The Kansas City Chiefs have been stripped of their 3rd round pick this season, 6th round pick in 2017 and fined $250,000 for “illegally tampering with Jeremy Maclin while he was a Philadelphia Eagle”. In addition to this the Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was fined $75,000 and general manager John Dorsey was fined $25,000. The Chiefs got picked up for contacting Maclin directly during the negotiation period before Free Agency officially opens. As far as “tampering” goes this is a very minor issue, but the league need to be seen to keep everything above board when it comes to free agent contract agreements. Teams can be in contact with agents before the league year opens, hence some of the deals that were already pencilled in prior to 4pm ET (9pm GMT) today, but direct contract with the player is strictly prohibited. Andy Reid was Maclin’s head coach when he was drafted by the Eagles in 2009 so it’s no surprise he would have been able to contact Maclin directly and wanted to use that connection to convince him to come over to Kansas City. Before some of you jump on a soap box and rail that the punishment wasn’t harsh enough, or that Maclin’s contract should be voided by the NFL let me say this… Illegal tampering happens EVERY YEAR BY EVERY TEAM. The only team who might not do it is the Green Bay Packers and that’s because they never even dip their toe into free agency. The Lions had to flip draft picks with the Chiefs in 2011 just for making comments about being interested in a Chiefs player. The 49ers had to forfeit a 5th round choice and swap 3rd rounders with the Chicago Bears for contacting Lance Briggs. This kind of thing happens everywhere, at all times. I would be surprised if this is the last such fine levied by the NFL this year, or if the early agreements between Malik Jackson and Jacksonville or Kelechi Osemele and Oakland aren’t investigated in the coming months. With the ease of long distance communication and interconnectedness of so many coaches and players now this kind of thing is likely to happen more and more. The Chiefs have released a statement to say that they will appeal the punishment.