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NFLPA warns Saints players regarding possible criminal charges

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As the NFLPA deals with the inherent conflict between the interests of its constituents who funded and/or received payments from the Saints’ bounty system and players who were the targets of attempts at injury in exchange for cash, the union has taken steps to ensure that the men who are accused of participating in the bounty system will be properly represented, in any forum.

The Associated Press reports that the NFLPA has informed players of the possibility that criminal charges will be pursued.  In preparation for this possibility, the NFLPA has hired outside counsel to represent the players.

The union also has suggested that both an NFLPA representative and the lawyer be present for any interviews that may occur with NFL investigators.

On one hand, the union’s move can be interpreted as an exercise in extreme prudence and caution.  While plenty of speculation has occurred regarding possible IRS interest in undeclared income arising from bounty payments and the potential application of state or federal conspiracy, assault, and/or battery laws, there’s currently no hint of any forthcoming prosecution.  (That said, there’s a chance that a grand jury already has been secretly convened, or at least planned, for the consideration of indictments.)

On the other hand, the use of outside counsel and the sensitivity to criminal prosecution could be a strategy for stonewalling the NFL’s investigative and disciplinary process via the repeated assertion of the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in response to any specific questions regarding a player’s direct involvement in the three-year bounty program.

Regardless of the reason for the move, it highlights the gravity of the situation.

The league’s reports state that 22 to 27 defensive players were involved, and the only player mentioned by name is linebacker Jonathan Vilma, whom the league contends offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game.

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87 Responses to “NFLPA warns Saints players regarding possible criminal charges”
  1. schmokes says: Apr 2, 2012 6:40 AM

    But every team does it…and the media is just blowing it out of proportion, right Saints fans?

  2. everydayimfumbilin says: Apr 2, 2012 6:45 AM

    Locked up. Wont let me out. LOLSaints

  3. macbull says: Apr 2, 2012 6:48 AM

    Very sound advice from the players union…

    …there is no way to know where this can of worms, opened by Goodell, is heading for the players involved.

  4. thelomasbrowns says: Apr 2, 2012 6:56 AM

    Let’s see–white guys get a slap on the wrist, black guys get arrested. Sounds about right.

  5. sportsmeccabi says: Apr 2, 2012 7:00 AM

    So, how many accounts of solicitation to inflict great bodily harm can Gregg Williams be charged with?

  6. lawyermalloy says: Apr 2, 2012 7:07 AM

    Bring the local DA in and get them to offer immunity;the NFLPA’s strategy than falls apart!

  7. randy001 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:11 AM

    It should be interesting to see where the union finally comes down on the ‘inherent conflict.’ This would possibly have been a good time for the union to have taken an extremely low profile, especially with the possibility of criminal charges and IRS pursuit.

  8. drunkenjunk says: Apr 2, 2012 7:14 AM

    This is so stupid. I can’t believe this is even being considered.

  9. nflofficeadmin says: Apr 2, 2012 7:15 AM

    We all knew that some of our favorite players were criminals, we just didn’t think they were committing their crimes on the field.

  10. geniusesq says: Apr 2, 2012 7:20 AM

    Whatever. But, can they arrest George Zimmerman before arresting Johnathan Vilma?

    #Priorities

  11. samapoc says: Apr 2, 2012 7:21 AM

    Either the program was run by the coaches, who are already punished; or it was run by players. This whole punishment thing is out of hand. My company doesn’t offer bonuses, but if my coworker gave me one, would that really be a problem? Lol.

    Also, imagine a defensive player wanting to injure someone. Oh the horror!

    Should qb’s be punished for taking their linemen out to eat as a reward for not allowing sacks? Where does the bs end?

  12. jeremycrowhurst says: Apr 2, 2012 7:23 AM

    Maybe the credibility that comes from bringing in Parcells for a year isn’t as bad an idea as it seemed to be twelve hours ago….

  13. jimiinpa says: Apr 2, 2012 7:24 AM

    off wif their ‘edds

  14. nukaten says: Apr 2, 2012 7:25 AM

    Brett Favre’s been summoned to jury duty

  15. descendency says: Apr 2, 2012 7:25 AM

    I don’t understand criminal charges.

    What they did, if they were not paid, would have been legal.

    Conspiracy and whatnot requires that the act you commit actually be illegal.

    But, I understand that it’s really popular to hate on the Saints right now so I won’t question it too much.

