Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

NFL: Officials did not ask Mike Evans for his autograph

Mike Florio and Chris Simms divvy up the blame pie for who’s at fault and for how much as it pertains to Tampa Bay’s disappointments so far, from Tom Brady to coaches to ownership and more.

Video of two game officials appearing to ask Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans for his autograph on Sunday sparked an investigation by the NFL and the league announced its findings on Tuesday.

Side judge Jeff Lamberth and line judge Tripp Sutter both approached Evans in the video and the wideout is handed a piece of paper and a pen. The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association says that officials shall not “ask players, coaches or any other team personnel for autographs or memorabilia” and that requests for items to be used for charitable purposes should be made through the league’s officiating department.

The league did not say what went on during the interaction, but that they found there was no request for an autograph.
“After speaking with the individuals involved, we have confirmed that the postgame interaction between Jeff Lamberth, Tripp Sutter, and Mike Evans did not involve a request by the game officials for an autograph,” the league said in a statement. “Both Lamberth and Sutter have been reminded of the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety when interacting with players, coaches, and club staff on gameday — including during the pregame and postgame time periods.”

As the statement notes, the optics of the video aren’t great for the officials or the league but it doesn’t look like there will be much more said about what happened on Sunday.