On Friday, NFL spokesman Michael Signora said that an investigation is being conducted by the NFL to find out if there were text messages sent to the Browns’ sideline when games were being played, and online bookmakers wonder how the team will deal with this issue.
The sending of texts would violate the rules of the NFL that don’t allow communication to take place by means of electronic devices.
Signora didn’t speak further on the subject – only to say that the issue is being investigated by the NFL.
“We are reviewing internally and will fully cooperate with the NFL on this matter,” said a statement released by the team.
Even though it isn’t clear who was the one who sent those messages and who got them, a team source said that late in the season the messages were a discussion topic with coaches and some of the players.
The initial report was made by Cleveland.com, saying that the messages have been sent, and that it was one of the things that led former OC Kyle Shanahan to leave the Browns. He saw it as being front office interference with decisions regarding coaching.
Even though there were no texts that turned public, the source said that the messages concerned play calls and decisions involving personnel, something that is in clear violation of the team rules.
The rule for the league’s electronic devices says:
“This prohibition … applies to the use of any electronic communication devices, including but not limited to a cell phone, smart phone, tablet device, or any type of computer, whether online or stand-alone, including laptop and hand-held computers, in the coaches’ booths, on the sidelines, in the locker room (after kickoff), or in any other club-controlled area on game day beginning ninety (90) minutes prior to kickoff and continuing through the end of the game, including halftime (with the exception of League-issued tablets used for coaches’ still photos).
“Team doctors and members of the athletic training staff are permitted to use tablet devices, cell phones, smart phones, or similar devices within the bench area and locker room to communicate player injury information, but may not communicate competitive or strategic information.
“Club football operations staff members are permitted to use cell phones outside the coaches’ booths, bench areas, and locker rooms only when handling non-competitive and/or non-strategic communication.”
Browns fans and online bookmakers hope that this issue will be resolved in the best possible manner, and online bookmakers will see how it plays out.