Amidst this month’s free agent frenzy, at least one noteworthy story flew somewhat under the radar, with the NFL announcing on the first day of the 2016 league year that it had fined the Chiefs $250K and taken away two draft picks from the franchise – including a 2016 third-rounder – as penalties for tampering with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin prior to last year’s free agent period.
At the time, owner Clark Hunt indicated that the Chiefs intended to fight those sanctions, and Hunt has now confirmed to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star that his club formally filed that appeal. The franchise had five days to appeal the decision in writing, and did so.
“We’re in the very beginning process of that,” Hunt said. “We’ve not had a discussion with the league on the (timeline), but I’ll say from our standpoint, we would like it done by the draft.”
It’s not clear what sort of odds the Chiefs have of overturning some or all of the penalties handed down by the NFL, but Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets that he has heard the league “has pretty strong information” it gathered on the situation. The NFL alleged that the Chiefs were in direct contact with Maclin during the time leading up to 2015 free agency. Teams are only permitted to talk to player agents – not players themselves – during the legal tampering period, and can’t discuss free agents at all prior to that.
In addition to being docked a 2016 third-round pick, the Chiefs also lost a 2017 sixth-rounder as a result of the league’s ruling.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.