Tampering: exert a secret or corrupt influence upon (someone). This, as it pertains to the NFL, is most prevalent when it comes to free agency. The protocol is as follows: Until the new league year starts, teams cannot contact free agents for the upcoming season. However, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden seemingly forgot all about this rule.
What did Raiders head coach Jon Gruden say?
Gruden was the guest in Cris Collinsworth’s podcast, which happens to be co-hosted by impending free agent Richard Sherman. Briefly, Collinsworth went on to address the NFL’s tampering rule trying to persuade Gruden to stay away from the topic.
The Raiders coach said, â€œRichard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an alpha presence in our secondary. Somebody that could play this Hawk 3-press technique with the read step. If you’re available and interested, maybe you and I can get together at some point off air.’ In retrospect, this was reckless, to say the least.
Over the duration of the podcast, Gruden and Sherman discussed their love for Gus Bradley and his system in a conversation that was obvious tampering. Collinsworth could no longer ignore it and said he felt like he was on a dating app, ‘you guys are a perfect fit.’
There Is a Precedent
The NFL levied a heavy punishment on the Kansas City Chiefs for tampering with Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in 2015. The Chiefs forfeited a 2016 third-round pick, a 2017 sixth-round pick, and got a $250,000 fine. This, in addition to $25,000 fines to coach Andy Reid and John Dorsey, sets the precedent for this situation.
Gruden and the Raiders are almost certainly going to get a fine. Not only did the head coach break the rules, he didn’t try to hide it. Looking at the punishment the Chiefs got, the Raiders are also likely to see a loss of draft picks. This would be nothing new for the Raiders, as they lost a sixth-rounder for breaking Covid-19 protocols.
For a team that just finished 8-8, the Raiders are very liberal with their draft picks. They are now in danger of losing more 2021 draft selections due to the actions of their head coach. If there is a silver lining to all of this is that Richard Sherman to the Raiders seems like a lock.
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