As the storm rages regarding the replacement officials and the NFL wagons continue to circle tightly, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy has pried open the latest can of worms in this never ending conundrum.
McCoy told 94WIP in Philly that, during Sunday’s win over the Ravens, a replacement official told McCoy, “I need you for my fantasy team.”
While it’s possible that it was said in jest, it’s the latest stain on the overall credibility and integrity of the replacement officials. From the official who is a professional poker player to the official who was pulled from the Saints-Panthers game for being a rabid Saints fan (and posting about it on Facebook) to the official in the Seahawks-Cardinals game who had been getting paid by the Seahawks to officiate at practices, to the influence of fantasy football, the short-time replacements with no year-to-year interest in keeping their jobs are far more likely to be influenced by non-football factors than the locked-out officials.
That’s why the NFL should be concerned that one of the replacement officials (or maybe more) are working with organized crime. If the NFL’s vetting failed to catch fairly obvious issues, what about the problems that someone actually took the time and effort to conceal?
UPDATE 11:40 a.m. ET: NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT via email that officials are not permitted to play fantasy football.