  16. mornelithe says: Apr 2, 2012 7:26 AM

    @ Macbull: I’d argue the can was opened by Sean Payton an Greg William’s. Goodell is now forcibly closing it and welding it shut.

  17. winninitall says: Apr 2, 2012 7:28 AM

    I don’t think every team does it. I think some teams do it, but not all and it’s most likely not on a week to week bases where they actully fund an account with money all season for bounties.

  18. conormacleod says: Apr 2, 2012 7:28 AM

    More people blaming Goodell I see. Just like a convicted felon blaming his lawyer or the judge for being locked up. It’s everybody else’s fault I got caught!

  19. ravenator says: Apr 2, 2012 7:28 AM

    Saints fans are screwed

  20. giantssb42champs says: Apr 2, 2012 7:29 AM

    If Vilma us criminally investigated over the bounty, at least his “U” college mates can help guide him through the criminal process.

  21. nfl fan says: Apr 2, 2012 7:34 AM

    Go Get’em!

  22. bcore15 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:36 AM

    Every team does it but the saints are repeat offenders with more severity. They got caught. Everyone does spygate but the pats are the ones who suffer. Dont get caught or pay the consequences

  23. rpiotr01 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:39 AM

    NFLPA loves to say it’s a partner with the NFL when they’re talking about splitting up the money, but at the first sign of trouble for a player they jump on the other side of the fence and wave a picket sign.

    Are they going to retain legal services for those possibly victimized by the bounty program? Are they putting a top notch prosecutor on retainer for use by those players wishing to sue? Or is the NFLPA only interested in protecting the handful of players that eff up?

  24. bigwinintx says: Apr 2, 2012 7:40 AM

    Uh oh… The IRS and now the prosecutors from various cities where the activities took place?

    This won’t get any better for you Saints’ fans… Keep screaming that Payton got a raw deal. Your players on the other hand might want to swap places with him for a one year “vacation”.

    There are also Hall Of Fame repercussions as well; whose going to vote in a guy who knowing accepted money to tarnish the game?

  25. chatham10 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:42 AM

    I do not understand the advice Smith provides as he has said that the NFL has not provided him the information that these suspensions are based on. I guess he is trying to get his fellow lawyers some additional business.

  26. mhs8031 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:43 AM

    MACBULL–Can of worms Goodell opened? Really? What do you suggest he do?

    The Saints did injure people and took cheap shots that seemed like flagrant violations of the rules. Normally, these incidents would be considered a lack of discipline, a reactive and stupid, albeit spontaneous act.

    However, if it is proven that these players were acting in a premeditated plan to eliminate players from games by HURTING them, than any contact beyond the framework of the rules should be questioned and treated as assault.

    The Saints are trying to argue that nobody was seriously injured, that injuries happened within the context of the rules, etc. However, the fact that players participated in the program suggests that any injury was actually a premeditated attempt. If Farve wants to press charges, for instance, any suggestion that the injury was NOT planned and rewarded is going to be disputed. Hiring a hitman to kill your spouse is still a serious crime, even if the hitman was not successful. Goodell is more interested in the impact on the marriage than the law, but if the law gets involved, well, rock beats scissors.

    Finally, to all the Saints fans: I am sorry you have to go through this. Do not support the players and coaches, however. They will cost you dearly.

  27. starfan79 says: Apr 2, 2012 7:43 AM

    Meanwhile Ricky Williams gets an 8 foot bronze statue of himself put up outside UT’s stadium in Austin… The song “Don’t worry be Happy” just popped in my head

  28. bcjim says: Apr 2, 2012 7:46 AM

    I have honestly just about had it with Barney Fife Goodell and really, the whole NFL.

  29. skoobyfl says: Apr 2, 2012 7:47 AM

    Touching other players will soon be illegal, it’s all flag from here on out fellas. In other verboten news, they’re going to melt NHL ice because the surface is extremely hazardous because of the speeds it generates & fighting is permanetely banned.

    The whole world wants war & our US leagues want to stop the violence, in contact sports. Maybe Hello Kitty can sponsor the dress attire & Martha Stewart will handle all the baking sales.

