The NFL’s tampering rules are ridiculous. Even now, before the “legal tampering period,” we’re hearing reports that the top free agent in this year’s class is already honing in on a deal. Which, of course, would be illegal.
Perhaps because of this, or just as a means to send a generic warning, the NFL has sent a memo to all 32 teams warning against tampering and reminding them of its rules. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the memo was sent out on Friday and emphasizes that players need written permission from their current teams before engaging in trade talks.
“Under no circumstances should a new club rely upon any written or oral representation by a player or his agent that he has received permission to enter into discussions for a trade for contract,” the memo states. “Nor should a new club rely upon a letter from the employer club to the agent or player granting such permission since employer clubs typically reserve the right to withdraw permission at any time, and may have already done so. Permission must be received directly from the employer club.”
As Florio notes in his report, it’s unclear if a specific incident sparked this memo or if it was just a reminder. And of course we know that trades aren’t the only instances when things are done behind the scenes that don’t exactly follow in line with the NFL’s rules, as we mentioned above with said top free agent. So perhaps it was just a shot across the bow telling teams to at least try their best to not break the rules out there in the open for all to see.