Lions win appeal in tampering case, sort of

The Detroit Lions have won an appeal to the NFL in a tampering case.

Sort of.

The Lions will not have to forfeit their seventh-round draft pick this season as the NFL had originally ruled. But they’re not out of the woods. What the league has done is basically delay the punishment, according to Tom Kowalski of

If the Lions fail to reach the postseason in 2011 – who are we kidding here – they will lose a seventh-round draft pick in 2012. If the Lions put the last 11 crumby years of history behind them and find a way into the playoffs, they will forfeit a sixth-round draft pick in 2012, not a seventh rounder.

The Lions are still required to swap draft picks in the fifth round with the Kansas City Chiefs, meaning Detroit drops from ninth to 23rd in the round. It’s the result of comments Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham made during the season.

So, the Lions get back a pick for this year but will still lose one. And if they happen to turn things around, they’ll lose a sixth round pick instead of a seventh round pick. As if that seventh rounder they will have this year will have anything to do with the team making the postseason. Confused yet? No one said it had to make sense.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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