It looks like the Lions won’t quietly accept the NFL’s ruling that they tampered with former Kansas City safety Jarred Page before the 2010 season, a ruling that will cost them their seventh-round draft pick and 14 spots (from nine to 23) in the fifth round.
Coach Jim Schwartz, addressing the media at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday, indicated the Lions might appeal the ruling.
“I think that too much has been said about something that should be confidential,” Schwartz said. “I am disappointed so much has come out.
“But we have received that notification and I believe firmly in our case and that we reached the wrong conclusion in that. We still have some options we can pursue.”
The Lions have until Monday to file an appeal.
At issue was a comment made by defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham made during the 2009 season but printed in the Detroit Free Press last offseason.
The quote, published Feb. 14, 2010, read: “They keep wanting to dump players. I would like to be there to catch a lot of them, because I know a couple of those guys. … Some of those young kids I coached, I really believed they were going to be good players, and I know I’m right about that.”
Cunningham coached in the Kansas City organization for 19 seasons. It is believed he was talking about Page, who was involved in a contract dispute with the Chiefs at the time. He eventually signed with the New England Patriots.
The NFL indicated that the punishment doled out to the Lions wasn’t based solely on the quote. Goodell ruled that Cunningham’s actions amounted to “impermissible contact with a player (or his agent).”
“An appeal is one of our options,” Schwartz said. “But, again, I will leave it at that. Too much has been said about this already.”
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