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Thursday’s MMQB article should make you, Clark Hunt and Andy Reid furious at the NFL

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Albert Breer, now of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB, shined some light on the NFL in Thursday morning’s “The Farce of Free Agency’s Tampering Period.”

The full piece is a must-read for any fan of the NFL who wonders how the league works behind the scenes. But there is one part, in particular, that will antagonize Chiefs fans and probably Clark Hunt and Andy Reid.

If you follow the NFL closely, and you were born before yesterday, you probably know that teams and agents alike treat the rules governing free agency like glorified yellow lights. What you might not know is to what degree everyone has their foot on the gas in advance of being able to legally contact the proverbial belles of the ball.

The article explains, by following and tracking an agent that chose to remain anonymous (obviously), that no one follows the so-called tampering rules in the NFL. If you’re unfamiliar, teams are supposed to wait until 48 hours prior to the beginning of the new league year—this year it’s March 14—before talking to agents about eligible players.

The impression you get from the piece is that every team and every agent break the rules every year, everyone knows it, and there is really no way to stop it.

The problem that you and the Chiefs should be furious about is the fact that Kansas City was punished for “tampering” back in 2016.

In March of that year, the Chiefs were penalized a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick for tampering in the 2015 recruitment of then-free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Hunt responded with as strong of a public statement as I can recall and the Chiefs appealed, but they lost and still had to forfeit the picks.

The Chiefs still managed to get some more picks back when they traded out of the first round (Chris Jones), but I can’t help but think about the hypothetical cost even now.

Recent third-rounders of note: Kareem Hunt (2017), Chris Conley (2015), Steve Nelson (2015), Travis Kelce (2013), Justin Houston (2011)

Recent sixth-rounders of note: Dadi Nicolas (2016), Rakeem Nunez-Roches (2015), Zach Fulton (2014), Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (2014)

You can’t assume those imaginary picks the Chiefs lost pan out, but how different would the Chiefs look even today if they weren’t so severely punished for what Breer has proven a common practice?

Retroactive shame on the NFL.

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