  30. shempnet says: Apr 2, 2012 7:54 AM

    Vilma probably just kept on doing what he learned at “the U”

  31. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Apr 2, 2012 7:54 AM

    “While plenty of speculation has occurred regarding possible IRS interest in undeclared income arising from bounty payments ”

    Any person can give any other person $13k per year with no tax implications(i.e. tax free), so as long as it wasn’t more than that, it should be ok with the IRS, but obviously not so with the salary cap police.

  32. duanethomas says: Apr 2, 2012 7:56 AM

    Criminal chargers? That’s rich. Just show hard hits and tackles for the last 40 years and see if the jury can tell the difference in the so called “bounty” games. Even the suggestion of the IRS getting involved is a reach.

  33. packfaninchitown says: Apr 2, 2012 7:57 AM

    “Saints fans rally around Payton…”

    Yeah the Penn State students rallied around Jo-Pa for protecting a pedophile too…

  34. Max says: Apr 2, 2012 8:05 AM

    Anyone else see the slippery slope that this issue can become? Its already a damaging story, but this could potentially be the biggest story in sports by the end of the year, ok ok don’t shoot me I said potentially!!! I am sure right now, there is some hotshot class-action law firm that has their minions doing the case work right now to see if there is enough meat to go after the league, teams etc Lawyers will stroke the flames if they think a case is there, and they would attempt to unify retired vets and injured players as listed plaintiffs. This has Supreme Court Potential written all over it. Potential!!! Don’t shoot me.

  35. deadeye says: Apr 2, 2012 8:08 AM

    The NFLPA is in a tough spot here. On the one hand they would like to protect the Saints who are accused of this rule violation. But on the other hand, if the accusation is true, the potential victims are other players in the NFLPA.

    Hiring outside counsel is a smart move in this situation. And given that the motive for the NFL to be doing this is to reduce the risk of concussions, the NFLPA is going to be forced to side with the NFL on this one. I think they know it and are walking the tightrope of trying to represent all the players.

  36. ytsejamer1 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:22 AM

    Good luck getting ex or other current players not on the Saints to press charges. That’s never going to happen. They’d never do that.

    I suppose though, all it takes is one ex player who has no money left to come forward and try to get something. It’s smart for the NFLPA to be prepared to support their members.

    This is terribly stupid though…while they’re at it, they should start prosecuting players in the 80s, 70s, and 60s. I guarantee and Deacon Jones tried to hurt someone when he played. Lock the old man up!!!! *sarcasm*

  37. tv426 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:33 AM

    And just who was hurt by an illegal hit? Nobody that’s who!
    Lots of good hard LEGAL hits by the Saints over the years but that is football (or it is supposed to be).

  38. tropicpurple says: Apr 2, 2012 8:33 AM

    Things are fix’n to get even more ugly for the $aints. Lord help the NFL if the refs are somehow implicated for ignoring blantant fouls for cash.

    Far fetched you say? Really? Explain a two-time felon, non-member of the $aints (Mike Ornstein) getting a superbowl ring, coincidence?

  39. elks84 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:37 AM

    Imagine what would have happened if the Saints’ bounty program came to light last year at this time.

  40. falconsfan says: Apr 2, 2012 8:39 AM

    Again… Drew Brees knew NOTHING… right?

    Oh and by the way he hasn’t signed a contract yet either.

  41. infectorman says: Apr 2, 2012 8:46 AM

    Yeah, this scandal is right on the same level as Spygate.
    Ex-cons funding illegal operations, Tax-evasion, Assault and Battery, Conspiracy to commit Assault and Battery, Indefinite and Year long suspensions

    Uh huh…right..Right about the same level

    IDIOTS ( u know who you are)

  42. nathanbetz91 says: Apr 2, 2012 8:55 AM

    Isn’t it a little ridiculous that charges may be pressed on these guys for doing their jobs. seriously the news and the NFL is letting this get a little out of hand. and in addition to that if charges are going to pressed for unnecessary violence against players please throw James harrisons name into it to. He pretty much had a reverse bounty system by paying Roger goodell for knocking players out of games

  43. sschmiggles says: Apr 2, 2012 9:02 AM

    thelomasbrowns says:
    Apr 2, 2012 6:56 AM
    Let’s see–white guys get a slap on the wrist, black guys get arrested. Sounds about right
    ___________________________

    Yeah, the NFL totally let Sean Payton and Gregg Williams off the hook.

  44. kingfish4242 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:02 AM

    It would be pretty tough to win, I would expect. Assuming the hits were even close to legal, and usually even if they aren’t, NFL players don’t so much “give express consent” as they “assume the risk.”

