The NFL is currently pursuing 4 or 5 different investigations. Amid all the draft talk, free agency signings, and recent arrest announcements, as well as surprise retirement announcements, has been a curious lack of information on several ongoing investigations.
All Things Not Bountygate: The Curious Case of Current NFL Investigations
The idea for this post came as I was reading an article by Mike Florio, of PFT:
Posted by Mike Florio on March 21, 2015, 8:39 AM EDTGetty Images
With four important investigations pending for the NFL, some thought that the league would bury the outcome of each one during the late Friday afternoon hours of the second full day of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
So nothing has been decided yet, and the cases of the Jets allegedly tampering, the Browns allegedly sending text messages to the sideline during games, theFalcons allegedly pumping in fake crowd noise over the span of two seasons, and the Patriots allegedly tampering with air pressure inside footballs during the AFC title game remain unresolved.
Actually, “allegedly” applies only to the Patriots. Jets owner Woody Johnson committed a clear violation of the tampering policy as it relates to Darrelle Revis, the Browns have admitted that G.M. Ray Farmer sent in-game texts to the coaching staff, and the Falcons have acknowledged that artificial crowd noise was used.
I say 5 investigations, because the Jet’s tampering investigation began in January because of nothing more than Woody Johnson saying that the jets would love to have Darrelle Revis. The next part or what I consider another investigation, came during the high point of pre-free agency itself.
This memo came out to all teams amid a outbreak of supposed deals made between teams and players.
TO: General Managers
Player Personnel Directors
FROM: Commissioner Goodell
DATE: March 8, 2013
SUBJECT: Impermissible Activity During the Three-day Negotiating Period for Unrestricted Free Agents
Clubs were advised in PP-26-13 that during the three-day negotiating period for prospective Unrestricted Free Agents, they are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2012 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 12, and that no contract can be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 12.
Clubs are further advised that prior to the beginning of the new League Year it is impermissible for a club to enter into an agreement of any kind, express or implied, oral or written, or promises, undertakings, representations, commitments, inducements, assurances of intent or understandings of any kind concerning the terms or conditions of employment offered to, or to be offered to, any prospective Unrestricted Free Agent for inclusion in a Player Contract after the start of the new League Year. Any announcement of an agreement or an agreement in principle by a club or another party, including, but not limited to, a certified agent, player, or media organization may subject the club to a tampering investigation.
Please contact the Player Personnel department if you have any questions
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.
The Jets are being closely investigated because the Revis signing came out very quickly after the opening of free agency. Also not clear is whether or not they had the right to negotiate with Darrelle Revis in the first place. He was under contract through 2015 if the Patriots chose to exercise their option.
Many teams also had deals supposedly done prior to the launch of free agency, according to the many twitter post, and most were validated immediately when the signing period opened. Fortunately our own Bountygate, maligned New Orleans Saints were not one of them. In fact the team waited until the period opened before scheduling any visits.
Of particular interest within our division, is the Noisegate investigation of the Atlanta Falcons. Again there isn’t anything to investigate as owner Author Blank has already admitted and apologized for the acts, which went on for 2 seasons. Seems only a matter of doling out fines and/or lost of draft picks.
Our fellow SBNation blog the Falcoholic, has several post you may want to visit, both for the insight of the writers as well as the fan reactions.
And finally our friend Dave Choate’s own post on this very subject.
Along the same lines the Browns have also admitted to sending texts illegally during games.
So why hasn’t anything been announced with the above “investigations”? As the tampering investigations are probably aimed at teams other than the Jets, this one could well be “ongoing”, but the rest should be at or approaching the penalty stages. Also curious is the lack of “media outrage” that went on during Bountygate. Could the leagues weak “evidence” of Bountygate be tempering everyone’s opinions, or is the NFL just lucky, that so much more is grabbing the spotlight at the right time.
And after a flurry of breaking stories following Deflategate, it appears interest has fallen off the SB Champion New England Patriots as well. Why haven’t we heard more on this one. Did Tom Brady do it? Did the Colts frame them? Was mother nature to blame? Did the ballboy’s bathroom break influence the AFCCG? Wouldn’t we all
lie like to know?
So what do you thing friends and foes, (I’ll send post notifications to our fellow blogs)? Is the NFL purposely dragging it’s collective heels, hoping that the more time goes by it will fade from sight. Because believe me fans, the attention span for those it doesn’t effect, personally or as rivals, is a very fleeting thing.
On thing is sure. Some resolution must surely be made before the draft in April.