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Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith

Producer and Blogger for The Washington Post

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It may not have the ring of Dorothy's epic jingle, but for once, the NFL actually could learn something from another American professional sports league. And only the NBA has taken appropriately harsh measures to eliminate tampering from free agency.

To wit, here's how the NBA deals with teams who tamper with prospective free agents:

  • The team loses draft picks (up to five first rounders)
  • The team is fined
  • The player has to find a new team to sign with

That's a triple whammy folks, and it's stunning effective. Since the breakthrough Joe Smith precendent of 2000, there really haven't been many big tales of tampering. Scuttlebutt about the Clippers and Kobe Bryant, but that proved to be unfounded (and unsuccessful).

Imagine if that -- five years of lost first rounders, not one -- and an inability to sign the very player in question stood between an egomaniacal owner and the apple of his eye? That's a pretty good way to keep that apple away ... or at least at a resonable distance. At the end of the day, nine out of 10 free agents are still going to sign for the highest dollar amount, right? All the league needs to do is set a baseline of time when that can happen, and it's clear the only way to enforce that is with stricter penalties.

Whether Roger Goodell wants to realize it or not, the place to look for those regulations is another American sports league.

By Cameron Smith  |  May 26, 2009; 11:25 AM ET  | Category:  Free Agency , NFL , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Time to Change the Rules | Next: Tampering Impossible to Stop

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