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Apparently only the 49ers get punished for tampering

I was poking around the Internet and came across a couple of posts over at Pro Football Talk discussing issues of potential tampering around the NFL.  One example is Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham mentioning some general interest in a variety of players the Chiefs might be dumping.  Another is the Dolphins apparent interest in Vincent Jackson.  Free agency kicks off in less than three weeks, so naturally we get to hear about who is interested in which player.

Last year the most blatant example of what probably should have been considered tampering came with the Redskins signing of Albert Haynesworth.  The 49ers were burned by the whole Lance Briggs scenario a couple years back, but an equally ridiculous situation was that of former 49ers guard Justin Smiley.  Back in 2008, Smiley signed with the Miami Dolphins no more than a few minutes after the kick-off of free agency.

Even if the 49ers had done something illegal in their dealings with Lance Briggs, the signings of Justin Smiley and Albert Haynesworth show how "serious" this tampering policy really is.  And just to push on the east coast bias many of us like to discuss, let's not forget about the Jets and the whole Michael Crabtree situation. Maybe nothing happened, maybe everything happened...who knows.  Of course, we can also throw in Nnamdi Asomugha's comments about discussing a trade to the Jets with Rex Ryan (Asomugha insists he was joking).  Maybe this all was a joke, but as far as I'm concerned, where there's smoke there's fire.

In the Vincent Jackson story linked above, Florio mentioned rumors the league might consider "creating a period before the launch of free agency during which the presently illegal communications would be legallized."  Should we just go ahead and call it the Rex Ryan rule?