At the end of March, the Detroit Lions learned that Roger Goodell took another look at the tampering case against them and altered the punishment that went along with the guilty ruling. The Lions still have to swap fifth-round picks with the Kansas City Chiefs, but they no longer are without a seventh-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. That pick has been reinstated, and the Lions will instead be without a late-round pick in 2012.
We’ve learned that the Lions will lose a sixth-round pick in next year’s draft if they make the playoffs. They’ll lose a seventh-round pick if they miss the playoffs, for a 12th straight year. The league reasoned that this year’s pick was worth more because of the labor situation.
I don't quite understand the thinking behind putting a contingency like that on a punishment for tampering, but making up rules as they go is nothing new for the NFL.
With the Lions getting their seventh-round pick this year back, they now have six picks:
- Round 1, pick No. 13, overall pick No. 13
- Round 2, pick No. 12, overall pick No. 44
- Round 3, pick No. 11, overall pick No. 75
- Round 4, pick No. 10, overall pick No. 107
- Round 5, pick No. 23, overall pick No. 154 (originally had pick No. 9 in the fifth round -- the 140th overall pick -- but that now belongs to Kansas City as part of the swap of fifth-round selections)
- Round 7, pick No. 2, overall pick No. 205 (acquired from Denver as part of Alphonso Smith deal)