Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lions Nailed by NFL for Tampering, Will Lose Draft Pick

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Gunther CunninghamWhen defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham left the Chiefs to become the Lions defensive coordinator, it was pretty clear that he would be interested in signing one or a couple of his former Chiefs players to bring some veteran experience to the talent-thin Lions. But he made the mistake of saying it publicly.

The NFL determined that Cunningham's comments violated the NFL's tampering rules by saying he wanted to sign players the Chiefs dumped. As a result, the Lions will have to give up the seventh-round pick they acquired from the Broncos in the Alphonso Smith-Dan Gronkowski swap and they will have to switch fifth-round picks with the Chiefs.

The Chiefs had the 23rd pick in the fifth round and the Lions had the ninth pick, so the swap will essentially allow the Chiefs to move up half a round.

Apparently the worst of the tampering in the NFL's mind revolved around safety Jarrad Page. Page ended up holding out until he was traded to the Patriots at the start of the season. While Page didn't end up in Detroit, Cunningham's comments were enough to anger the Chiefs, who filed charges with the commissioner's office.


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