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Dangerous Liaisons: Are NFL Players and Coaches Secretly Communicating During The Lockout?

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Mike Freeman of cbssports.com alleged just that on Monday of this week.

But, hey! There's a lockout going on, and players and teams are prohibited from communicating with each other. EXACTLY. That's what makes this such a deliciously interesting development.

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I was clued in to this morsel earlier this morning by a Mike Florio post on profootballtalk.com.

In it, Florio points to Freeman's initial story, Clark Judge's follow-up about the NFL's looking into the matter (which includes comments from league official Greg Aiello), and then Florio links to PFT's own previous conversation with Aiello about monitoring players and teams during the lockout (which stemmed from reports of a coach actually attending a player-organized workout).

Next up is the obligatory "of course they are!" former player response, provided here by NBC's Rodney Harrison.

Florio closes with a bold assumption and an assessment of how the NFL handles discipline (emphasis added):

It's hardly an isolated incident at this point. So how can the NFL punish one coach or team and not all who are breaking the rules?

It can't happen, and it won't happen. Like so many other forms of cheating, the NFL has nothing to gain and plenty to lose by letting the media, the fans, and ultimately Congress conclude that the sport is littered with cheaters. As a result, the league prefers to make a periodic example out of a team that was reckless and/or brash in its cheating, and to otherwise find a way to look the other way when it comes to tampering or other violations of the rules that technically amount to cheating.

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And now I put it to you, Canal Street Chroniclers: What's your take on this issue? Do you think illicit player-coach-team communication is occurring? If so, is it even all that big of a deal? How will/should the NFL handle it?