Patriots file tampering charges against the Jets

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The AFC East may not be the best division in the NFL, but it’s the most interesting. By far.

The intrigue level has gone up a notch with the news, per Adam Schefter of ESPN, that the Patriots have filed formal tampering charges against the Jets due to owner Woody Johnson’s public comments about New England cornerback Darrelle Revis.

In the press conference discussing the firing of G.M. John Idzik and coach Rex Ryan, Johnson committed a clear violation of the tampering rules when talking about the team’s failure to sign Revis after he was released by the Buccaneers in 2014.

“Darrelle is a great player, and if I thought I could have gotten Darrelle for [what the Patriots paid], I probably would’ve taken him,” Johnson said at the time. “And it was our best judgment to do what we did. Darrelle is a great player. I’d love for Darrelle to come back.”

After some in the media pointed out that Johnson had tampered with Revis, Johnson said he misspoke. And it continues to be unclear how he misspoke, unless he meant to say, “I’d hate for Darrelle to come back.”

PFT reported that the Patriots expected the league to take action on the situation, with or without a formal complaint. It’s unclear why the Patriots filed an official complaint, but it’s possible that the NFL told the Patriots that, if they have a problem with what Woody said, they need to file a complaint — which is similar to what the NFL told the Raiders after the late Al Davis suggested that the Patriots tampered with Randy Moss before New England got him for peanuts relative to his performance in 2007.

The NFL’s Anti-Tampering Policy provides that any violation “will subject the involved club and/or person to severe disciplinary action by the Commissioner.” Available sanctions include fines and draft picks. In some cases, the outcome entails the violator flip-flopping picks in specific rounds with the victim.

Revis signed a two-year deal with the Patriots, including a second-year that forces the Patriots to renegotiate the contract or to cut him.  With Johnson making it clear that he’d like to sign Revis, Revis can (in theory) take a harder line in his talks with New England.

120 responses to “Patriots file tampering charges against the Jets

  1. Good. He should know better. No one here would want another owner talking about the signing a star on their favorite team. Especially if that star used to play for that team.

  2. It was a blatant violation of rules designed to hurt another team. But it was the Jets who did it so the media gives them a free pass.

  3. Important people like Woody Johnson have to say they misspoke when caught doing something illegal by the rules of the organization that he’s part of, because otherwise he would look as though he were an ordinary putz if he admitted that what he said was meant exactly the way it was said.

  4. Revis was going to hardline the Pats anyway, because that’s the game he plays. The Pats are, fairly I guess, trying to get something out of Johnson’s mistake

  5. The PATRIOTS otherwise known as the most annoying football team should have charges filed against them by the rest of the NFL for playing in the weakest division in football for the last 12 years and get a free home playoff game every year, then only need to win another game to be in the SUPER BOWL every year ! Frauds if there ever was one !

  6. Good….it was blatant tampering by the old fool.

    Hope they get more than a slap on the wrist, but I doubt it… the former NYJet’s intern, goodell, won’t do anything.

  7. Woody Johnson was already warned about tampering this season when he contact DeSean Jackson. Then he goes and says this. Of course, it is Jetdell, so this wont be much of a punishment and Johnson will continue.

  8. Kind if sounds like the pats are still upset over Mancini spilling the beans about belichick a camera work. This feud isn’t going to die anytime soon.

  9. My guess is the league wanted to sweep tampering under the rug as usual, but the Pats forced their hand.

    The turf war continues…

  10. we should ask the Refs that way we can get 5 different answers on what the rule is for tampering.

  11. So if Bob Kraft said something similar about a Jets player, everyone would be OK with it? There would be 300 responses by now.

  12. That is hilarious!

    NE, the team well documented after getting caught at CHEATING files a grievance against another team for same.

    You just can’t make this stuff UP!!

  13. So the team that cheated to win has a problem with another team talking about how they are going to sign one of their players away?

