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Chiefs docked 2016 3rd round pick, 2017 6th round pick for violating 2015 tampering rules

This comes out of nowhere. The NFL is imposing discipline on the Kansas City Chiefs for violating the league's tampering policy. The team has been docked their third round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and their sixth round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The violation is due to direct illegal contact between Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and then unrestricted free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin during the negotiating period. Contact can occur between team and agents, but teams cannot speak directly with players. I imagine this is not the only instance of a player talking directly to a team during the period, but the Chiefs were the ones who got busted.

Here is the NFL press release discussing the matter. The Chiefs released a statement indicating they plan on appealing.

NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent today advised the Kansas City Chiefs of the discipline being imposed for a violation of the Anti-Tampering Policy relating to improper contact during the 2015 "Negotiating Period" with prospective unrestricted free agent player Jeremy Maclin, then under contract to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vincent informed Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt by letter that the club and individual employees had violated the Anti-Tampering Policy by having direct communications with Maclin during the Negotiating Period, which is specifically prohibited.  Because of those impermissible contacts,  Kansas City will forfeit its third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and its sixth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and pay a fine of $250,000.  In addition, Head Coach Andy Reid has been fined $75,000 and General Manager John Dorsey has been fined $25,000.  

Vincent explained that in "assessing discipline, the goal is to balance the seriousness of the violation of an important and longstanding competitive rule (the Anti-Tampering Policy), with appropriate recognition of the club's history (no prior offenses), and the cooperation shown by both the club and individual employees.  The discipline should be sufficient both to deter future violations and encourage cooperation in future investigations.  The assessment of discipline here accounts for the fact that the club and its personnel were fully cooperative and forthcoming in the investigation.  In this case, our staff had full access to all of the information requested, including electronic and telephone records, and unrestricted access to all club people whom we sought to interview."

Both the Chiefs and the individual club employees may appeal this discipline by advising the Commissioner in writing of their wish to do so within five days.