Lost in all the Eagles free agency activity on Wednesday is the news that the Chiefs were punished for illegally tampering with former Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. The NFL made Kansas City forfeit their third round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and sixth round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft along with fining the organization, head coach Andy Reid, and general manager John Dorsey. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt plans to appeal the penalty.
Assuming the appeal fails, however, and the charges stand, I would argue that the Eagles are due some kind of compensation. Now, it won't actually happen. The NFL would have already announced that if that was the case. So don't get your hopes up. But it SHOULD happen.
It's crazy to me that the Chiefs were allowed to put the Eagles at a disadvantage by illegally contacting Maclin and then Philadelphia gets nothing in return. They lost a player with the assistance of an illegal method by another team and all the NFL can say to the Eagles is "that's too bad, sorry." What kind of garbage is that? The Birds were clearly interested in keeping Maclin and he was still under contract with Philadelphia when the Chiefs illegally contacted him.
There's an historical precedent for teams being compensated for being the victims of illegal tampering. In 2011, the Lions lost a seventh round pick and were forced to swap fifth round picks with Kansas City for tampering. In 2008, the 49ers were forced to relinquish a fifth round draft choice and swap third round picks with the Bears for tampering with Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs.
A potential complication in this situation is that the Eagles pick ahead of the Chiefs, so a pick swap in the same round wouldn't really make sense. Still, the NFL should be able to figure out a reasonable punishment for the Chiefs that also compensates the Eagles in some fashion.
BGN's Dave Mangels pointed out that there is a flaw to my suggestion that the Eagles should get draft picks in return. He said it could be viewed as a sign-and-trade workaround. That's something I hadn't considered. My argument isn't bullet-proof. But I still can't shake the feeling that the Eagles were done a disservice here and the NFL is doing nothing about it for them.
So if you're reading this, NFL, shame on you. You totally owe the Eagles at least something. Make it happen.
UPDATE: As expected.
Per a league spokesman, the Eagles will not receive compensation (picks, etc.) as result of Chiefs/tampering ruling.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) March 10, 2016