The Kansas City Chiefs were caught with a hand in the Philadelphia Eagles’ cookie jar and the punishment handed out by the NFL for it became official on Monday, as the Chiefs’ appeal on anti-tampering violations was denied by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The strangest development from all of this is that the Eagles do not get even a cookie out of it, as the Chiefs lose draft picks but none go to the Eagles which is a total disgrace. This all started when the Chiefs were found to have had direct communication with then-free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin while Maclin was a member of the Eagles during the league’s negotiating period. That communication is considered a violation of the NFL’s tampering rules.
The penalties are clear, but the offended party getting nothing is the fuzzy part of all of this. Kansas City will forfeit its third-round pick in next week’s draft and its sixth-round pick next year, though its $250,000 fine was reduced to $200,000 and coach Andy Reid‘s fine was reduced from $75,000 to $60,000.
The Eagles should have a claim on one of those picks based on precedent. In 2008, the San Francisco 49ers were found guilty of tampering with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs by contacting his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, during the season without the Bears’ permission. The 49ers were stripped of their fifth-round pick and had to swap third-round choices with Chicago as penalties.
Three years later, the Chiefs accused the Detroit Lions of tampering when ex-coach Gunther Cunningham—then the Lions’ defensive coordinator—said he would be interested in signing players Kansas City released. The Lions lost their sixth-round pick and had to swap fifth-round picks with the Chiefs. The Eagles could have used Maclin last year. Playing for his old coach, he caught a career-high 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns. At the very least, the Eagles should be rewarded a pick from the Chiefs.
For the Chiefs to acquire the Eagles’ property through nefarious means, and for the Eagles to get nothing out of the punishment, is convoluted logic at best and highway robbery at worst.