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Player denials highlight Gregg Williams’ role in appeal process

former-new-orleans-saints-defensive-coordinator-gregg-williams-allegedly-orchestrated-a-bounty Getty Images

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has confessed to administering a bounty system, accepting without appeal his indefinite suspension.  When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell considers Williams’ request for reinstatement after the season, Goodell “will give close attention to the extent to which Coach Williams cooperates with the NFL in any further proceedings.”

That broad term presumably includes appeal hearings conducted in connection with player suspensions.  Given that both Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Saints defensive end Will Smith have strongly denied funding the bounty pool, testimony from Williams regarding the NFL’s assertion that Vilma and Smith “assisted” Williams with the establishment and funding of the bounty pool will go a long way toward confirming the NFL’s position via the appeal process.

For Williams, that’s a problem.  He can’t return to the NFL unless he cooperates with “further proceedings,” but if that cooperation consists of testifying against his players in New Orleans, players in St. Louis or elsewhere may be even less inclined to respond to him.

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59 Responses to “Player denials highlight Gregg Williams’ role in appeal process”
  1. rudwo says: May 2, 2012 9:00 PM

    Your career is over Greg Williams.

  2. warrenmoon says: May 2, 2012 9:03 PM

    He was mediocre to above average to begin with

  3. shrike3000 says: May 2, 2012 9:06 PM

    As long as he tells the truth I am good with whatever he has to say. Just tell the TRUTH.

  4. majbobby says: May 2, 2012 9:07 PM

    Keep it up NFL and Commish. Clean up this league these guys are supposed to be role models right?

  5. mdd913 says: May 2, 2012 9:07 PM

    Roger Goodell wrote Gregg Williams apology. This is not a secret and has been well-documented.

    I couldn’t give a crap about Gregg Williams career, I want this shady commissioner exposed for the liar and fraud that he is.

  6. reaser2 says: May 2, 2012 9:10 PM

    Seems like a problem with the league holding his future in their hands.

    Let’s say Vilma didn’t actually do anything;

    does Williams say the truth or does he lie and say Vilma was involved because that’s what he thinks the league wants to hear, thinking it would help him be reinstated quicker?

    Would be hard to believe him either way, regardless of the truth. He has too many angles to play, protect former players, make Goodell/league happy, etc

  7. bucfandango says: May 2, 2012 9:11 PM

    “Let em eat cake”

  8. arlingtonsynn says: May 2, 2012 9:13 PM

    His career is dead no matter what.

    Suspension is completely worthless at this point. No way can this man command respect from defensive players.

    Here is what happens if he ever returns:

    Every legitimately hard hit his players dish out in the future will be followed by an article from some blogger about whether that hit was proof of the existence of a new bounty scheme. Then someone will ask John Harbaugh if that hit should have an asterisk. Then someone will ask Drew Brees if he saw it (his face got in the way). Finally Brett Farve articles return.

    For the love of all sports journalism, please let this man never coach again!

  9. wludford says: May 2, 2012 9:13 PM

    Greg Williams tell the whole truth about every single player, or his suspension is for life. period.

  10. jcbadger34 says: May 2, 2012 9:17 PM

    Gotta love Saints fans. They continue to deny that any bounty system existed……even as the guy with the stiffest punishment, accused of running the whole thing, confessed and is taking his punishment like a man.

    They think that Williams is lying…..yet they can’t provide a single logical reason why he would have been lying this whole time.

    Apparently, they all think Williams walked into NFL Headquarters and said, “Why yes, Commissioner Goodell! You should kick me out of the league for doing something that I never did! Fantastic idea! I’ll just admit to breaking all these rules and end my career in football, all to give you a scapegoat, even though I never broke any rules!”

    I guess this is what you get from the dreadful education system in Louisiana.

  11. shrike3000 says: May 2, 2012 9:18 PM

    @reaser2

    That’s my problem with the whole idea of taking Williams testimony as fact at this point. He has motivation to lie, one way or the other. On one side is Goodell holding his future in his hand on the other is a sense of loyalty. There is no way to know if he is telling the truth.

  12. wunsa says: May 2, 2012 9:18 PM

    Bounty & Pay-for-performance – two different things…try to get it right for a change.

    And GW is so credible right now with Goodell holding a gun to his head, while writing his statements for him to sign…

  13. realitypolice says: May 2, 2012 9:20 PM

    He can’t do that and Goodell shouldn’t ask him to.

    He might as well just ban him for life if he does because Williams will never get another job coaching if he gets up at a hearing and rats out players.

    I am NO Greg Williams fan, but even I think expecting him to do this in exchange for getting his suspension lifted is over the line.

    No player would ever play for him again.

  14. wunsa says: May 2, 2012 9:20 PM

    mdd913 says: May 2, 2012 9:07 PM

    Roger Goodell wrote Gregg Williams apology. This is not a secret and has been well-documented.
    _________________________________
    I’ve not seen this anywhere…link?

