Source: Buccaneers fined $250K

Updated: October 9, 2011, 4:40 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The NFL fined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers $250,000 for allegedly having contact with players during the lockout, an NFL source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

The league office did an exhaustive search of the Buccaneers' telephone records, poring over thousands of phone calls and finding more than five calls that lasted a total of 16 minutes.

Coach Raheem Morris last month admitted calling some players during the lockout, telling the media that he called tight end Kellen Winslow to congratulate him on the birth of a child and cornerback Aqib Talib after he was charged with aggravated assault in March.

Morris' admission came after CBS Sports reported that the Buccaneers would be fined for having contact with some players during the work stoppage.

The amount of the Buccaneers' punishment is the same amount the Patriots were fined in 2008 for having videotaped opponents' sideline signals. "Spygate," as the resulting controversy was dubbed, also drew a $500,000 fine for coach Bill Belichick.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and ESPN.com NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas was used in this report.

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