The Chiefs signed Jeremy Maclin during free agency last year, and now the NFL is imposing discipline on the club for the path it took to land the receiver. The Chiefs will forfeit a third-round pick this year and a sixth-rounder in 2017 because of a violation of the league’s anti-tampering policy (Twitter link via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com). Additionally, the league has fined the team $250K, head coach Andy Reid $75K, and general manager John Dorsey $25K.
The Chiefs allegedly had contact with Maclin during the league’s legal tampering window prior to free agency, but that’s not allowed. Teams are only permitted to talk with player representatives in that time frame.
Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has issued a statement in response to the league’s decision (via the team’s website):
“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.
“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.”
An appeal is indeed on the way, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).