On the NFL's punishment of Seahawks
June, 5, 2012
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
No one can accuse the Seattle Seahawks of slacking off during organized team activities.
But if coach Pete Carroll's critics want to add NFL rules violations to the ones NCAA officials unleashed on Carroll following a successful run at USC, they've got ammunition after the league and its players' union issued the following joint statement Tuesday:
"The NFL Management Council and NFL Players Association have determined that the Seattle Seahawks violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement's off-season workout rules on the prohibition of live contact during one of the club's organized team activity days ("OTA days").
"As a result, the Seahawks will forfeit two of their scheduled OTA practices (June 6 and 7) as well as an additional offseason workout day on Friday, June 8. Seahawks' players are not permitted to be at the facility on those days, but will be paid for the sessions. The club cannot reschedule the cancelled days."
I've attended a couple OTA practices in Seattle without noticing anything that seemed to qualify as unusually rough. Practices were spirited. There were a couple shoving matches. Players seemed to be competing hard. Those seemed like good things at the time.
"There will be no contact work (e.g., "live" blocking, tackling, pass rushing, bump-and-run) or use of pads (helmets permitted) at minicamps," the collective bargaining agreement warns.
It's possible a Seahawks player reported the team to NFL or NFLPA authorities.
"Clubs shall film all on-field activities from any minicamp, and shall maintain a copy of such films until 30 days after the start of the regular season," the CBA reads. "The NFLPA may view such films (after signing a confidentiality agreement satisfactory to the NFL at the start of each League Year) only upon the filing of a complaint alleging a violation of this Article."
The CBA contains identical language covering "all three phases" of offseason workouts. The Seahawks are in the third phase, which includes OTAs and, next week, a mandatory camp for veterans. That camp remains scheduled for June 12-14.
Other teams incurred similar punishments under the previous labor agreement. These are the first such punishments under the new CBA.
Carroll and the Seahawks will have to adjust.
Update: The Seahawks shot a video response from Carroll, who suggests young players must learn the boundaries after getting a little too competitive.