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Lions appeal tampering ruling

Gunther Cunningham

Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham yells at the team after the Lions gave up a touchdown in the second quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)


By all appearances, the Detroit Lions were caught red-handed in a tampering case involving the Kansas City Chiefs, based in part on the public comments of Lions defensive coordinator (and former Chiefs head coach and defensive coordinator) Gunther Cunningham. And the penalty imposed by the league office seemed more than reasonable, in comparison to the sanction levied against the 49ers several years ago for tampering with Bears linebacker Lance Briggs.

Nevertheless, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday, via Tom Kowalski of, that the Lions have appealed the finding, which resulted in the Lions losing a seventh-round draft pick acquired from the Broncos in 2010, and swapping spots with the Chiefs in round five.

With the 49ers losing a fifth-round pick and swapping spots in round three with the Bears for doing the same thing, the Lions should have faced a stiffer penalty for being one of the rare teams to be caught with hands pressed against the bottom of the cookie jar, and mouth full of baked butter, flour, eggs, baking soda, salt, sugar, yeast, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips.