Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Miami believed to be among five fined clubs
By Tim Graham
NEW ORLEANS -- The Miami Dolphins are believed to be one of at least five teams fined for impermissible coach-player contact during a dead period under the previous collective bargaining agreement.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell revealed the sanctions at the end of his Tuesday afternoon news conference to conclude the NFL owners meeting at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne told reporters last month he had been meeting with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell to go over the playbook and strategies.
Under the CBA that just expired, supervised practice or skull sessions were forbidden from the end of the previous season until March 15. Clauses in the rule state "players are not permitted to participate in organized workouts, practices or meetings of any kind" and "players may not be directed or supervised by position coaches during this period."
The Palm Beach Post previously cited NFL spokesman Greg Aiello as saying the league would not pursue the violations. When asked at the news conference why the league wouldn't punish multiple teams who reportedly had broken the rules, Goodell said "five teams have already been contacted on those violations."
When asked for clarification on whether or not the teams would be fined, Goodell said "they have been."
The NFL did not divulge which teams had been fined, but Goodell's remarks were in response to a question I asked him specifically about the Dolphins' situation. A Dolphins spokesman declined to comment.
After the news conference, Aiello said the onus for a complaint would be on a player or the union before a fine would be levied.
Aiello didn't have specifics other to say the rules were put in place to protect the players from too many offseason obligations. Even with the CBA scheduled to expire March 15, the NFL expected teams to honor the agreement.