Analyst points toward potential whistleblower for Lions' OTA violation

The Lions likely aren't the only team who has violated no-contact rules at OTAs this year, and one analyst has pointed to a possible whistleblower.

On Friday night, the Detroit Lions announced they had been found to have violated no-contact rules at OTAs during the week of May 27. As punishment, they have forfeited one of their final OTA practices this coming Monday, June 10.

At a glance, losing an OTA practice when a big chunk of the team has already departed for summer break is not significant.

It's also fair to say the Lions are not the only team who has violated those collectively-bargained rules about no contact during OTA practices this year. Over the years, it's rare but not uncommon for teams to have violated those rules, and then been "punished" with a lost practice over the remainder of their OTAs.

Frankly, even without pads on, it's hard to practice football without touching each other. Any contact could be deemed as "too much" contact, though the wording in the CBA does allow for some (ex: hand contact during pass coverage, essentially as long as the receiver's route is not being impeded)

Analyst offers up potential whistleblower on Lions' OTA rules violation

On Saturday morning, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk offered up the obvious point that it can't be just the Lions who have violated the OTA rules about contact this year. But he went a little bit deeper into why the Lions specifically were found to have violated the rules, even if they were rightly reported for doing so if they did.

"Typically, the league and/or the union get involved when a player complains or when reports emerge of a scuffle during offseason work. As to the Lions, the fact that linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin also serves as the new NFLPA president raises the possibility that he blew the whistle. Which he absolutely should do, if the rules are being broken."
-Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

A player complaint about contact during OTAs would trigger action from the NFLPA, and there were a couple reports of scuffles during Lions' OTAs.

But the extra layer here is linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin being the new NFLPA president, so Florio pointing to him as a potential whistleblower is not a ridiculous thought. It's also possible another player talked to Reeves-Maybin about there being too much contact during an OTA practice, which would have also triggered action from the union.

No one, including Florio, is accusing Reeves-Maybin of being the whistleblower for the Lions being found to have broken OTA rules. If the rules were broken, there's a responsibility to report it no matter what.

The overriding point is this: It's highly unlikely the Lions are the only team to break the rules regarding contact at OTAs this year. They were just (at least up to now) the only team to get caught, whatever the background reason is.