Following a detailed investigation and a hearing, Commissioner Roger Goodell has determined that the San Francisco 49ers violated the NFL Anti-Tampering Policy by contacting the agent for Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs during the 2007 season without the Bears' permission.
The Bears had filed tampering charges against the 49ers to initiate the proceeding. The Bears re-signed Lance Briggs at the beginning of this year's veteran free agency signing period.
Commissioner Goodell decided on the following disciplinary action to resolve the matter:
-- San Francisco will forfeit its fifth-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft.
-- Chicago and San Francisco will switch third-round selections in the 2008 Draft. As a result, Chicago now will have the seventh selection of the third round and San Francisco will have the 12th selection of the third round.
Commissioner Goodell noted that both the 49ers and Bears fully cooperated with his investigation and hearing.
"The 49ers organization respects Commissioner Goodell's ruling today, however we do disagree with it," said 49ers General Manager Scot McCloughan. "This was not a malicious act; we believe that our intent was within the NFL guidelines. Going forward, we will take the necessary steps to ensure we are in compliance with the NFL's interpretation."