An unidentified team has filed a formal complaint with NFL against the New York Jets, claiming an eight-player "Jets West Camp" organized in July by quarterback Mark Sanchez violated the league's offseason training rules because coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer attended a couple of sessions.
The Jets learned of the complaint two weeks ago, a team source said. A league spokesman had no comment but a source said the matter is still under review. The Jets had no official comment.
Ryan and Schottenheimer, who were in town for the Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in nearby Anaheim, did show up at Sanchez's former California high school, Mission Viejo, to observe a couple of skill-position workouts, which is a violation of guidelines for organized team activities, even though neither coach offered any instruction.
However, the NFL Players Association did not file any complaint -- which is the norm in offseason cases. Jets fullback Tony Richardson, a player representative and a member of the union's executive committee, was among those who participated in the workouts.
There was nothing secretive about the practices. In fact, the team-owned "Jets TV" documented some of the workouts, as did ESPN and the New York Post, without restrictions.
Clowney's first-person written account of his summer included prominent mention of the "Jets West" camp. He named all the players who attended and added, "and our offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer also came out."
The camp, and the appearance of Ryan and Schottenheimer, was further documented by various Twitter accounts that included photos.
If the league decides to take action, penalties could include a fine, the forfeiture of a draft pick or picks, or the loss of organized team practices next year, though the 2011 offseason may be subject to a lockout or work stoppage.
The league also may determine that there was no serious breach and simply issue a warning to the Jets.
Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst.