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Jon Gruden blatantly tampers with Richard Sherman


MykePM
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Given the speculation that soon-to-be free agent Richard Sherman has been angling for the Jets to sign him, and/or Coach Saleh may want to sign him as a teacher/leader to help implement his new defense, the article below may be relevant in one of two ways:

1. Sherman may not end up signing with us after all, if the Raiders are more aggressive in trying to land him, or

2. If Saleh and Joe D. are determined to sign Sherman, the price tag may be higher than expected.

I’ve been leaning towards not wanting to pay a respectful price to a once-great player that’s past his prime, so I think this news may be a good thing if it brings about outcome #1...

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/02/03/jon-grudens-comments-to-richard-sherman-are-blatant-tampering/

Jon Gruden’s comments to Richard Sherman are “blatant tampering”

Posted by Mike Florio on February 3, 2021, 11:26 AM EST
San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams
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Cris Collinsworth tried. He tried to keep Raiders coach Jon Gruden from potentially committing a tampering violation. Gruden didn’t seem to care.

Collinsworth, who hosts a podcast featuring 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, had Gruden on as a guest. Collinsworth mentioned the fact that former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has arrived in Las Vegas as the defensive coordinator, before pointing out the elephant that enters the room when a player under contract with one team is speaking directly to a coach from another team.

“I know there’s tampering rules out there and I don’t want to bring up anything that might create a problem for you, because I know that you’ve been fined a few shekels over the years,” Collinsworth said.

“Yes I have,” Gruden said. “I’ve been fined, I’ve been punished very, very harshly. Richard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an alpha presence in our secondary. Somebody that could play this Hawk 3-press technique with the read step. If you’re available and interested, maybe you and I can get together at some point off air.”

Said Sherman in response: “There’s a conversation to be had, for sure. I am free and available these days.”

As one General Manager said, unsolicited and unprompted, in response to Gruden’s comments, “This is blatant tampering.”

And it is. Here’s the relevant language, from page 5 of the NFL’s Anti-Tampering Policy: “Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy. (Example of a prohibited comment: ‘He’s an excellent player, and we’d very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights.’)”

Gruden went farther than that. His comments presume Sherman already is a free agent. He isn’t. He remains under contract with the 49ers until March 17, when the new league year begins and he becomes a free agent.

Via email, the NFL has declined comment on the situation.

Whether the league actually does anything about it remains to be seen. Sometimes they don’t, sometimes they do. In this case, how can’t they? It’s as open and obvious as it gets; even if the 49ers don’t currently plan to keep Sherman, they have his rights through March 17. He’s not free. He’s not available.

And Gruden, who has been in and around the NFL for decades, should know that. If he doesn’t, there’s a good chance he eventually soon will.

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1 hour ago, Warfish said:

So is Sherman a Free Agent or not?  I feel like I missed that part.  If he will be a FA and just isn't yet because league dates, meh, minor who cares from me.

He’ll become a FA, when the new league year begins (Mar 17th?)

Until then he is still, technically, under contract with the 49ers

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10 minutes ago, ID. said:

He’ll become a FA, when the new league year begins (Mar 17th?)

Until then he is still, technically, under contract with the 49ers

Then in my view this is the least meaningful tampering possible.

I'll be quite honest, I don't think it should be tampering for teams to express interest in players after the last game of the season that player played and the day he becomes a free agent officially by league year terms.  After that final whistle of that final game, it should be open season on FA's and a fair playing field for ALL teams to solicit that player.  After all, he's not REALLY under contract for the next season, the only delay is one of league year administration.  The team he just finished playing for is owned no special opportunity to resign him first IMO.  If teams don't want players to get to that point, don't let players get to that point!  Resign them sooner.  Don't leave it for the last minute.

Ultimately, it likely is technical tampering, but I just can't work up any outrage here.  I doubt the league does anything, and if they do, it's just a monetary slap on the wrist the team likely will eat.  Who cares.

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5 minutes ago, Warfish said:

Then in my view this is the least meaningful tampering possible.

I'll be quite honest, I don't think it should be tampering for teams to express interest in players after the last game of the season that player played and the day he becomes a free agent officially by league year terms.  After that final whistle of that final game, it should be open season on FA's and a fair playing field for ALL teams to solicit that player.  After all, he's not REALLY under contract for the next season, the only delay is one of league year administration.  The team he just finished playing for is owned no special opportunity to resign him first IMO.  If teams don't want players to get to that point, don't let players get to that point!  Resign them sooner.  Don't leave it for the last minute.

Ultimately, it likely is technical tampering, but I just can't work up any outrage here.  I doubt the league does anything, and if they do, it's just a monetary slap on the wrist the team likely will eat.  Who cares.

Because it is a slippery slope.  You have to have a specific date, so that you aren’t promoting cheating, by allowing teams willing to push the boundaries to continue to push those limits.  The league has chosen a date and a everyone should have to follow the same rules. 

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1 hour ago, Butterfield said:

Because it is a slippery slope.  You have to have a specific date, so that you aren’t promoting cheating, by allowing teams willing to push the boundaries to continue to push those limits.  The league has chosen a date and a everyone should have to follow the same rules. 

Fair points.

I'd set the official date as "midnight starting the day after the final week of the season for that players team" if it were up to me.  

Like I said, it's tampering, but hard to get angry at it IMO.

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2 hours ago, Warfish said:

Then in my view this is the least meaningful tampering possible.

I'll be quite honest, I don't think it should be tampering for teams to express interest in players after the last game of the season that player played and the day he becomes a free agent officially by league year terms.  After that final whistle of that final game, it should be open season on FA's and a fair playing field for ALL teams to solicit that player.  After all, he's not REALLY under contract for the next season, the only delay is one of league year administration.  The team he just finished playing for is owned no special opportunity to resign him first IMO.  If teams don't want players to get to that point, don't let players get to that point!  Resign them sooner.  Don't leave it for the last minute.

Ultimately, it likely is technical tampering, but I just can't work up any outrage here.  I doubt the league does anything, and if they do, it's just a monetary slap on the wrist the team likely will eat.  Who cares.

I won't argue with your opinion there, but the rule as it exists now is that the player's current team has exclusive negotiating rights until the next league year starts, so what Gruden said was tampering.  If (hypothetically) the 49ers wanted Sherman to focus on the season until it ended, and then were gearing up to make him an offer to keep him around, John Lynch would probably be pissed that Gruden planted the seed in Sherman's head that lucrative offers would await him in March.

The funny thing is that I posted this article more for the Jets angle - how the Raiders' (seemingly strong) interest may affect the Sherman-following-Saleh-to-the-Jets speculation - and no one has commented on that.  I really couldn't give two sh*tes about what the league does (or doesn't do) to Gruden.  It's funny how threads take on a life of their own.

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9 minutes ago, MykePM said:

The funny thing is that I posted this article more for the Jets angle - how the Raiders' (seemingly strong) interest may affect the Sherman-following-Saleh-to-the-Jets speculation - and no one has commented on that.  

I think you'll find many here sorta "meh, ok" on Sherman, beyond his tie to Saleh.

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1 hour ago, Warfish said:

I think you'll find many here sorta "meh, ok" on Sherman, beyond his tie to Saleh.

I agree.  I'm hoping this means that he signs with the Raiders and that we don't overpay for an over-the-hill system teacher/"leader".  If he comes here at a reasonable price, I'd be fine with it but wouldn't throw a parade.

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