    However, the cases that exist usually involve language like “without intent to injure” – that is, the player who made the hit didn’t expressly intend to injure, so it’s just part of the game. Cases include Hackbart v. Bengals: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=14488835934894621423&q=435+F.+Supp.+352&hl=en&as_sdt=2,19

    I’d imagine that being able to prove that the player intended to injure would be the big part. If they can prove intent to injure and that the hit was made specifically to injure the plaintiff… yeah. Theoretically they could win. I think proving intent to injure on a specific play would be pretty tough, though.

    Ok, here you go guys and girls. This is the answer I received when I asked a real criminal defense lawyer. Take it For what it’s worth.

  45. kingfish4242 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:06 AM

    Jay Bilas basically just said the same thing on the Mike and Mike show. Proving it would be almost impossible. It’s basically part of the game which is a violent sport by nature.

  46. vikingdoode says: Apr 2, 2012 9:15 AM

    ravenator says:
    Saints fans are screwed

    ———————————————————-

    Personally think ALL fans are screwed because it “taints” the pure competition of the game in its self. Now on every vicious hit were all going to think well wonder how much under the table money he got.

  47. riverhorsey says: Apr 2, 2012 9:16 AM

    This can of worms was opened by the Saints and only the Saints.

    Force the sale of the Saints, move the team and change the name.

  48. blondebombr says: Apr 2, 2012 9:20 AM

    @samapoc

    ‘My company doesn’t offer bonuses, but if my coworker gave me one, would that really be a problem? Lol.’

    Well, if the bonus was $10,000 cash payment for taking out a rival company’s employee, then I’ve got to say, yes. Yes that would be a problem.

    With both the IRS and the criminal courts.

  49. abninf says: Apr 2, 2012 9:33 AM

    Who dat!

  50. harrisonhits2 says: Apr 2, 2012 9:40 AM

    “descendency says:
    Apr 2, 2012 7:25 AM
    I don’t understand criminal charges.

    What they did, if they were not paid, would have been legal.

    Conspiracy and whatnot requires that the act you commit actually be illegal.”

    Not hard to understand at all. There is a difference between trying to tackle someone or hit them hard enough to cause some pain and intentionally injuring them such as intentional late low hits.

    If I paid another PFT poster to injure you, that would be conspiracy and assault or something along those lines. And that’s exactly what the Saints were involved in. It was despicable and criminal charges should be filed against them.

  51. marthisdil says: Apr 2, 2012 9:41 AM

    Here’s how it goes down:

    Goodell asks Vilma “did you participate in the bounty program?”

    Vilma says “I plead the 5th”

    Goodell then says “Ok, you’re banned for life”

    Vilma says “OK, I appeal”

    Appeal happens

    Appeal head asks Vilma “did you participate?”

    Vilma says “I plead the 5th”

    Appeal head says “ok, you’re still banned moron”

  52. justafanofitall says: Apr 2, 2012 9:53 AM

    The NFLPA needs to take a hard look at what they want to do. If the players are being wrongly accused (no evidence) defend them. But if they are guilty as charged…the should be prosecuted to the tilt and the NFLPA only should be involved to assure fairness in sentencing. Why would the NFLPA want to try and get these players charges dropped….what does that tell our young people. Football is a violent game only to the extent that we let it be.

    I believe the official should be doing their job in penalizing the team during the game and ejecting players. It may not stop all the bounties but if you penalize the illegal hits and fine them heavily it will go a long way to stop it. 2009 NFC Championship game got out of hand…the official did not do their job. They should be penalized as well.

  53. dexterismyhero says: Apr 2, 2012 10:03 AM

    @notsuchageniusesq says:Apr 2, 2012 7:20 AM

    Whatever. But, can they arrest George Zimmerman before arresting Johnathan Vilma?

    #Priorities
    ==================================
    Really? C’mon, keep with the story above.

    BTW_ Is that Jonathan Vilma’s cell to be?

  54. mjkelly77 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:04 AM

    If someone is guilty, they can always plead the 5th Amendment. In this case, there will be a lot of Saints players pleading the 5th.

  55. mjkelly77 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:04 AM

    If someone is guilty, they can always plead the 5th Amendment. In this case, there will be a lot of Saints players pleading the 5th.

