Seattle Seahawks punished for violating NFL work rules

September 19, 2016

Just one day after his Seattle Seahawks lost to the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum -- the same arena where his USC Trojans thrived and later were penalized for NCAA violations -- coach Pete Carroll's current team once again found itself in hot water for breaking the rules, as the NFL today notified the Seahawks of the discipline being imposed for violating work rules prohibiting excessive contact in all offseason workouts.

Seattle will be fined $400,000 and will forfeit its first week of 2017 Organized Team Activities (three OTA days), although Seahawks’ players will be paid for the cancelled sessions. Carroll, who is responsible for maintaining appropriate control over practices and intervening if prohibited conduct occurs, will be fined $200,000.  Finally, the club will forfeit its fifth-round selection in the 2017 Draft.

During the team’s June 6, 2016, OTA day, players engaged in excessive on-field physical contact, which is expressly prohibited in all offseason workouts under the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The prohibition is one of several measures the NFL and NFLPA implemented to enhance player safety by limiting contact during offseason workout programs. The rules also help to prevent any team from gaining a competitive advantage.

In the letter notifying the club of the discipline, the NFL referenced Appendix G of the CBA which underscores the importance of player safety and the purpose of the “no-live-contact” rule:

Voluntary off-season workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players.  The intensity and tempo of drills should be at a level conducive to learning, with player safety as the highest priority, and not at a level where one player is in a physical contest with another player.

The decision to impose discipline was made after the NFL and NFLPA independently reviewed the Seahawks’ June 6, 2016 on-field practice video and agreed that the club had violated the “no-live-contact” rule, as set forth in Article 21, Section 2(b)(iii), Section 5(a) and Appendix G of the CBA.

The Seahawks were also advised that any additional violation of the CBA’s player work rules, or any violation affecting the competitive aspects of the game, will likely result in significantly higher fines, the cancellation of future OTA days, minicamp days, preseason or regular season practices, as well as the forfeiture of higher-round or multiple draft selections.

By Staff of and news services

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