Jonathan Gannon explains tampering situation with Monti Ossenfort
The Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles settled a tampering investigation related to the hiring of Jonathan Gannon as head coach. The Cardinals self-reported impermissible contact between general manager Monti Ossenfort and Gannon before the hiring and, as a result, the Cardinals and Eagles agreed to a trade of draft picks.
The Cardinals had to give up the No. 66 pick in the draft in exchange for the No. 94 pick and a 2024 fifth-round selection.
Ossenfort briefly addressed it after the first round of the draft, saying it was a mistake and that he apologized to owner Michael Bidwill, but he did not offer any details as to what happened.
Gannon did on Tuesday when he spoke to reporters about the Cardinals’ draft class.
“Basically, after the NFC Championship game, Monti reached out and kind of said, ‘Hey, congratulations,'” he explained. “That he’s been to some Super Bowls, gave me a little advice about how to handle that, and said, ‘Look, we’re in the middle of a coaching search and don’t know how the timing of this is all going to shake out, but basically would you be interested in interviewing if the timing gets pushed back until after Super Bowl?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I would be.’ Then I didn’t hear about it until after the game that we played when (Eagles General Manager) Howie (Roseman) came up and talked to me about, ‘Hey, Arizona wants to interview you.’ It was a mistake that we made. I apologize for that and I’m looking forward to moving on now and getting going. That’s kind of the story on that one.”
The only reason why Ossenfort couldn’t speak with Gannon after the NFC title game was because the Cardinals had not already interviewed him once. Had they interviewed him before then, the contact would have been fine.
It would appear that Ossenfort did not completely understand the rule or overlooked it because it wasn’t an interview. It was simply a call to inquire. The two knew each other already.
It doesn’t make it right, but it was clearly nothing nefarious and it definitely would not have impacted Gannon’s preparation for the Super Bowl, as some have implied.
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