    Revis isn’t playing for new englands chump change next year and the patriots know it. and so all they can do now is piss and moan.

  14. The Patriots bend an ambiguous taping rule and the New York media and new tough guy in town Ex Jet Employee Goodell go nuts. The Jets clearly violate a clear rule and nothing will happen because of the New York media and Ex Jet employee Goodell.

  15. Every team tampers in some form or fashion but only the idiots get caught doing it. Woody Johnson fits the bill of an idiot. However, since ex-Jets employee Roger Goodell is the commissioner of the NFL he and the Jets media will act as though this isn’t a big deal and sweep it under the rug. Just like the 2006 AFC divisional playoff game.

  16. Funny how Patsy’s are dying for that first round pick. It’s gonna be a fine and all will be forgotten except for disgruntled patsy fans who will cry and if they lose today then they’ll really cry. Wait until Derrelle holds true to his money hungry ways and forces the Patsy’s hand.

  17. Yes, Woody Johnson tampered, but his violation is more one of stupidity than of nefarious intent.

    The NFL Anti-Tampering Policy states:

    “Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy.”

    There’s not much wiggle room in that language.

    The reason for this violation is weird.

    John Idzik took a ton of heat for failing to sign Revis before the 2014 season. News accounts said that Johnson refused to bring Revis back because Johnson was still angry over contract negotiations with Revis’ agents when Revis was a Jet. At his press conference, Johnson tried to deflect this criticism. He denied blocking a Jets-Revis reunion and went a step too far by claiming that he would love to have Revis back in the future. Supposedly, a Jets media guy tried to prevent Johnson from addressing the Revis issue but Johnson was on a roll so he just barged ahead.

    While this doesn’t exactly cast Johnson in the best light, I’d be surprised if this results in anything more than a fine.

  18. Even as a Patriots fan you have to admit that the Patriots broke a rule by filming the Jets sideline from a prohibited area of the stadium. The Patriots paid their debt to the NFL in the form of fines and loss of a first round draft pick…..

    I don’t think there is any question that the Jets broke a rule. It was a pretty flagrant violation of the tampering rule (which they apparently violated earlier this year), and they started recruiting a player they covet while discussing the salary they were willing to pay. How can there not be a penalty? The only question is how much they will lose.

    You cannot blame the Pats for filing a charge any more than you can blame the Jets for filing a complaint about filming practices of their opponent.

  19. Two things:

    1. First, Woody Johnson is a contemptible republican tool, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’d do or say something stupid as he did. He should certainly know better than to discuss acquiring players who are currently on another team. There are rules about things like that. I guess if you’re part of the one percent you don’t worry too much about inconvenient things like rules.

    2. The Patriots aren’t exactly the poster children for integrity, so I find their indignation laughable. Spygate, anyone?

  20. This is Stephen Ross-esque.

    You just know the old creeps are going to say something inappropriate, it’s just a matter of what, when and how cringe-worthy.

    It’s amazing that these rich guys are so clueless sometimes and make themselves look like such dopes.

  21. The NFL has some dumb rules. Every owner in the league would have given one of thier children for Tom Brady and everyone already knows this but if they admitted it, its against the rules??? Dumb!!! Before anyone wants to act like an ass and tell me they are talking about Revis, don’t waist your breath. It amounts to the same thing.

  22. lmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    Jan 18, 2015 1:02 PM
    The PATRIOTS otherwise known as the most annoying football team should have charges filed against them by the rest of the NFL for playing in the weakest division in football for the last 12 years and get a free home playoff game every year, then only need to win another game to be in the SUPER BOWL every year ! Frauds if there ever was one !
    —————————————————————
    Hey Brownie I can think of at least three NFL divisions that are weaker than AFC East. Couple of years ago Sea Hawks won their division when everyone was at or below 500%

    I’m guessing you are a Browns fan. I know all Browns fans hate Belichick, but bet you would give your left nut to get him back!! GO PATRIOTS!!!!!

