Arizona coach Gannon, Philly GM Roseman address Cardinals’ tampering violation

May 2, 2023, 2:21 PM | Updated: May 3, 2023, 4:39 am

Jonathan Gannon...

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon admitted Tuesday that he made a mistake by discussing a potential job opportunity with his current club when he was still defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Just before the first round of the NFL Draft began on Thursday, the Cardinals lost draft compensation to the Eagles. The penalty came as new Arizona general manager Monti Ossenfort reached out to Gannon after Philadelphia won its NFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl LVII during a dead period for coaching interviews.

While Ossenfort apologized on draft night, Gannon had yet to be asked by reporters about his role in the self-reported tampering violation that saw Arizona lose the No. 66 pick in exchange for the Eagles’ No. 94 pick and a 2024 fifth-rounder.

Gannon and Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman spoke Tuesday about the tampering investigation for the first time.

“Obviously, it was a mistake and we own that,” Gannon told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke. “Right after the NFC Championship game, Monti had reached out and congratulated us and he’s been to a couple Super Bowls and gave me a little heads up of what that looks like.

“And you know, (he) basically just said, ‘Look, we’re going through a coaching search right now.’ Didn’t know the timing that everything would take place, and basically asked if I would be interested if the timing prolonged after the Super Bowl, (if) I would be interested in an interview and I said, ‘Yeah,'” Gannon added. “I know it was a mistake but we resolved it and we moved on.”

Roseman joined the 94WIP Morning Show and despite questioning by the show hosts kept the focus on his team.

He was asked if he was mad at Gannon interviewing against league rules.

“I’m mad that we’re talking about the freakin’ Super Bowl,” Roseman told co-hosts Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie. “I’m mad that I got to freakin’ go back to that moment, that we had a chance to win our second world championship and it drives me.

“All this other stuff, it doesn’t help us win games so we’ve got to move on from it and figure out the best way to win games. That was handled at the ownership level and at the league level and for me, I can only control what we can, which is adding as many good players and as many good people as we possibly can on this team.”

The hosts attempted to goad Roseman into showing frustration at Gannon’s exit from Philadelphia. The Eagles GM joked that there was no follow-up to the tough question.

“Here’s the follow-up: You’re mad at Gannon and you don’t want to say it publicly,” a host said.

“No, I did not say that, I did not say that,” Roseman responded.

Gannon had interviewed for the Houston Texans’ head-coaching opening during an allowed interview period but said he focused fully on his duties as Eagles DC leading up to the Super Bowl.

A story in The Philadelphia Inquirer painted a picture of a “furious” Eagles front office. It claimed the Cardinals conducted a Zoom interview rather than Ossenfort’s brief phone call with Gannon that included a mention of the job opening.

Obviously, Gannon has a different story of what happened, and other Philadelphia media members have pushed back against that interpretation.

Prior to taking the Arizona general manager position, Ossenfort had gotten to know Gannon a year prior. Then, he was in the Tennessee Titans’ front office but set out to learn about and get to know potential head-coaching candidates in case he would eventually earn a lead front office job in the future.

Ossenfort got that chance this hiring cycle, though the Cardinals were the last of the teams with an opening to make a hire official. Gannon was introduced to Arizona’s media as the new head coach on Feb. 16 and said he hadn’t expected to speak with the Cardinals until Roseman approached him after the Sunday Super Bowl loss at State Farm Stadium and was told he wouldn’t take the plane back to Philadelphia with his team.

“Howie approached me on Sunday night after the game and said, ‘Hey, you’re going to stay here. You’re not flying back with us. You’re going to interview for this job,'” Gannon said then. “That’s when I clicked this mindset (of becoming the Cardinals coach) in.”

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