The controversy is believed to have started when Briggs' agent Drew Rosenhaus asked the 49ers if they were interested in Briggs in the course of a normal agent-team discussion. Many discussions followed.So that's what it takes to get Rosenhaus to quit talking: ask him to testify.
A league source said when the NFL asked Rosenhaus to testify on the matter, he refused.
Pompei explains that the Bears were less than thrilled with the development because they wanted to use the Oct. 16 trade deadline as "an incentive for Briggs" to re-sign. With San Francisco in the mix, that become more difficult.
Evidently, the 49ers punishment -- a lost fifth-round pick; swapped third-rounders with the Bears -- would've been more severe if Chicago hadn't ultimately re-signed Briggs. Oh, and Crime Dog Goodell was apparently incensed when he first learned of the charges because "the covert discussions occurred at a time when games could have been affected."
That little nugget probably had more to do with the punishment than a claim made in this week's San Francisco Chronicle that the league punished the 49ers because they are "a fairly irrelevant team that wouldn't fight it." Particularly since not everybody was of the opinion that San Francisco was the victim here, including Goodell.