Thoughts on Tampering Charge in Favre Case

The Green Bay Packers reportedly have accused the Minnesota Vikings of tampering with quarterback Brett Favre, and the league office is investigating.

In the past, this would be the sort of matter that probably would go away quietly. Tampering was easy to allege but difficult to prove, and there seemed to be a see-no-evil approach by the league office on the subject.

But these are new times, given NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's crackdown on violations of the sport's competitive rules in the aftermath of the Spygate scandal. In March, the league stripped the San Francisco 49ers of a fifth-round draft pick for tampering with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs.

In this case, the Packers reportedly are contending that Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell communicated improperly with Favre, who is under contract to Green Bay and is on the Packers' reserve-retired list. Bevell is a former Packers quarterbacks coach and is friendly with Favre, and it's possible that the Vikings could maintain that any conversations were personal in nature.

But there also has been speculation that Minnesota is a possible landing spot for Favre, who wants to come out of retirement and play this season, and the Vikings could be punished by Goodell and the league if it is determined that Bevell spoke to Favre about playing for Minnesota.

It's unlikely that the Packers would release Favre or trade him to a division rival, and Vikings Coach Brad Childress has said he's committed to Tarvaris Jackson as the club's starter at quarterback.

By Mark Maske |  July 17, 2008; 1:01 PM ET  | Category:  League , Packers , Vikings
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