Originally posted by pd24:Quote:
Parker will be a key figure in the tampering case, too
Posted by Mike Florio on September 28, 2009 10:59 AM ET
We mentioned on Sunday the report from ESPN's Chris Mortensen regarding the possibility that the Michael Crabtree tampering investigation will include an interview of Deion Sanders, a league employee (via NFL Network) who created the current mess by talking on the air about the notion that two teams are willing to pay Crabtree twice the amount that the 49ers have placed on the table.
There's another key figure in the tampering investigation: Agent Eugene Parker.
Parker isn't required to cooperate, and he likely won't. But, if he doesn't, he won't be able to rebut any information that the 49ers might provide regarding things that Parker said to them about, for example, the Jets' interest in Crabtree.
The Jets surely will deny making any such statements -- and that's why, as Michael Lombardi pointed out last week on Inside the NFL, tampering is so rampant.
Basically, they all cheat, and then they all lie to cover up their cheating.
In this case, however, it'll be interesting to see how the league handles the conflicting information. If, on one hand, the Niners says that Parker said something that would indicate tampering by the Jets and if, on the other hand, the Jets predictably deny it, how will it be resolved?
By choosing to remain silent, Parker could be giving credence to the Niners' position. If, after all, Parker had nothing to hide, he'd talk. Moreover, if the Jets truly are a potential suitor for Crabtree's services, Parker would want to avoid doing anything that might remove them as an option. Needless to say, if Parker were to snitch on the Jets, they probably would lose interest in his client. (And, possibly, in some of his other clients.)
Meanwhile, we're hopeful that the ongoing CBA discussions (the next meeting is scheduled for tomorrow) will include negotiations regarding a joint mechanism for securing mandatory cooperation from agents in cases like this. Though the NFL has no power over any of them, the NFLPA exclusively regulates their work. So while Commissioner Roger Goodell can't force Parker to talk, De Smith can. And Goodell and Smith need to realize that an atmosphere of brazen cheating does nothing to advance the long-term interests of the game, even if it sometimes helps a player finagle more money in the short-term, or a team to get a player that it covets.
I don't think the NFL has an option on how to handle it. It sounds quite clear in the NFL's Anti-Tampering policy.
"3. Contract problems or other disputes subsequently arise between the player and Club B (for example, the player's failure to report on time to Club B). In circumstances like those of the example above, tampering will be found even in the absence of a demonstrated cause-and-effect relationship between the player's contract problems and his prior involvement with the other club. In other words, a club will not be able to defend a tampering charge in these circumstances by asserting that its private contact with a player (or the player's representative) did not involve any expression of interest in the player or was not related in any way to the player's subsequent contract problem with his club."
[ Edited by D_Niner on Sep 28, 2009 at 9:54 AM ]