Pete Carroll has also been fined $200,000 and the Seahawks will have to forfeit their first week of organized team activities in 2017.
The Seahawks have been fined $400,000 and will lose their fifth-round pick in 2017 for violating NFL-NFLPA work rules that prohibit excessive contact in all offseason workouts, the NFL announced Monday morning.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has also been fined $200,000 and the Seahawks will have to forfeit their first week of OTAs (Organized Team Activities) in 2017. The Seahawks appealed the penalty but the process is finished. It’s the third time since 2012 the Seahawks have been penalized for violations in off-season workouts.
According to a statement released by the NFL, the league determined that “during the team’s June 6, 2016 Organized Team Activity (OTA) day, players engaged in excessive on-field physical contact, which is expressly prohibited in all offseason workouts under the NFL-NFLPA (Players Association) 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.”
That OTA was not one of the three that was open to the media (you can view pictures of that day’s workout from the team’s official website here. Here are the rules governing off-season workouts from the NFLPA. The rules became stricter as part of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement.)
According to the team, the incident occurred when two players — a receiver and a defensive back — collided as they were going for a ball and hit heads during a drill when they were not wearing helmets. The NFL has the right to review film of all official workouts and practices and after looking at the play determined it was excessive.
The league’s statement went on to read that:
“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.”
The Seahawks also had to forfeit two of three mini-camp practices in 2015 after the league determined that a practice that included a fight between Richard Sherman and Phil Bates violated rules for mini-camp practices.
And the Seahawks also had to forfeit two OTAs in 2012 for a violation of workout rules.
The Seahawks may already be without two other 2017 draft picks, having dealt their fourth-rounder to New England as part of a deal in which Seattle got a fifth-rounder and seventh-rounder in 2016 that turned into Quinton Jefferson and Kenny Lawler, while also giving the Patriots a 2016 seventh-rounder. And the Seahawks earlier this year traded a conditional seventh-round pick to Oakland for linebacker Dewey McDonald (however, if the conditions of that trade aren’t met — and those have not been revealed — then the Seahawks could still get that pick).
However, Seattle also has an extra seventh-rounder in 2017 from Carolina in the trade that sent WR Kevin Norwood to the Panthers.
The Seahawks have also been expected to get at least two compensatory picks for losing unrestricted free agents in 2016 (specifically, OLs Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy, LB Bruce Irvin and DL Brandon Mebane). Overthecap.com projects that the Seahawks are currently on track to receive two comp picks.
All of that could mean the Seahawks would still have seven draft picks in 2017 — the usual number.