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NFL investigating Browns for illegal messaging during games

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The NFL is looking into the Browns possible sending text messages to their sideline during games.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are once again a hot offseason topic for all the wrong reasons. The NFL is investigating if the team was sending illegal text messages on the Browns' sideline during games.

Though it seems minor, coaches and members of NFL organizations are not permitted to use phones in any manner during games while on the sideline. There is no word on who the alleged perpetrators were, nor why they would need to do this instead of using radio headsets.

Cleveland.com reported there were potential texts about play calling from someone in the Browns' front office to the sidelines during games. That seems absurd, but then again, with owner Jimmy Haslam, it wouldn't be impossible to foresee.

Here an excerpt of the report from ESPN:

The NFL is investigating whether text messages were sent to the Cleveland Browns' sideline during games, league spokesman Michael Signora told ESPN.com Friday.

Texting would be a violation of the NFL's rules prohibiting electronic communication during games.

Signora did not elaborate except to say the league is looking into the matter.

Though it's not clear who sent the messages and who received them, a team source said the messages were subject of discussion among some players and coaches late in the season.

And here is the NFL's rule on the use of text messaging ion the sidelines during games:

Unless specifically permitted by league rules, the use of cellular phones, smartphones, tablet devices, computers, wearable electronic devices such as Google Glass, and other electronic equipment by coaches, players and other club personnel is prohibited in club-controlled areas including, but not limited to, sidelines and coaches' booths.

These restrictions apply from ninety (90) minutes prior to kickoff through the end of the game, including halftime. Coaches, players, and other team personnel are permitted to use such electronic devices in the locker room prior to kickoff and are permitted to use league-issued Microsoft Surface tablets throughout game day for viewing coaches' still photos.