  23. it was a harmless comment. concentrate in more important things, like getting your league in order on a personal conduct policy and keeping your players out of jail.

  24. The league will ignore this just like when the Jets were caught taping the Pats in Foxboro during the 2006 playoffs.

  25. So, is there precedent of this happening in the past, and it somehow being a big deal? Or is this one of those hypothetical scenarios the NFL sometimes creates rules for?

  26. Wah, wah, wah! We’re used to cheating against other teams, not other teams cheating against us!! LOL

  27. Love this patriots turned in jets for illegal filming before the league punished the patriots. Patriots only team past 15 years to win 3 outta 4. Long live the hoodie

  28. The Bills should file tampering charges against the Jets too for their obvious contact with Doug Marrone prior to his opting out. Clearly he thought he had the Jets job in the bag because of their conversations, that’s why he left.

    Although I guess maybe the Bills should be thanking the Jets, because they have a way better coach now because of the Jets being the Jets.

  29. Got to give the Patsies props for this…they’ll do anything to gain an edge. Only team in the NFL that plays with a cloud over their head…starting from the “tuck rule” and moving forward.

  30. Wait, what?
    How is it wrong to state that you would like to have someone on your team (and how do we know that he wasn’t just expressing a personal opinion), and also give contract details (i.e. how much he was paid) that is public knowledge anyways?
    Personally, I don’t know how some of these rules in sports that forbid you from saying certain things is even legal. Wouldn’t such rules be Unconstitutional, i.e. violate Federal laws? What happened to freedom of speech? I understand that there are some things that you shouldn’t say (from a moral standpoint at least), but many of the things these rules forbid one to say is just ridiculous.

  31. Good move by Woody for once. Make the Pats pay big time for Revis. And then when they don’t, the Jets should suddenly have no interest. Nah….we’ve changed our mind. LOL!

  32. If the Patriots are dominating that division for 12 years it is probably because the Jets and Woody are who they are, the Bills are who they are, and the Dolphins are who they have been for the last dozen years.
    Put Bill B in a division with Baltimore and Pittsburg and what would you get? Oh yeah, he already tried that.

  33. Yes, the AFC East IS the most interesting division in the NFL, and yes, the Jets were tampering. They should give up a first round pick like the Pats had to in the 2008 draft. And the guy above who said what Woody did was like Stephen Ross, not true, because Woody said stupid things while Stephen Ross does stupid things like trying to hire Harbaugh when he hadn’t fired Sparano, and hiring Tannenbaum for really no good reason (other than to fire Philbin and Hickey next year, which I can’t say would be a good thing yet)

  34. Are the Rams, Panthers, and Eagles gonna file for tampering charges against the Patriots for those asterisk Spygate Super Bowl wins?

  35. What hypocrites. The Patriots are the biggest cheaters in NFL history and they complain and file charges about an off-hand comment?

  36. I thought Johnson was just trying to give an honest answer while handling the always sensitive issue of firing someone. To me tampering involves phone calls and meetings and phone calls and meetings with agents etc. To me this is much ado about nothing.

  37. Yawn…remember everyone the Pats were only caught cheating once, which means its really 5x that….

    …chances are the Pats cheated vs. your team too.

    Didn’t help them vs. NYG though!

    GO COLTS!!!

  38. People who have no idea what free speech entails, or what contracts mean, orwhat is constitutional and what isn’t, should shut up and not expose their ignorance.

    ———-

    jsbrown303 says:
    Jan 18, 2015 2:04 PM
    Wait, what?
    How is it wrong to state that you would like to have someone on your team (and how do we know that he wasn’t just expressing a personal opinion), and also give contract details (i.e. how much he was paid) that is public knowledge anyways?
    Personally, I don’t know how some of these rules in sports that forbid you from saying certain things is even legal. Wouldn’t such rules be Unconstitutional, i.e. violate Federal laws? What happened to freedom of speech? I understand that there are some things that you shouldn’t say (from a moral standpoint at least), but many of the things these rules forbid one to say is just ridiculous.

