KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The NFL on Monday denied the Chiefs’ appeal for violating the anti-tampering policy, signaling the Chiefs will enter the draft without a third-round pick.
The NFL, however, made a concession with monetary penalties, reducing the team’s fine from $250,000 to $200,000 and coach Andy Reid’s fine from $75,000 to $60,000.
All other portions of the penalty, including general manager John Dorsey’s $25,000 fine and the loss of a sixth-round pick in 2017, remain in effect.
“We appreciate the opportunity to make our appeal on this matter, and we acknowledge the minor reduction in fines imposed,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. “However, we continue to believe that the facts of this case combined with the league’s inconsistent enforcement of its tampering policies do not warrant the most severe penalty for player-related tampering in league history.
“Having exhausted our options under the appeal process, we are turning the page on this issue and look forward to continuing our preparations for the 2016 season.”
The NFL originally announced on March 9 that the Chiefs violated the anti-tampering policy by having improper contact during the 2015 open-negotiation period with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was then under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The open-negotiation period in 2015 was a three-day window before the start of the league’s calendar year when teams are allowed to contact and enter into negotiations with the agents representing players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. But direct contact between a team and player is prohibited in accordance with league rules.
Maclin said Monday he is aware of the specifics surrounding the league’s findings, but chose to not comment.
“That stays within this building,” he said, “and we’re going to follow all the rules and take care of it.”
Still, Maclin said his initial reaction to the league’s investigation and resulting penalties surrounded a state of shock.
“It’s been a weird situation, but I’m happy where I’m at,” Maclin said. “I wouldn’t change it for the world and everything else will take care of itself.”
Maclin, of course, signed a five-year, $55 million contact with the Chiefs at the start of the 2015 league calendar year and led the team in receiving the past season, totaling 87 catches for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns.
His signing reunited the former Missouri Tiger with Reid, who used a first-round pick (19th overall) on Maclin in 2009 while serving as the Eagles head coach.
While the Chiefs won’t have a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the team enters the annual selection process with seven selections. The Chiefs picked up an additional fifth-round pick during a 2015 trade that sent safety Kelcie McCray to the Seattle Seahawks.