Doh! Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou mind, Romeo?
Deny thy Manning and refuse thy Chad;
Or if thou wilt not, be but tight of lip
And there’ll be no tampering charge to thee.
If only he’d listened.
While it was fun to hear Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel talk about his potential interest in Peyton Manning this weekend, this was one of the few times I’d rather the Chiefs just kept their moths shut.
Crennel was guilty of tampering not once but twice in the same press conference this weekend. His blunder could amount to nothing, but it could also cost the Chiefs multiple draft picks or draft positioning.
First, let’s review the NFL rules on tampering.
“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.”)”
Crennel was asked about Manning, currently under contract with the Colts.
“I’m not supposed to talk about anyone else’s players. He’s still a player with Indianapolis. But with a talent like that, I would be crazy not to consider it if he were available. I’ll leave it at that.”
And then Chad Henne, currently under contract with the Miami Dolphins.
“Because of his relationship with (Brian) Daboll, I think that would be a consideration. To say right now that would be the case, I’m not ready to do that.”
Now if you want to split hairs here, Crennel talked about “considering” both players not necessarily “interest,” though I think the Colts and Dolphins would argue that saying you would consider a player is implying that there is some interest. The fact of the matter is, the Chiefs would consider any free agent and everyone knows that. The trick is not to mention them by name until they ARE free agents.
The Chiefs filed a tampering charge against the Detroit Lions and former head coach/defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. Cunningham made some comments about wanting to snatch up any of his former players that the Chiefs might cut. The NFL ruled that the Lions did indeed tamper and forced the Lions and Chiefs to swap fifth-round picks in the 2011 Draft.
It may be that nothing comes of Crennel’s comments. If I had to guess, I would say the NFL will stay out of it unless either the Colts or Dolphins or both file charges against the Chiefs. Since Manning and Henne are both goners anyway, I would guess neither team will bother but then again, the Chiefs didn’t likely win any friends filing charges against the Lions. Whether or not that will impact how the Colts and Dolphins react remains to be seen.
For years we’ve wanted the Chiefs to give us more info. I don’t think losing draft picks or position, however, is a price we are willing to pay.