NFL rules on Haynesworth tampering case

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 4:20pm
Staff Reports

The NFL on Tuesday announced that it could not identify any tampering on the part of the Washington Redskins in their offseason pursuit of former Titan Albert Haynesworth.

Following what it called an extensive review, the NFL said it "cannot conclude" that the Redskins committed a tampering violation before signing the defensive tackle in February, but did say that the team "assured" the NFL it would re-emphasize to its executives the importance of abiding by the league's anti-tampering policy.

The league released an official statement through spokesman Greg Aiello clearing the Redskins of any allegations of wrongdoing.

Haynesworth left the Titans for Washington, signing a seven-year, $100 million contract with Washington. That deal contained $41 million in guaranteed money and was signed just five hours after the free agency period opened.

Violation of tampering rules can result in fines and forfeiting draft picks, as happened to the San Francisco 49ers when they were found guilty of tampering with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs in 2008.

The investigation was prompted when the Titans sent information to the NFL indicating the Redskins might have contacted Haynesworth and his agent, Chad Speck, before free agency began Feb. 27. A rumored and later reported meeting between Speck and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder around the time of the NFL Combine , two weeks before free agency, was said to be about another Speck client, reciever Malcolm Kelly, who plays for the Redskins.

Later it was revealed that the league was looking at multiple teams potentially having contacted Speck regarding Haynesworth before free agency. No other teams were ever named, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants both were in the running to land Haynesworth.

By the time Haynesworth was ready to reach the open market, the Titans were already out of the running to retain him. The City Paper reported in April that the Titans' final formal offer to Haynesworth was just a $34 million, four-year package in late December that contained approximately $20 million in guarantees. A face-to-face meeting at the Combine between Speck and Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt produced an offer that would have had about $28 million in a $40 million package, but a source indicated to The City Paper that that offer never was put in writing.

Neither team offered to comment on the announcement.

Haynesworth has played in 10 of the Redskins' 13 games this season, missing three games with injuries. He has three sacks and 29 total tackles.

5 Comments on this post:

By: house_of_pain on 12/15/09 at 5:00

Wow...3 whole sacks...looks like we missed out...

By: jwk6179 on 12/15/09 at 9:34

Doesn't this ruling make Jeff Fisher and the Tennessee Titans look foolish. They were SO SURE that the Washington Redskins TAMPERED with Albert Haynesworth that they FILED CHARGES with the NFL OFFICE to start an investigation. The NFL found NO EVIDENCE OF WRONG DOING on the Redskins part. Albert Haynesworth is NOT the FIRST free agent to sign with another team just HOURS AFTER HITTING the open market. But those teams didn't file tampering charges with the NFL like your beloved team did. I'll bet they'll think TWICE before they accuse another team of tampering!!!

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/09 at 5:26

Albert who?

By: house_of_pain on 12/16/09 at 9:17

jerk6179, the Titans never filed any charges in this case. Get your facts straight.

By: jwk6179 on 12/16/09 at 11:49

But Jeff Fisher and the Titans were SCREAMING about the Redskins TAMPERING so much that the NFL had to look into it. I don't recall the other 31 NFL teams ever scwhining as much about tampering charges that the NFL had to open up an investigation, ARSEHOLE!!!