Refs not seeking autograph of Buccaneers WR Mike Evans

A post-game interaction between two game officials and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans A request for signatures was not included, the NFL said in a statement on Tuesday.

Following the Buccaneers’ 21-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Video captured by 1340 AM Fox Sports Side judge Jeff Lambert and line judge Trip Sutter called Evans’ name. Evans wrote something on a card they gave him.

The collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association prohibits game officials from approaching players and coaches for autographs. Officials may obtain autographs and memorabilia for charitable purposes, but those requests must go through the league’s official department.

However, following conversations with the people involved, the league determined that Lamberth and Sutter did not ask for autographs. The league did not say why they called Evans or what was discussed during the conversation. In response to a follow-up question, an NFL spokesman said the league had no other details to share.

A request for comment from the NFLRA was not immediately returned.

The NFL statement did not mention discipline for either official, but the league added: “Both Lamberth and Sutter were reminded of the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety when interacting with players, coaches and club staff on game day — including pre- and post-game periods.”

Lamberth is in his 21st NFL season, and Sutter is in his fourth.

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