  39. Typical for the media;

    And it continues to be unclear how he misspoke, unless he meant to say, “I’d hate for Darrelle to come back.”

    and naturally those who are so inclined follow suit.

    “Misspoke” can also refer to speaking when you shouldn’t or on a subject you should’ve stayed off of. Since it’s not really possible for any normal person to miss that, you must have another reason for your comment.

  40. Jets violate a clearly worded tampering rule:
    “Who cares”

    Patriots violate a vague video location rule:
    “Biggest cheaters ever” after 7 years.

    Would be hilarious if it wasn’t so predictable. Just like no one cares about the Jets filming in Foxboro in 2006 or the Dolphins having Brady’s line calls, also in 2006.

  41. Boy they sure do hate each other, but the Patriots own they in that division. To bad it’s not a more competitive rivalry…

    ————————-
    Looks pretty competitive to me. The all-time record:

    Patriots 58 wins, Jets 53 wins

    Oct 16 2014: Pats 27 Jets 25 (missed last second FG)

    Dec 21, 2014: Pats 17 Jets 16 (Jets 100 more total yards)

  42. @jbrown303 – you need to learn some basic facts about the Constitution and rights it grants. The concept of Freedom of Speech deals with the GOVERNMENT attempting to limit speech by a private citizen. It has no bearing in an issue where an organization (club, business, social organizations) makes rules for itself and applies such rules to its members. The NFL, Boeing, Citibank, a home owners organization and all other such groups can vote on rules of speech within the group, and enforce them regarding speech within and between members.

  43. I suppose you all think Legarrette Blount getting on the bus early in pitt wasn’t tampering either? what belacheat wants belacheat gets, give back the Lombarbi’s.

  44. Just the latest incident that confirms how arbitrary and corrupt the Commissioner’s office is. And nobody seems to care. I expect The E Channel to start NFL coverage next season. Although the NFL hasn’t reached The ninth circle of hell just yet (fraud is the eighth), with this commissioner it won’t be long.

  45. Revis contract for his play this year, gave him a out. That out, allows him to be a FA. Most big name FAs want to be paid. Revis doesn’t need anyone to push his hand, because he already knew 2015 was a FA year.

  46. This is great! The Patriots don’t even have to play a game to get all the jealous fans who’s teams are home on the couch today frothing at the mouth while spewing all their nonsense. Other than watching the Patriots win, reading the ridiculous comments being made are the best entertainment. Keep ’em coming!

  47. elmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    Jan 18, 2015 1:02 PM

    The PATRIOTS otherwise known as the most annoying football team should have charges filed against them by the rest of the NFL for playing in the weakest division in football for the last 12 years and get a free home playoff game every year, then only need to win another game to be in the SUPER BOWL every year ! Frauds if there ever was one !

    I have read many, many stupid comments on this website over the years but this one is so far and away the STUPIDEST comment I have ever read.

  48. What a bunch of winers….the Pats are the worsts for cheating and have been caught more times than any other team. Get over it,,,,If Revis is smart he will run like a rabbit from the Pats

  49. The only thing dumber than Woody Johnson is the PFT trolls who think they are cute & smart with their comments of the Patriots. How low do we set the bar?

  50. There is precedent for tampering. The Lions HC said something almost similar and the Lions lost their 7th round pick and had to swap 5th rounders with the Chiefs. 49ers was caught tampering Briggs from Chicago. The Niners lost their 5th round pick and had to swap 3rd round picks with the Bears. Jets were caught TWICE this season tampering and was given a written warning by the league. Because Revis is such a difference maker, Jets should swap 2nd round picks with the Patriots and lose their 4th rounder. Because of the comments by Woody Johnson, Revis has more leverage over the Patriots to get a bigger contract.

