During the NFL lockout, teams are supposed to follow a strict set of rules about contact between players and coaches. They are also supposed to follow rules about not contacting undrafted free agents, but two reports suggest that both guidelines are being repeatedly violated.
CBS Sports' Mike Freeman reports that players and coaches are staying in touch through a variety of technologies.
While lockout rules are supposed to prevent contact between players and coaches, when it comes to the team workouts, both sides are utilizing Skype, e-mail, text-messaging and good, old-fashioned phone calls to update coaches on the progress of group workouts, what players are doing to stay in shape and even personal issues.
This type of contact is not happening with head coaches, according to Freeman, but many assistants are apparently keeping in close contact with their players to stay updated on what they're doing and help them learn plays. This is a major violation of the lockout rules, and if a team got caught it could be in big trouble. The same goes for any teams caught having contact with UDFAs after the draft, as ProFootballWeekly reports.
Six NFL agents, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told PFW that teams were contacting them in regard to their undrafted free-agent clients after the draft, a violation of NFL lockout rules.
With the league in the midst of a work stoppage, NFL teams are not allowed to have any contact with any undrafted players. In a typical season, teams will contact undrafted players and their agents in a mad dash at the conclusion of the draft in order to sign them during a free-for-all period.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed to PFW that any contact between teams and agents or players currently would constitute tampering.
It will be interesting to see if any teams are found guilty of violating the rules when the dust finally clears on the lockout. The rules are pretty straightforward, but if teams are repeatedly violating them, they must not be afraid they will get caught or be worried about any possible punishment from the NFL.