Commissioner Roger Goodell cited San Francisco's "clear violation of policy" for his discipline against the ***** for tampering with Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs.
Goodell stripped the ***** of a fifth-round pick in the upcoming draft for early contact with the potential free agent, who wound up re-signing with the Bears.
He also ordered the teams to swap picks in the third round.
"Tampering charges normally are brought by clubs who believe they were grieved," he said Monday at the NFL owners meetings. "The Bears did that late last fall, we followed up on it and we came to a conclusion. It wasn't the ***** being made an example of anything -- in my mind it was a clear violation of policy.
"Any time you violate a tampering policy, that is egregious. If it is done during the season, that is even a different factor. If they improperly contacted the player or his representative, that is the only thing you need for a violation."