contact with players once the lockout starts. And Mortensen said coaches will be threatened with fines, forfeiture of draft picks and other discipline for breaking that strict rule.

We find it hard to believe that every coach will obey that strict directive. Surely, some individual coaches who have close relationships with some individual players will stay in contact during the lockout, and hope the league office doesn’t find out.

30 responses to “NFL warning coaches not to talk to players during lockout

  1. On second thought, teams should just fire their coaches and re-hire them later. Not like they couldn’t still do everything they did before, Isiah Thomas style.

  2. Will players and coaches be sent to their rooms without dinner, or told to go into a corner, if they do?

    Seriously, nothing but a restraining order should govern whether two adults can talk to one another. I understand there are rules and stipulations, but too often in this country we lose sight of the big picture. You KNOW the league is going to be more concerned with this, then an actual deal getting done.

    Then Goodell after fining a team, player, or coach, will come on TV saying we made sure all teams abide by the rules, so that we could preserve the integrity of the game, and ultimately for the benefit of our fans blah blah blah…

    Anyone else tired of this?

  3. I thought this was all between the owners and the players. Everyone in the league loves to separate the ‘business’ side from the ‘football’ side. (i.e. “It was a business decision, thats why we traded him,” etc.). So, this lockout thing is a business side issue. Let the coaches and GM’s carry on as much business as usual as they can. Let them talk to the players, meet with players, even run minicamps with the players.

  4. I dont get this. I could understand not being able to talk to other teams’ players, but your own?? I think thats a little too much.

  5. “We find it hard to believe that every coach will obey that strict directive.”

    Surely, you jest. We all know that the only team in the history of professional sports ever to have cheated is the New England Patriots. None of these other fine, upstanding, choir member, pure as the driven snow franchises would ever, ever, ever consider bending the rules.

  6. MDS – So, being a Bengals observer (fanhood must be earned), I’m very familiar with holdouts. If the Bengals draft say, a Quarterback, and want to work with him in the offeseason learning Jay Gruden’s new system, what’s to stop them from just not signing him until sometime late in the summer? If he’s not their player, then does this get around this stipulation? I’m unclear on what rules would still apply regarding rookies if there is no presence of a CBA. Early picks signing late or holding out would be SOP for this team, but in this case, could it work in their favor?

  7. Does this mean that Tom Coughlin can’t talk to his son-in-law?

    If Chris Snee has a July 4th BBQ, Coughlin can’t attend to play with his daughter and his grandkid because of the lockout?

  8. These are people we are talking about. And remember, “people who NEED people are the luckiest people of them all”.

  9. Without supervision I would expect at least 35% of the players to be arrested for assorted crimes and arrested so without no one to bail them out they will eventually be supervised in jail.

  10. bengalobserver
    I doubt that would be allowed. A player that has been drafted can be hit with conduct policy violation even if not signed.

    Guys at the Combine will be drug tested. If a guy fails he is in the substance abuse policy for the NFL.

  11. This will be obeyed with all the regularity of no beer on the beach, no jaywalking, and no lying on your taxes. I guess we can all expect that when this disaster ends all 32 coaches will be fined and most of the owners will pick up the tab. If they go after draft picks, I guess an entire round will disappear from the following year’s draft. Once again, the NFL proves stupidity gets you a corner office and a six figure salary.

  12. So Mike Singletary can’t talk to his son in law (OJ Atogwe) at the wedding? This whole thing is just getting stupider by the minute.

  13. “So Tom Coughlin can’t have any contact with his son in law Chris Snee?”

    Hey, maybe Snee would enjoy not getting yelled at by his red faced Father -in – law.

  14. bengalobserver-

    Once drafted a player is the property of whatever team drafted him, so not signing doesn’t get around the mandate.

  15. Oh yes…..Jerry “I’ll sell 800 seats that aren’t ready to break the all time Super Bowl attendance record” Jones will certainly abide by the NFL rules and not have contact with his players. Jason Garrett may obey the NFL edict, but not Jerry “I AM the NFL” Jones. He thinks he can do pretty well what he pleases.

  16. I’m so glad the Rams hired Coach Spygate 2.0 He will surely brake these rules. Maybe he will b able 2 keep it quiet & get a leg up on the competition.

  17. A lot of times players and coaches live in the same neighborhoods, or next door to each other, so that is that going to work. I know that Wisenhunt lives on the same street as at least 3 Cardinals and 2 other NFL players.

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