NFL tells specific teams to keep phone records

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The NFL will indeed investigate potential violations of the rules regarding the three-day free-agency negotiating window.  And it appears that the NFL once again may be engaging in selective enforcement of the rules.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the NFL sent “memos to specific teams” on Tuesday, directing them to keep “phone records.”  Per Schefter, the goal will be to investigate agreements “announced” during the three-day window.

Schefter, who’s cranking at full speed right now, probably meant to say “leaked,” since no deals were actually announced during the three-day window.  (That would be a smoking gun, to say the least.)  But whether the deals were leaked doesn’t matter; the question is whether teams were making offers and/or reaching tentative deals during the look-but-don’t-touch negotiation window.

As a result, the NFL should be seeking not phone records from select teams but emails and text messages from the relevant front office employees with every team.  As folks have gotten more and more comfortable with the wink-nod negotiating period, which was more about public discretion than internal secrecy, there’s likely plenty of proof of offers being made and deals being struck in the communications between team executives and agents.

But it seems the league will target not every team but only those whose tentative deals were leaked.  Which may explain why the Ndamukong Suh deal still isn’t done.  The Dolphins may think the passage of time will reduce the perception that they violated the rules of the three-day window.

60 responses to “NFL tells specific teams to keep phone records

  1. This is why smart teams kept it under wraps this season during the tampering period, Goodell is trying to rebuild his permanently flawed image so he will be looking into as many potential violations as he can.

    This is real tampering, Pats fans. Not just words at a press conference.

  2. The league can audit telephone records? Are they the police now? And what do phone records prove? It’s legal to talk during the three-day window, and phone records won’t prove what was said.

  3. Not to worry Viking fans…Rick Spielman the Draft Wizard doesn’t suffer from premature free agentulation like the Fish….

  4. NFL teams to NFL office:

    When you start keeping better phone records, we’ll follow suit and do the same.

    Find that videotape, or “phone record” regarding the Ray Rice fiasco yet Roger???

  5. Maybe the league should contact the Patriots for not only the phone records, but the recorded conversations. They have already mastered spying through video, audio is a lot easier.

  6. So basically, the rule was, a team and a player’s agent could talk about parameters of a contract, but they were not allowed to make a deal. That’s putting kind of fine point on things, isn’t it? I mean, if a team says “We would offer you so and so.” Then the agent is supposed to say, “If you did that, we would probably accept that.” But under no circumstances can they agree, right? Well, did they just agree or did they not agree? What constitutes agreement, anyway? How can you negotiate but not be allowed to finish? Isn’t that a little like coitus interruptus?

  7. Jet’s Tampered with Revis way before the 3 day period. Oh wait Goodell used to work for the Jets.
    let us know when you find out NFL created Deflategate

  8. The NFL burns the video tapes of the Patriots cheating but they’re worried about teams talking to agents about Free Agents. What a joke!

  9. Logically, the leaks could come from 3 possible sources – the team, the player or the agent.

    One would think the team would be the least likely source.

  10. If the patriots are not a team at risk of cheating a thorough investigation will be done. If the patriots are involved then the investigation will be messed up unless it benefits them. I can see patriots awarded picks because of commish Kraft found another team “tampering” with a former pat player.

  11. The sooner Rodger Rabbit is out of office, the better.
    Why 3 days? why not a week, If anybody should be pissed it should be Minnesota! Peterson has been cleared but the League is still messing things up!!!

  12. Don’t worry fans, it’s just Goodell keeping the owners inline. They work for him now

  13. It is odd that some folks take the time to comment about the Patriots and they are one of the teams that have NOT been making announcements about signing other teams players BEFORE they were supposed to. For a majority of people who really don’t care for the Patriots, some of you spend an AWFUL lot of time thinking and talking about them.

  14. Just another thing the league office is trying to cause a social media uproar about to draw the attention away from their real issues.

  15. I do like how the NFL tries hard at making ridiculous rules, then tries to ensnare a team. Is that how they keep ratings high? Turn it into a soap opera?
    The rule should be that a player can come to an agreement, but it isn’t binding (no signatures) until the three day window is closed. Kind of like a buyer’s/seller’s remorse period. But no, they play verbal diarrhea.

  16. Uh oh, add this one to the list of things the NFL is investigating.. I’m sure some team(s) will lose draft picks around the 2032 draft.

  17. Virtually every team has some sort of free agent information in the news over the last 3 days, and the Fins get investigated. That sounds about right for the League Office. Another witch hunt featuring the Dolphins. The guy that made the announcement was an ESPN employee and not even associated with the Dolphins. Laughable, the Dolphins make another big free agent signing, and everybody’s nose gets out joint.

  18. So will they investigate Jim Mora and the Giant’s? 5 signings in 3 hours by the head of the Competitions Committee… Of course not but make sure to get the Redskins, and Cowboys phone records!

  19. They have already mastered spying through video

    Pointing a camera at a defensive coordinator across the field from you may sound really high tech to some people, I suppose.

  20. With NFL fixer, Ted Wells, busy rearranging the facts of framegate, the league will turn it’s lonely eyes towards Mike Kensil. Mike is impartial and agenda free.

  21. This legal tampering rule is absurd.

    Let teams negotiate starting Saturday (which they already can). Let offers be made (which is inevitable). Let there be agreements in principle (also inevitable) with the caveat that no deal is final until the contract can be signed at the start of free agency. There’s always the possibility of a free agent changing their mind as Gore did or a better offer coming in from another team at the last minute.

    Why is this so hard for Goodell?

  22. Too late now, what they have buyers remorse with Suh? More likely they may want take something away from the Dolphins like draft picks and fine them….boy a loss of a pick that will surely chill the waters now….look out

  23. I would like to trade Roger Goodell to the NBA for Adam Silver. We’ll throw in a year’s worth of Ndamamukong Suh’s fines and a week on Jerry Jones’ party bus.

  24. WOW,EEEHHHH , was gonna type something BOUT THIS WHOLE “negotationgs only thingy ” .but realized it’s a waste of my time. GOODELL is gonna play the book as he writes it

  25. I’m looking forward to the Packers having the #1 pick in 2016. Not because they will have the worst record, but because every other team will lose their first round pick so they will get the first pick. 🙂 It pays not sign free agents.

  26. ryann252013 says:
    Mar 10, 2015 6:13 PM
    This is why smart teams kept it under wraps this season during the tampering period, Goodell is trying to rebuild his permanently flawed image so he will be looking into as many potential violations as he can.

    This is real tampering, Pats fans. Not just words at a press conference.
    Yeah, stick to that. Jets owner couldn’t have tampered more. Time will tell.

  27. They won’t find anything on team phones that’s incriminating all of those contract references and leaks come from the agents and they are smart enough to misreport the actual dollars correctly. The agents use the media to get close numbers out so they can entice other teams into a bidding war. Come on football fans smarten up. It also helps boost the numbers for their other clients playing similar positions.

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