Already guaranteed another losing season, the Detroit Lions’ woes might be getting worse.
FOXSports.com has learned that the Kansas City Chiefs have filed tampering charges with the NFL against the Lions. The exact nature of the complaint wasn’t immediately known.
The league defines tampering as any interference with the employer-employee relationship of another franchise or any attempt by a club to impermissibly induce a person to seek employment with that team or the NFL itself.
If found guilty, the Lions could be fined and/or stripped of at least one draft pick.
One of the parties believed mentioned in Kansas City’s grievance is Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, who held the same position with the Chiefs from 2004 to 2008.
Cunningham made at least one public comment that could be constituted as tampering prior to this year’s free-agent signing period.
“(Kansas City) keeps wanting to dump their players. I would like to be there to catch a lot of them because I know a couple of those guys,” Cunningham told the Detroit Free Press in February.
The Lions didn’t sign any of Kansas City’s free agents. The only player currently on Detroit’s roster who played under Cunningham is backup defensive lineman Turk McBride. He was claimed off waivers in September 2009.
The NFL, the Chiefs and the Lions all declined comment.
FOXSports.com wrote last year about the issue of tampering and outlined specific examples that have occurred in the NFL.