Last year, the NFL threatened to investigate teams that violated the rules of the legal tampering period and signed players before the official start of free agency. Fifty-two weeks later, the league has followed through.
The NFL stripped the Kansas City Chiefs of a 2016 third-round pick and 2017 sixth-round selection Wednesday for tampering with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin last spring. The team has been docked $250,000, with head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey incurring $75,000 and $25,000 fines, respectively.
Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt released a statement shortly after the announcement, saying the organization will explore its appeal options.
"As an organization, we take great care to conduct ourselves with integrity and operate within the guidelines of the NFL," Hunt writes. "We have been fully cooperative and transparent with the league in this matter, and we are disappointed with the league’s decision. I want to make it clear that I fully support the leadership of both Coach Reid and John Dorsey. We will continue to explore our options under the appeal process."
Maclin was one of several players last year who reportedly agreed to terms on a new contract during the legal tampering period, in which teams are allowed to meet with players but not come to terms with them. He caught 87 passes for 1,088 yards in Kansas City in 2015 before injuring his knee in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs and missing much of the Chiefs' Divisional Round game with a high ankle sprain.