Following ‘The Code’

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My old Dallas Morning News colleague Todd Archer had a very interesting nugget in a column he penned on star receiver Miles Austin’s pending RFA status the other day …

Archer reports that back in 2006, when the Cowboys needed a kicker, then-Dallas coach Bill Parcells declined to pursue Adam Vinatieri — whom he brought into the league in the mid-90s as Patriots coach — in part due to ‘The Code’, which you may have heard about.

What’s ‘The Code’? In essence, it’s best described as an implicit agreement not to pillage a former co-worker’s establishment, and it’s said to be in place with several coaching trees, most prominently … Yup, the Parcells/Belichick family tree.

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It’s not hard and fast, of course. Last year, the Broncos brought in ex-Patriots LaMont Jordan and Jabar Gaffney in free agency, and that did little to poison Belichick’s relationship with Josh McDaniels.

But you do see it in many of the most important spots. Like with Vinatieri. Or like with McDaniels himself last year as a head-coaching candidate, when Scott Pioli got to Kansas City and looked elsewhere for his coach.

Just keep this stuff in mind when considering any free agents from the Broncos or Chiefs or Dolphins. These relationships do count for something.

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