Last month, an employee of NFL Network publicly identified the person who was believed to have blown the whistle on the Saints’ bounty system. Now, an employee of a TV station owned by Saints owner Tom Benson publicly has identified the person believed to be the source of ESPN’s report that Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis had the ability to eavesdrop on opposing coaches from 2002 through 2004.
We won’t mention the name of the suspected source of ESPN’s report here, because folks who come forward with potentially illegal activity deserve protection unless/until they come forward or they are proven to be lying. But we will mention that, according to the report from FOX 8, John Barr of ESPN sought out the suspected source, who had been fired by the Saints in 2007.
If the FOX 8 report is accurate, a curious twist to this story becomes whether and to what extent Barr encouraged the source to make a report of the activity to the federal authorities. The fact that the information was provided to prosecutors gives a layer of credibility to what otherwise would have been a report from ESPN based on allegations of wrongdoing that never had been reported to the appropriate law enforcement officials.