The NFL has punished the San Francisco 49ers for tampering with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs. The 49ers will lose their fifth-round pick in the upcoming draft and will swap third rounders with Chicago Bears.
The NFL determined that the 49ers contacted Brigg’s agent Drew Rosenhaus without the Bears permission. It is against league rules for any team to speak to a player under contract, and until the free agency period officially begins each year, potential free agents are still property of their teams.
"We are appreciative of the efforts of the league office on this matter and support the commissioner’s decision," said Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips.
It is a very rare occurrence that an NFL team would be convicted of tampering. Teams negotiate with potential free agents all the time.