Bleacher Nation NFL Insider Ian Rapoport broke down all of the cheating and hacks that have plagued the game over the past few years, and which teams are still using them.
The article begins with a quick look at the current state of the NFL.
While it’s not uncommon for a player to be suspended, or be suspended for multiple offenses, the NFL has been extremely secretive about its cheat tools.
That’s partly because, as RapopORT points out, the league “can’t be caught.”
As a result, the number of offenses that the league has reported to authorities (and which it hasn’t) is limited.
And with the exception of an off-field incident, no one knows exactly what players and coaches are using these tools for.
For instance, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has never commented publicly on whether his league has any cheating devices in its playbook.
That is, until now.
RapopORt said that the commissioner’s answer when asked about it was, “I don’t know.”
The NFLPA, however, is keeping tabs on the situation.
Rapaport wrote that “there are a lot of players that are using the cheats, so the question is, do they need to know?
Or does it make sense to keep a lid on it?”
According to RapopORSaid, there are a couple of possible scenarios:In the first, players could simply “use it to cheat,” in which case the league would not be able to catch them.
In the second, players might be “using it to break the rules, and that would violate the NFLPA agreement with the league, so they would be in breach of that agreement.
It is unclear what the penalties for both of these scenarios are.”
While the NFL is still secretive about what its cheating tools are, RapopORTSaid that the “NFLPA has made clear that it is willing to use them and that it will be willing to share information about them with the general public.”
RapopOrt added that the NFL’s use of cheating devices is “a major concern” for him, because of the “conflict of interest” that may be created.
The league could, for instance, “be complicit in the misuse of cheats by players, coaches, agents, or officials,” Rapop ORt wrote.
If players use cheats to cheat in order to help their teams win games, it could also be a violation of the agreement.
While Rapop has not been able to determine the actual number of NFL players using cheat devices, he has said that he’s aware of players using them in games that were decided by one or two points.
In addition, the cheat tool is not the only one used by NFL teams.
Rapiport also noted that there are two other types of cheating: “tweaks” and “blades.”
These “tweakings” can be used to “invert the rules of the game,” RapapORT wrote.
The tweak, for example, could make a player look more athletic, thereby making it harder to defend.
In the case of the first type of cheat, the cheating device “might be more dangerous than the real thing,” Rapoppor said.
For instance, if a team has a quarterback with an arm injury, the offensive lineman could be able “to cut the ball, but if a player gets hurt on a play, the quarterback will not be allowed to throw a football, and he can’t run the ball.
So the offensive linemen will have to protect the quarterback.”
A more subtle “blademember” could also result in a “big play,” he said.
The team could “cut the ball and run it in,” but “the quarterback will be able catch it.
And that might make the difference in a game.
So it might be better to let the quarterback have the ball for a big play instead of having to defend the quarterback.
The goal is to allow the quarterback to have the football.”
In all, Rapopport has said the cheat devices “have been used in games in which a quarterback has been injured.”
But he has also said that, at least “in the case where the offense was playing at the time, the player didn’t have the ability to run, and the quarterback was able to run a couple plays,” RapAPrAPOR said.
RapAPOR also noted a possible reason for the teams not using the cheat device.
“If the team is in a hurry to score, it might have an advantage,” he wrote.
“But if the offense is not in a rush to score the touchdown, the team will not have the option of using the hacks.
It could potentially cost them a touchdown.”
Follow Mike Griffith on Twitter at @MikeGriffithCSN.