  56. oxfordthecat says: Apr 2, 2012 10:06 AM

    I had been wondering about this for a while now…

    … if McSorley can be brought up on assault charges from an incident during a hockey game, why aren’t people that were paid to intentionally injure someone subject to criminal charges as well?

    Personally, if anyone is going to be brought up on charges, I’d like to see them start with the coaching staff rather than the players.

  57. dayumyou says: Apr 2, 2012 10:09 AM

    Ha Ha Ha…one question for u aint’s:

    will it be paper or plastic this year???

  58. hooahitsnotatomthing says: Apr 2, 2012 10:20 AM

    This is completely a waste of time. They can move to file charges against these players, but that means they have to stand trial. As mentioned above, they will all plead the 5th and the prosecution will have a damn hard time trying to prove the players intentionally went after the player. This will be a quagmire.

    In the big scheme of things, this is pretty stupid though. Why couldn’t this much media attention be pointed towards the death of our federal officers by guns trafficked under the supervision of our ATF and, our glorious Attorney General, Eric Holder?

  59. macbull says: Apr 2, 2012 10:31 AM

    mhs8…

    Whether you like it or not…the players played the game “on the field”, within the rules of the game.

    Did they not?

    If a player is too aggressive, they are flagged by the officials whose job it is to redure a decision and exact the punishment at the time of the foul. A player can get tossed out of the game and his team penalized if the officials rule.

    I see Goodell as the worst commissioner the NFL has ever had because he is determined to take “hitting” out of the game.

    How many Saints players were flagged by the officials?

    As for your claim that the Saints players had a “premeditated plan” to hurt their opponents (players)…welcome to “tackle” football !

    I played football and every time I stepped on the field, I had a “premeditated plan” to hurt the individual who was trying his damndest to hurt me. See that is kind of the way it is for football players…you either play aggressively or you are hurting from taking a beating or possibly out of the game due to injury.

    To play the game of football, you must be aggressive and what I see Goodell doing is trying to take the aggressive nature out of the game…selectively targeting individuals and now, groups of individuals who happen to play the game the way they were taught to play the game.

    My high school coach told every member of the team on the first day of practice…during a game, the first play can be the most important play of the game…our coach wanted all his players to hit the guy across from them, as hard as they could, to send the message that our team was going to lay it on them.

    None of us ever worried that we might hurt our opponent and that is the way the game should be played. On every play, I tried to hit my opponent as hard as I could and if he got hurt, so be it.

    Just look at where Goodell has taken the game…you are talking about Favre possibly pressing charges because he was hit during the Saints game…that is crazy. The idea that a Saints player can play the game according to the rules on the field, but now has to worry about someone filing a lawsuit because Brett Favre may have been injured during the game. I never thought I would see a commissioner steer his sport down this avenue, setting this kind of precedent.

    As for the bounty thing…that was wrong and those responsible for initiating the program should be held responsible. But when it comes to legal or illegal play on the field, by the players…that is determined by the game’s officials…not by the commissioner.

    What Goodell has done to the players, is install himself as another official with unprecedented powers to exact punishment well beyond levels the game has ever seen for officials or commissioners ..and that is very bad for NFL Football, IMO.

    Every decision/punishment Goodell involves himself in, can be traced back to “the hitting” that occurs when playing tackle football. Just what drives this man, I can’t say, but I have never seen another commissioner like him, in any sport.

    Fans need to decide what they want…touch football, flag football, Goodell football, or good old fashioned “football”, without the extra official on the field.

    Goodell is the owners problem now…they voted him in and they can vote him out.

    No doubt about it, Goodell opened this can of worms.

  60. cwmorga says: Apr 2, 2012 10:42 AM

    bwahaha! There won’t be charges. Keep dreamin!

  61. bigredscouting says: Apr 2, 2012 10:43 AM

    If this happens, it will open the floodgates and change football into a sport where I will likely stop watching. Football is a violent game. When you try to split hairs and incriminate players in a violent game, it will change the sport forever. Whoever does try lawsuits, I will lose all respect for them. And I hope they lose their careers on a clean hit. That’s what you deserve for trying to imprison another player. Say what you will about the bounties, but the majority of the hits were clean regardless if their was extra cash for taking a player out. My goodness, look at what Roger Goodell has done to this league.

  62. geo1113 says: Apr 2, 2012 10:47 AM

    @hooahitsnotatomthing,

    While I agree with you about the lack of light being shined on the whole fast and furious debacle, this is the sports media.

