The NFL has confirmed to the News Tribune the news first reported today by ESPN’s Chris Mortenson that the league has penalized the Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll for practicing too hard this past offseason.
“The Seahawks will forfeit its first two days of on-field double practices during its 2015 mandatory minicamp for veteran players and will be permitted a single 2 ½-hour on-field practice session on the final day of its minicamp,” league spokesman Randall Liu wrote to me in an email this afternoon. “Seahawks players will be paid for the cancelled practice sessions. The violation was for permitting the club’s players to engage in excessive levels of on-field physical contact during the team’s 2014 mandatory minicamp for veteran players.”
A Seahawks spokesman responded to my request for comment with: “We will defer to the league.”
Carroll was fined, though it is unclear how much he has to pay of the NFL’s $300,000 fine to the Seahawks over this case.
The Seahawks had a mandatory veteran minicamp with media availability beginning on Tuesday, June 17 and running through June 19. This violation occurred then.
June 18 was the day wide receiver Phil Bates fought with cornerback Richard Sherman at an OTA practice.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and NFL.com, who was here at Seahawks camp yesterday, reports via Twitter that the “@NFL requested the tapes of their #Seahawks practices, which included a fight, deemed CBA violations to have occurred. They appealed & lost”
Article 22 of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with its players specifies that teams are allowed to have one mandatory minicamp that must happen during “phase three” of offseason workouts. Article 21, section II of the CBA specifies that “No live contact is permitted” during this phase. The CBA prohibits one-on-one or offense-versus-defense drills and pass-rush drills between offensive and defensive linemen.
“Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells (almost shoulder pads worn under practice jerseys in less-than-full-contact practices) are permitted,” the CBA states.
The irony here, if that’s the correct word, is that the Seahawks haven’t done any full contact in any of their training-camp or preseason practices. Coach Pete Carroll has stated his curiosity in seeing how his team tackles and is conditioning-wise during exhibition games this month, given they haven’t been hitting other than in interior line play during practices this preseason.