The Detroit Lions will forfeit a seventh-round draft pick in the upcoming draft after the NFL ruled the team was in violation of the league's tampering rules.
The violation stems from comments made publicly by defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. Cunningham, after leaving the Kansas City Chiefs to join the Lions staff, said the Chiefs 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 according to the Detroit Free-Press.
Apparently, the team or Cunningham also had impermissible contact with safety Jarrad Page—who was eventually traded to the New England Patriots following a holdout—which may have been the impetus for the tampering charges to be filed with the league.
On top of losing their seventh-round draft pick, the Lions will also swap fifth-round picks with the Chiefs. This basically moves the Chiefs up half-a-round to the ninth slot in the fifth round and drops the Lions back to the 23rd. The Lions also are without a sixth-round pick.
In a league where an increased emphasis is placed on drafting smartly—especially for teams that are not free agent destinations—losing picks can have a potentially devastating effect on the team's offseason, especially if the potential lockout becomes a reality; in that scenario, draft picks will only be eligible to be traded for other draft picks.
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If a rebuilding team can't add draft picks before the collective bargaining agreement expires, they're just out of luck.