    As for pleading the 5th, if the prosecution has enough evidence to indict, failure to refute that evidence could result in conviction. If the NFL has evidence, the DA will have it.

  63. erod22 says: Apr 2, 2012 11:05 AM

    Who dat say dey gonna beat dem charges?

  64. xxsweepthelegxx says: Apr 2, 2012 11:06 AM

    @macbull says:
    None of us ever worried that we might hurt our opponent and that is the way the game should be played. On every play, I tried to hit my opponent as hard as I could and if he got hurt, so be it.

    This is the key paragraph in your crazy long rant (I can’t believe I got down this far, geez…).

    You didn’t “worry” if you hurt the other player. “if he got hurt, so be it.” Those are very different than what the Saints (and other teams probably) players are accused of doing.

  65. dannersthemanners says: Apr 2, 2012 11:13 AM

    Someone broke my window last night. My neighbors said it was aliens from outer space. I asked several neighbors and that’s what they all said. Therefore, by Goodells’ logic, I should levy a year long suspension on aliens and fine anybody that helped the aliens break my window. When the aliens appeal, I will say, “clearly these aliens from outerspace lied to us all.”

  66. mn62980 says: Apr 2, 2012 11:16 AM

    Lest we forget, the NFL aggressively fought to maintain its standing as one corporate entity…not 32 individual ones. If the Saints get investigated by the law, I believe that the entire league should be investigated by the law. I personally would love to see that happen. Maybe then all of you sanctimonious fanboys and homer media types may actually realize that yes, the whole league DOES in fact engage in bounty programs. Your team is just better at covering it up than the Saints. If you like football, maybe you should stop rooting for the downfall of the Saints, because that would just open the flood gates…just sayin.

  67. cedarstrength says: Apr 2, 2012 11:18 AM

    Either the program was run by the coaches, who are already punished; or it was run by players. This whole punishment thing is out of hand. My company doesn’t offer bonuses, but if my coworker gave me one, would that really be a problem? Lol.
    _____________________________________
    No but if a Co-worker gives you a bonus for taking out your boss, then yeah it’s a problem. There should be penalties for players putting other players careers in jeopardy on purpose. Accidents happen but this was too far.

  68. mn62980 says: Apr 2, 2012 11:20 AM

    Besides, the only difference between James Harrison and John Vilma is that Harrison paid taxes on the money he got paid to injure and maim people.

  69. hooahitsnotatomthing says: Apr 2, 2012 11:35 AM

    @geo1113

    I completely agree with you. I just don’t see how the prosecution is going to be able to say that the saints players were not “just playing the game.”

    I think that they will not be able to prove without a reasonable doubt the hits were malicious and intent to do harm more than any other hit.

    I am a bears fan and am not defending what the saints did as right. I just don’t think they will get a conviction out of this case.

  70. daysend564 says: Apr 2, 2012 11:41 AM

    It’s great that the NFLPA is paying for their lawyers. The guys that made money on targeting players are getting their defense paid with the union dues of the guys that were getting targeted.

  71. harry1941 says: Apr 2, 2012 11:57 AM

    Some of the defensive players that were involved,played for Balimore. Mark Sanchez was hit from behind in 2010 by some defensive player using the helmit has a batting ram.

    J-e-t-s Jets Jets Jets

  72. orcheon says: Apr 2, 2012 12:09 PM

    As for your claim that the Saints players had a “premeditated plan” to hurt their opponents (players)…welcome to “tackle” football !

    ———————————–

    There’s a difference when your plan is to intentionally injure someone.

    They were not thinking “I need to hit him as hard as I can so that he will be unable to score a Touchdown.” They were (presumably) thinking “I need to hit him as hard as I can so that he will never walk again.”

  73. dvdman123 says: Apr 2, 2012 12:10 PM

    Criminal charges for what?
    This is really getting to be ridiculous.

  74. dvdman123 says: Apr 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    I nominate the post below for “Post Of The Year”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    dannersthemanners says:
    Apr 2, 2012 11:13 AM
    Someone broke my window last night. My neighbors said it was aliens from outer space. I asked several neighbors and that’s what they all said. Therefore, by Goodells’ logic, I should levy a year long suspension on aliens and fine anybody that helped the aliens break my window. When the aliens appeal, I will say, “clearly these aliens from outerspace lied to us all.”