  15. skoobyfl says: May 2, 2012 9:27 PM

    Seemed like a good enough guy in Buffalo, until we lost too much.

  16. kenny3398 says: May 2, 2012 9:28 PM

    Thank god he is no longer coaching for the saints and is no longer are problem.Sorry ST Louis Ramsthat yall got the short end of the stick..Thanks for giving us Steve Spagnuolo though.Who Dat!!!

  17. tropicpurple says: May 2, 2012 9:29 PM

    “Methinks thou dost protest too much.”

  18. ttommytom says: May 2, 2012 9:29 PM

    Joseph Heller wrote a book about it called “Catch 22″.

  19. letmesetyoustraight says: May 2, 2012 9:35 PM

    Anybody expecting the TRUTH from Gregg Williams is naive. He is lying scum out to save his own a$$.

  20. genericuser8888 says: May 2, 2012 9:36 PM

    If Williams ever wants to coach in the NFL again, he’s got to comply with the NFL’s wishes.

    I mean, even if the league has real evidence, it can’t be good when your star witness has his entire career riding on the line. The man will say whatever he has to to get his job back and keep Goodell happy. I’m not sure that he’s a credible witness. Especially after “lying to the league” for three years. It doesn’t look good when your star witness is a self-confessed liar.

    If Sean Payton wants to make back a few million of his salary this year, all he’s got to do is “comply” with the league in the investigation. …these sorts of arrangements make the league look bad. I don’t think they should engage in these practices where they suspend people, then promise them money or time back if they will just “comply”. Sometimes this is done at criminal court, but I’m still not sure it makes for the best witnesses.

  21. alldonesmith says: May 2, 2012 9:38 PM

    I’ve seen a lot of uneducated Saints fans (no big surprise) screaming at the top of their lungs about “innocent until proven guilty” in these articles. As a lawyer (and thus someone qualified to actually understand those terms), let me explain to you Saints fans why you are completely misusing them:

    The reason the standard of guilt in criminal cases is “beyond a reasonable doubt” and the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is so important is that the potential price of getting it wrong is the wrongful conviction of an innocent man or woman, and that person’s incarceration and loss of freedom. In plain English, if they get it wrong you go to jail. That’s a huge deal, and that’s why our society would rather let ten criminals go free than convict one innocent person.

    In civil cases, the burden of proof is much lower: all you need is a preponderance (simple majority, ie 51%) of the evidence to find in favor of one party or another. That’s because the potential price of being wrong isn’t incarceration, it’s money. Money that can be replaced. Although it sucks when the jury finds for the wrong party, that’s the reality of human existence: we’re not perfect, and sometimes we get things wrong. That doesn’t mean we don’t try.

    This case is clearly MUCH more similar to a civil case than a criminal case. In fact, the penalty for being wrong is even LOWER than your average civil case because most civil judgments completely wipe out the losing party’s savings. Even if the suspensions hurt the players’ marketing potential, they are all obscenely rich and honestly I feel less than zero sympathy for them in that regard.

    So basically, the controversy comes down to this: who do you believe? Because whoever you believe clearly has at least 51% of your confidence, and that’s good enough for a court of law. Clearly, a rational person believes the side that has signed statements from two coaches, the GM and a player that was involved, all of whom lied about it until they were presented with concrete evidence that made them realize it was pointless to lie anymore.

  22. bigbeefyd says: May 2, 2012 9:40 PM

    mdd913 says:May 2, 2012 9:07 PM

    Roger Goodell wrote Gregg Williams apology. This is not a secret and has been well-documented.

    **********************

    Show us the documentation please?

  23. billybatty says: May 2, 2012 9:40 PM

    “The wheels on the bus go round and round” as Greg throws them under.

  24. fumblenuts says: May 2, 2012 9:40 PM

    Mark it, as this unfolds…..players will be thrown under the bus by Gregg Williams.

    He wants to coach again……………

  25. mjkelly77 says: May 2, 2012 9:40 PM

    How about he just tells the truth. Players, coaches, the NFL and fans should all respect that.

  26. pfpjschulz says: May 2, 2012 9:41 PM

    Does anyone else think Gregg Williams looks like someones lesbian Grandma?

  27. thetooloftools says: May 2, 2012 9:43 PM

    The tape says it all. Hurt people. Cut off the head. Break knees and twist ankles.
    W R O N G
    I commend The Commish for dropping the HAMMER.
    He has stones that drag on the ground.
    Bounties for INJURIES is inexcusable.
    They all deserved what they got.

  28. mjkelly77 says: May 2, 2012 9:44 PM

    Florio, you have legal training, correct? Would Gregg Williams really risk the pains and penalties of perjury?

