The Seahawks and Pete Carroll have been fined over $300,000 and the team will lose two Minicamp practices next season for "unsuitable" contact in a June practice. It's believed that the fight between Phil Bates and Richard Sherman spurred the NFL to take a closer look, and when they confiscated the Seahawks
Boner Jamz practice footage, found it to be overly physical. The investigators apparently determined that the Seahawks' coaching staff was encouraging too much contact.
These contact rules are in place to protect the players and are a part of the new CBA, and Seattle also got a slap on the wrist for a similar infraction back in 2012. Pete Carroll has said that he wants his team right there at the line -- adhering to the rules, but playing physical and aggressive and intense. Is there an explicit, observable line? Probably not. So, there's the conundrum.
In '12, Carroll noted that "The problem is we have nothing to go by in terms of looking at film. There's no illustrations that has been presented to us that we can see this is the standard." I'm not sure if that's still the case, but even if there is a 'guide' now, it's a very fine line.
Also, it seems that the media drives these investigations -- if there is a report of a fight, the union looks into things. The union and the league do not review all practices.
Back in 2012, Carroll said that due to an article that pointed out the Seahawks had a fight at practice, "We had a visit from one of the officials guys from the Players Association," Carroll said. "He watched our practice, he thought it was a good practice. But they went back and looked at some tapes of another practice that they thought was over the top. So we've asked these guys to compete and bust their tails to get everything we can out of these days, and in their eyes we took it to a physical nature that was too high of a level of intensity."