After reports on Sunday revealed the NFL is considering levying a fine against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for contact with players during the lockout, coach Raheem Morris owned up today, admitting to calling players during the work stoppage.
"I called Aqib (Talib) when he got (arrested)," Morris said. "I called Kellen (Winslow) when he had a baby."
Morris said he has not been notified by the league of a specific punishment, if any. He did say the league checked his phone records to establish whether violations had taken place.
"I heard the rumors about the fine and all that type of stuff, but I haven't gotten anything from anybody," Morris said.
During the lockout, coaches were ordered in no uncertain terms not to contact players, who, at the time, were locked in a fierce labor battle with the league.
Morris and general manager Mark Dominik suggested the league began probing after the website Joebucsfan.com published an entry quoting Morris on 620-AM.
During the radio interview, Morris was asked about some of his players who had been playing football with kids in the Jefferson High area. Morris said, "They tell me about it all the time" and "I talk to them all the time." But Morris made no reference to when those conversations took place, never suggesting they occurred during the lockout.
The blog entry was headlined, "Is Raheem Inappropriately Talking to Players?"