  75. raiders757 says: Apr 2, 2012 12:24 PM

    This is just getting even more ridiculous by the day.

  76. northshoresaint9 says: Apr 2, 2012 12:25 PM

    …No 1 is going 2 b prosecuted. Suspended, yes.

    ***WHO-DAT’?!!!***

    Just get Brees happy & the Saints will still make the playoffs. Period!

  77. geo1113 says: Apr 2, 2012 12:38 PM

    @hooahitsnotatomthing,

    I agree that it would be tough to convict. But I wouldn’t want to be Jonathon Vilma in front of a jury.

  78. wetpaperbag3 says: Apr 2, 2012 12:45 PM

    Damn…can we get a “Hard Knocks” this year with the Saints? Now THAT would be “Must See TV!”

  79. andyreidisfat says: Apr 2, 2012 1:08 PM

    First ( cuz I know lots of you morons read this stuff like its fact). Unions always do this type of thing. It is their job to protect its players and look at every possibility. There will be no charges filed in this case as far as criminal charges.

    What can happen is an IRS investigation. An example is if Vilma did pay someone 10 grand then that player would have had to report that money as earned income. This isn’t that big a deal as the player most likely would just pay a small fine and the taxes owed + interest

  80. redgreen3b1 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:31 PM

    Pure BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so F’N sick of this & Goodell & anything else associated with the bounty program. Every defensive player is paid 2 go out & hurt the other team. It’s all stupid. In my opinion. It’s just part of sport in general. Pro anyway.

  81. kingfish4242 says: Apr 2, 2012 3:20 PM

    andyreidisfat says:
    Apr 2, 2012 1:08 PM
    First ( cuz I know lots of you morons read this stuff like its fact). Unions always do this type of thing. It is their job to protect its players and look at every possibility. There will be no charges filed in this case as far as criminal charges.

    What can happen is an IRS investigation. An example is if Vilma did pay someone 10 grand then that player would have had to report that money as earned income. This isn’t that big a deal as the player most likely would just pay a small fine and the taxes owed + interest

    ————————————————

    Why do people keep implying the IRS is going to get involved?

    Did everyone just skip over the post above that said a person can give up to 13 grand a year as a tax free gift? How do you think rich people make sure their kids get as much money as possible without paying taxes? Have any of you read the inheritance tax laws?

    These bounty payments fall under the gift tax laws. Those laws are also very vague and full of loopholes. Rich people take advantage of those loopholes all the time because they can afford a good tax lawyer and an estate manager.

    Any Tax lawyer worth his salt would easily beat these bounty payments if they ever made it to court.

  82. randygnyc says: Apr 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    Federal RICO charges. A criminal enterprise. Payton gonna do some time in the big house.

  83. holdthemayo123 says: Apr 2, 2012 5:29 PM

    I’m pretty sure the NFL investigation showed cash for performance, something that absolutely would not be covered in the gift tax exclusion

  84. kingfish4242 says: Apr 2, 2012 5:46 PM

    holdthemayo123 says:
    Apr 2, 2012 5:29 PM
    I’m pretty sure the NFL investigation showed cash for performance, something that absolutely would not be covered in the gift tax exclusion
    ————————————————-

    Nope, those payments would fall under the gift tax laws. That’s common knowledge and reported by many media outlets including NFLN and ESPN.

  85. Deb says: Apr 2, 2012 6:49 PM

    I’d like to see the coaches go to jail before the players–Payton first since he’s the one who cut the money deal with the felon and he’s the one making a mockery of the whole thing with his “Free Payton” t-shirts. What a dog!

  86. kodakinvegas says: Apr 3, 2012 12:38 AM

    The Saints will have so many microscopes up their butts they’m have to go on injured reserve. You guys hit the BIG TIME little buddies. Couldn’t happen to a better group of guys!

  87. kodakinvegas says: Apr 3, 2012 1:47 AM

    You are missing it…. It’s not about Vilma or Favre, or even Goodell. This is a privately funded multi-billion dollar industry the congress would LOVE. To get their hands on. Attorneys, ambulance chasers, money boys, money. The BIGGEST motivator known to man and the NFL is rolling in it with NO government intervention. Think Pete Rose, fines, gambling, hidden cash flows, etc. $$$$$$$$$ Lots of it. This will put hungry eyes on raw meat! Watch and see

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