Packers Charge Vikings With Tampering
This is a new twist on one of the NFL's more interesting division rivalries.
The Green Bay Packers, mired this week in the most undesirable of soap operas, have fired a shot at their border rival Minnesota Vikings. FOX Sports NFL guru Jay Glazer reports the Packers have charged the Vikings with tampering.
According to the story, the Packers' allegation centers around Minnesota offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who they say had "inappropriate dialogue" with retired (at least, I'm pretty sure he's retired as of this writing) quarterback Brett Favre. Bevell was a quarterbacks coach in Green Bay at one time, and is still a friend of Favre's. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio beat the world to the punch on this one, reporting earlier today that the two may have talked and that the talks may have crossed the line into what the NFL defines as tampering.
Remember, despite his retirement, Favre remains property of the Packers and is not a free agent. He is not permitted to speak about a potential job with any other NFL team without permission from the Packers. To our knowledge, this permission has not been given to Favre, his agent, or any NFL team. Any conversations of this nature that take place (like the alleged Bevell-Favre chat) would qualify as tampering.
It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that one of the reasons Favre has been so adamant about being released is that he wants to play in Minnesota. The Packers would never trade him there, but it stands to reason they'd trade him just about anywhere outside of the NFC North. Therefore, Favre's only shot of getting to play with the Vikings is to become a free agent.
The odds of that happening took a tremendous hit with this news. General manager Ted Thompson may be inclined to appease Favre and release him at some point. But he'll never do it if he believes Favre has already talked shop with a chief rival.
For their part, Glazer says the Vikings are denying the allegation. He says the league is investigating, and has already gotten Green Bay's side of things.
If the Vikings are eventually found guilty of tampering, they could lose one or more draft picks and/or face fines from the league. You may recall that the 49ers got nailed for tampering in a case involving Bears linebacker Lance Briggs earlier this year. San Francisco lost one pick and had to swap another for a lower pick in the same round. Oh, and Briggs re-signed with the Bears.