Did Bucs jump the gun on Faine?
(Updated 12:22 p.m.) Chiefs coach Herm Edwards makes what basically amounts to an accusation of tampering against the Bucs in a story in today's Kansas City Star.
The Chiefs had an interest in signing new Bucs center Jeff Faine, but the Bucs swept in and agreed to terms with him barely an hour after the start of the signing period, which began at midnight on Feb. 29.
Edwards implies that the Bucs and Faine's camp were in cahoots before the signing period began.
"There were probably some deals done before," he said. "We didn't cheat. We abided by the rules. That's how you're supposed to do it, and that's what we did."
When asked to elaborate, Edwards said, "You'd have to ask Tampa. I don't know what Tampa did."
Edwards also took issue with the Rams, who were quick to sign kicker Josh Brown before Kansas City could even arrange a visit.
Tampering -- which basically amounts to holding talks with a player who is under contract with another team -- is rarely enforced in the NFL. But just Monday, the NFL ruled that the 49ers tampered with Bears linebacker Lance Briggs by talking about him with agent Drew Rosenhaus before the start of the free agent period. And it was a costly infraction, with San Francisco forced to forfeit a fifth-round pick and swap third-round picks with the Bears -- dropping the 49ers five spots.
You can read the entire story by clicking here.
It should be pointed out that Edwards had a different take on the matter earlier this month. When asked on March 2 about losing out on Faine, Edwards reportedly indicated he thought the Bucs paid too much for the player, giving him a six-year, $37-million deal. He seemed to take the matter in stride then.
"You know when you go into free agency that you aren't going to get them all," Edwards said. "You wish you would have gotten another guy or two. But we didn't. In the end, does it make you better if you had gotten those guys? Maybe a little bit. The way we're approaching it, we're going to be OK if we didn't get anybody in free agency."
But Edwards' frustration likely grew as the Chiefs' fan base has grown increasingly impatient with the team's lack of big moves in free agency. It's possible he was venting a little when he made the above comments.
Either way, we've gotten no indication to this point that the matter will escalate to the league level. Even if it did, proving tampering occurred is extremely difficult.