Alex Marvez and Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com reports the Kansas City Chiefs have filed a tampering charge against the Detroit Lions. Here's how the NFL defines 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."
In other words, talking with, or about, players under contract with another team about getting them to come play for you.
Marvez reports no details of the actual complaint but says one of the people "believed' to be mentioned is former Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, who is currently in the same capacity with the Lions. Marvez offers up this quote from Cunningham back in February to the Detroit Free-Press as a possible reason for the charge:
"(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."
Why this caused a stir? Some perceived it as a "textbook violation" of tampering. What's interesting is that after this quote came out, Tom Kowalski of MLive.com talked with a league spokesman and said the comments weren't on the league office's radar. Here's Kowalski back in February:
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.
So either the Chiefs are talking about something else entirely, or the league office is back-tracking from previous comments, or it's now on the league's radar because of the charge.This will most definitely be interesting.
The NFL does not comment on tampering charges unless it's necessary to announce discipline. Per Marvez, the Chiefs and Lions have declined comment.