No tampering here, Gruden says
Ran into Jon Gruden this afternoon and the coach spoke for the first time about Chiefs coach Herm Edwards apparent implication last week that the Bucs were overzealous in their efforts to sign center Jeff Faine.
Edwards said the Chiefs played by the rules, waiting until the start of free agency to approach Faine, indicating he felt the Bucs did not.
But Gruden and Edwards recently cleared the air and the matter appears resolved.
"I thought the media blew that out of proportion," Gruden said. "I did talk to Herm. We did play within the rules. I've been doing this a long time, 11 years as a head coach and never done anything outside the rules. Jeff Faine should be the guy answering all these questions. He's from Orlando. He wanted to play for the NFC South champions, wanted to stay in the division. Who said what, I don't know. . . There's no issue on his end or my end. I like Herm a lot."
On a related note, commissioner Roger Goodell said today that the movement toward instituting a five- to seven-day window for negotiations before the start of free agency is gaining support. He seemed confident owners could come to some agreement about the issue, thought it's expected nothing will become official until the next league meeting in May.