- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2003

The NFL will investigate possible tampering by the Washington Redskins, but a league source said it’s unlikely that a violation could be proved.

An SI.com report Saturday quoted Buffalo safety Lawyer Milloy saying that his agent contacted the Redskins before New England cut Milloy last week. Milloy added that “the Redskins gave us a bigger offer than the Patriots.”

Any contact between the Redskins and agent Carl Poston regarding Milloy or between Washington and Milloy directly would constitute tampering. Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato denied any such contact Saturday night.

Now the NFL will attempt to find out what really happened.

“We’re aware of the situation, and we’ll look into it,” NFL spokesman Greg Aeillo said last night by telephone.

However, a source who works in the league said it will be extremely difficult to prove any wrongdoing.

“Everybody involved will just deny everything,” the source said.

Investigating the charge will be the NFL’s player personnel department, which is headed up by Joel Bussert, the senior director of player personnel/football operations. The department is part of the NFL Management Council.

NFL rules state that a team cannot speak to a player or his representative while he is under contract with another club. If the player or his agent initiate contact, the team is not permitted to respond and is supposed to report the contact to the player’s club.

There is no timetable for the NFL to investigate the Redskins’ situation. Penalties can range anywhere from a reprimand to the loss of a draft pick.

Milloy signed Wednesday with the Bills for four years and $15million. The Patriots wanted him to take a paycut from $4.4million to reportedly $3million; instead, he will earn $7million this year in signing bonus and his new salary.

Washington was offering a bit more than $4million in the first year and a little more than $20million for five years overall.

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