Lions might appeal draft penalties from tampering charges


Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

Indianapolis — Lions coach Jim Schwartz, addressing the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday, indicated the Lions might appeal the league’s ruling on tampering charges filed against them by the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I think that too much has been said about something that should be confidential,” Schwartz said. “I am disappointed so much has come out.

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“We have received that notification and I believe firmly in our case and that they reached the wrong conclusion. We still have some options we can pursue.”

The Lions have until Monday to file an appeal.

After a six-month investigation, the league ordered the Lions to forfeit their seventh-round pick in the 2011 draft and switch fifth-round picks with the Chiefs — losing the ninth pick and gaining the 23rd.

The tampering incident involved, at least partly, some comments made by defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham in reference to then-Chiefs safety Jarrad Page. Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled that the Lions made “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.”

Schwartz was also loathe to discuss the rehab of quarterback Matthew Stafford’s surgically-repaired throwing shoulder. Schwartz was asked if he was worried that a potential lockout might interrupt the rehab process.

“Our rehab schedule is the way it has been with all of our players and hopefully we will continue on that track,” he said. “You are talking about ‘if.’ We’re not counting on ifs. We are going ahead the way we did it in the past. I feel optimistic he’ll have a good rehab.”

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