March 09, 2016 - Aaron Wilson
NFL punishes Chiefs, docks draft picks, fines them for tampering with Jeremy Maclin
The Kansas City Chiefs have been punished for tampering with former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Vincent informed Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt by letter that the club and individual employees had violated the Anti-Tampering Policy by having direct communications with Maclin during the Negotiating Period, which is specifically prohibited. Because of those impermissible contacts, Kansas City will forfeit its third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and its sixth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and pay a fine of $250,000. In addition, Head Coach Andy Reid has been fined $75,000 and General Manager John Dorsey has been fined $25,000. The Chiefs are going to appeal. “Today we were informed by the National Football League that our club will be disciplined for an infraction during the 2015 free agency negotiating period," Clark Hunt said in a statement. “While we respect Commissioner Goodell and the process, we believe that the penalties proposed in this case are inconsistent with discipline enforced in similar matters – particularly given the league's inconsistent communication of its policies on contact with potential free agents. “As an organization, we take great care to conduct ourselves with integrity and operate within the guidelines of the NFL. We have been fully cooperative and transparent with the league in this matter, and we are disappointed with the league’s decision. I want to make it clear that I fully support the leadership of both Coach Reid and John Dorsey. We will continue to explore our options under the appeal process.” Vincent explained that in “assessing discipline, the goal is to balance the seriousness of the violation of an important and longstanding competitive rule (the Anti-Tampering Policy), with appropriate recognition of the club’s history (no prior offenses), and the cooperation shown by both the club and individual employees. The discipline should be sufficient both to deter future violations and encourage cooperation in future investigations. The assessment of discipline here accounts for the fact that the club and its personnel were fully cooperative and forthcoming in the investigation. In this case, our staff had full access to all of the information requested, including electronic and telephone records, and unrestricted access to all club people whom we sought to interview." Both the Chiefs and the individual club employees may appeal this discipline by advising the Commissioner in writing of their wish to do so within five days. Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.