  51. good. because what people refuse to accept, is that in some way, their team not only stretches the rules, but “cheats”, and likely did exactly what the pats did at one point.

    but that’s OK, continue to sit there claiming the pats have made the playoffs each year brady has been healthy over a decade only because of cheating, that is fine, ignorance is bliss.

  52. If it were any other team, the Pats likely would have let it go without a fuss. Given the Jets hypocrisy and the Eric Mangina episode, the Pats won’t let that slide.

  53. The only reason you won the first superbowl is goodells ability to lose video tapes on a regular bases, Rams walk thru, ray rice video, ignorance is bliss. Sounds like he’s a pats fan or maybe brady’s on his fantasy team.

  54. Revis can (in theory) take a harder line in his talks with New England.

    ==============

    Perhaps he has, and the Patriots have sniffed out a rat.

  55. Yeah, the Green Bay Packers may have something to say about that…

    dliwsrekoj says:
    Jan 18, 2015 1:27 PM
    File your charges, file your grievances because in 2 weeks it will be seattle 63 New England 0

  56. Yawn…remember everyone the Pats were only caught cheating once, which means its really 5x that….

    …chances are the Pats cheated vs. your team too.

    Didn’t help them vs. NYG though!

    GO COLTS!!!

    ————-

    Wow Jets fan. The Colts beat you in the 2010 AFC championship game. Your best shot at a Super Bowl. Your best team of the Rex era. Yet you root for them to beat the Pats. That’s really really pathetic.

  57. Seems like the posters here are extremely opposed to cheating. That’s good. The tampering rules are very clear, and the Jets violated those rules.

    Everyone here should be happy that this blatant cheating will not go unpunished.

  58. I’m really going to enjoy all of the “cheater” comments Jets fans will have to read every time the Jets win a game. Oh wait…

  59. I’m not a Jets fan, but I know how cheating works, and if your caught/accused of if more than once, and then previous members of your coaching staff are caught/accused of the same thing as members of a new team, I guess we found the mothership.

  60. drunkraider says:
    Jan 18, 2015 1:10 PM
    we should ask the Refs that way we can get 5 different answers on what the rule is for tampering.

    95 3

    ————————————

    Best comment on the thread.

    P.S. Woody is a moron.

  61. shalterman68 said 19 minutes ago

    I’m not a Jets fan, but I know how cheating works
    ———————————————————-
    Wonderful. If you know how cheating works, then you also know that the Jets are about to lose a first round pick.

  62. Joel Thomas,
    Sometimes in order for one to learn one must not “shut up”, but speak up and ask. Which is all I was really doing.

    Shoeflypie,
    That’s ok. You are correct, I did need to learn more about the 1st Amendment. For whatever reason I was thinking that it applied to having free speech in all areas and not just forbidding the government from taking it away, as I see after re-reading the amendment.

    Anyways, I still think that some of the rules that companies, organizations, and such employ to limit speech are ridiculous. I do realize that in some ways they need to do that to at least protect their image and such because people are apt to say some REALLY Stupid things sometimes. I mean, one doesn’t need to go around using foul language (especially in public) or derogatory or abusive speech as not only does it make the individual look foolish, but it also makes the company look foolish for employing that person.

    Btw, I don’t really care for either the Jets or Pats. I was just curious about what I asked about, and wanted to add another possible explanation for the guy’s comment for everyone’s consideration.

  63. I live in New England I dont know if its because of the single best trade in Pats history or the fact they traded him to begin with but Bellichek speaks highly of all but 1 team in the NFL. That 1 team had a coach with the title “Magenius” who is no longer in the NFL. It is that coach that accused Bill of cheating it is that coach that cost Bill 1/4 of million out of his own pocket. So yeah if Bill has the opportunity to return the favor I believe he would. Id personally think it would be fair if that Pats and Jets swap first round picks.

  64. If the NFL decided that Jerry Jones did not tamper with the Viking and Adrian Peterson in August of this year (before Peterson’s arrest), Johnson did not tamper with Revis.

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