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Did The Raiders Violate NFL’s Anti-Tampering Policy With Antonio Brown On Tuesday?

The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to trade wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders over the weekend and that deal won’t and can’t be made official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday. Brown, however, is already in Oakland and in a Tuesday morning Instagram video he said he was headed to the Raiders team facility to meet with members of the organization.

“Excited to get to the facility and meet all the coaches,” Brown said in his video. “Excited to see Mr. Gruden, working out with DC [Derek Carr] later at 12 o’clock.”

With Brown apparently headed to the Raiders facility, it seems as though such a trip wouldn’t be allowed under the NFL’s anti-tampering policy, which you can page through below. While I have yet to comb through all of the NFL’s anti-tampering policy, this paragraph below did jump out at me:

Using Another Club’s Facilities. It is prohibited for a club to allow a player who is under contract to (or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by) another club to use its facilities, whether on an informal or formal basis at any time. This includes use of club facilities such as weight rooms, training facilities, practice fields, running tracks, and the like.

With Brown’s trade not yet official, what would happen if he were to get injured while in the Raiders facility? While probably unlikely at this point, what if the Steelers wanted to renege on the trade with the Raiders for whatever reason?

I reached out to former NFL agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports on Tuesday to get his thoughts on Brown supposedly visiting the Raiders facility earlier in the day and I asked him if he knew if such a course of action being allowed in the NFL rules.

“I don’t think so since the trade isn’t official yet,” Corry told me. “Since he’s still technically a Steeler, they may have granted permission.”

So, perhaps the Steelers granted permission for Brown to go to the Raiders facility to meet with members of their organization and receive some sort of medical physical. That sounds plausible, right? However, I wonder if Brown would also be allowed to work out at the Raiders facility in any capacity prior to the trade being made official. What about throwing with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on the practice fields at the Oakland facility, assuming that’s where the two did it at?

We do know that the Steelers granted permission to the Raiders to talk to Brown and his agent Drew Rosenhaus as those discussions needed to be had to work out a new contract for the wide receiver after the two teams agreed on what the trade compensation would be. Was more permission needed and granted after that? I certainly don’t know for sure.

It will now be interesting to see if anything becomes of Brown’s Tuesday visit to the Raiders facility and if him doing so constituted any sort of illegal tampering.

Stay tuned.

7-2018 Anti-Tampering Policy-Clean Version
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