The Detroit Lions were found guilty of tampering with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network. As a result, the Lions will forfeit a seventh round draft pick and the two teams will flip fifth round picks.
Back on December 2nd, Alex Marvez and Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com reported the Chiefs had filed a tampering claim against the Lions.
Here's the definition of tampering: "any interference by a member club with the employer-employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissably induce a person to seek employment with that club or with the NFL."
So what are the specifics of the tampering charge? What did the Lions do? There are a couple of reasons.
First, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that the charges start with comments from Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham made about the Chiefs last February. Here are those comments from Cunningham:
"(Kansas City) keeps wanting to dump their players. I would like to be there to catch a lot of them because I know a couple of those guys."
What's interesting, though, is that shortly after those comments came out, and folks started wondering if it was a "textbook violation" of tampering, Tom Kowalski of MLive.com quoted an NFL spokesman who said the comments "hadn't even registered at a league level."
According to an NFL spokesman, Cunningham's remarks haven't even registered at a league level. Cunningham was making a general comment about Chiefs' players and didn't identify any player by name. It's not unusual for head coaches and coordinators to pursue players who previously played for them.
The second part of the charge includes a Chiefs player, believed to be Jarrad Page. A day after the FOXSports.com report last December, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press reported that the allegations centered around Cunningham and Jarrad Page, who was once on the Chiefs. He reports today via Twitter that Lions were also guilty of "having impermissible contact with a player (or his agent) under contract to the Chiefs." The player in question is Page, he reports.
According to La Canfora, either team can appeal the ruling until February 28.