Tuesday, March 1, 2011
NFL won't punish Dolphins for meetings
By Tim Graham
The NFL will not investigate or discipline the Miami Dolphins for holding coach-player meetings that appear to violate rules under the current collective bargaining agreement.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne revealed Monday that he, new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and new quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell had been getting together frequently to go over strategy.
Under the current CBA, which is mere hours away from expiring, players are forbidden from such interaction until March 15.
The NFL warned teams about following the rules, as detailed by Sports Illustrated and the Cleveland Plain Dealer in recent days. But spokesman Greg Aiello e-mailed Palm Beach Post reporter Ben Volin to say the league wouldn't take a hardline stance on the issue.
"There are rules that have been in place for many years for the time period between the end of a season and the beginning of offseason workout programs," Aiello wrote. "They are designed to protect the players and give them some down time. It's the interpretation of Article 35 of the CBA."
Article 35 deals with offseason workouts. Punishment for violations of this article is a fine for the head coach.
A league memo distributed to teams last year stated prior to March 15 "players are not permitted to participate in organized workouts, practices or meetings of any kind" and "may not be directed or supervised by position coaches during this period" at the team's facility.