  29. jackblackshairyback says: May 2, 2012 9:47 PM

    Reaser….since he’s basically screwed no matter what he does, it sounds like the only thing left to do is just tell the truth.

    It’s kind of sad that telling the truth is a last resort.

  30. chris1019 says: May 2, 2012 9:49 PM

    All he has to do is tell the truth, I’m sure the majority of players who have any moral fiber in them don’t mind playing for a guy who owns up to his mistakes. Only children and gang members have the mentality that if you call them out on their wrong doings then they will no longer respect you/play for you.

  31. muir6 says: May 2, 2012 9:50 PM

    There all clowns nothing like watching the Hindenburgh go down. The NFL is destroying itself. Too much exposure and bad publicity. Greedy leading the ignorant

  32. lbijake says: May 2, 2012 10:04 PM

    If Williams flips on the players in order to get reinstated, he hurts himself in future situations of having players trust him. His best bet is to head to college ranks.

  33. expertop says: May 2, 2012 10:07 PM

    Testimony from Williams at the appeal hearings? You think that’s likely to happen because of the words “further proceedings”? Because it seems odd that the league – or the NFLPA – would agree to appeals proceedings that would allow either side to offer NEW evidence.

    The league has statements from Williams, presumably lots of them. That’s part of the evidence the commisioner relied on to make the disciplinary decisions. And you think he’s gonna put Williams up for testimony? Doesn’t make any sense. The burden would be on the players seeking redress of a decision that has already been handed down. The league doesn’t have to do anything except re-consider, if it wants to. So your idea that they’d put Williams up to give additional testimony – that they don’t need – and be questioned by the NFLPA – doesn’t make any sense.

  34. darthsaint says: May 2, 2012 10:09 PM

    The commish dangles carrots in front of all of these people they are punishing. Reaser2 above points it out wonderfully. Williams basically is being told, say what we want you to say or kiss your chance of every coaching again goodbye.

    With the Saints organization. Shut up, accept whatever penalties we hand down and you get you 2nd round pick back next year.

    Seems the NFL sure uses additional motivation to get people to follow their lead. But why?

    There is 50,000 pages of evidence, plus the NFL took an additional month to get their “facts” together…or should we say get their “ducks in a row” in regards to player suspensions. Today the NFLPA says it has still not seen any evidence. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE. If one were to believe the NFL…they have so much evidence…they don’t know how to organize it.

    Open your eyes fans. NFL needed a sacrificial lamb based on the ex-player lawsuits. They were lucky enough to catch the Saints with their hand in the cookie jar.

    All I’m saying is at least see what is going on. We’ll take our lumps and come out on top. But quit defending Goodell and acting like he gives two *%&*s about player safety. He cares about losing NFL revenues…THAT IS ALL.

  35. ilovefoolsball says: May 2, 2012 10:16 PM

    majbobby says:
    May 2, 2012 9:07 PM
    Keep it up NFL and Commish. Clean up this league these guys are supposed to be role models right?
    ______
    Kim Jong Il and Fidel Castro had their supporters too right?
    That is, until they kidnap your family and imprison them without a trial.

  36. vikescry1 says: May 2, 2012 10:17 PM

    this is funny…

  37. pftcensorssuck says: May 2, 2012 10:28 PM

    Damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.

    Of course, if he hadn’t done this in the first place, he wouldn’t be in this position, would he?

    No sympathy for Gregg Williams.

    None.

  38. stkurt says: May 2, 2012 10:32 PM

    Let’s not forget that Williams is the CANCER here. He has now affected 4 teams. He has affected the Saints in a BIG way, the Rams in a small way, the Packers lose a DL for 8 weeks and the Browns lose their LB for 3 weeks.

    Williams is the cause of all this!!

  39. drgreenstreak says: May 2, 2012 10:37 PM

    So it is a lifetime suspension. Excellent!

  40. chad504boy says: May 2, 2012 10:43 PM

    How the NFL drew (pun intended) the line in the sand on Paying for Performance vs a Bounty Program is where the horse screwed the pigeon. The pigeon is pissed cause that’s a big horse if you know what i mean.

  41. panther17 says: May 2, 2012 10:55 PM

    “We don’t apologize for the way we play.”

    NFL comes calling, GW starts squealing.

  42. cowboyscanada says: May 2, 2012 11:04 PM

    Move the Saints to L.A.,,, Disgraceful franchise!

  43. drgreenstreak says: May 2, 2012 11:18 PM

    It is regrettable for all that these coaches and players made such an egregious error in judgement.
    The ultimate shameful act is the denial of the obvious.

    What many on here (and some players) want is Goodell to name the whistle-blower(s) and have them “prove” the allegations. Right? You want a nasty, he-said-this, he-did-that kind of public spat.
    The NFL Rules are not law. These coaches and players are employees.
    I say there is other employment available in the sports industry. Go find another job if you don’t like the way the rules are enforced in the NFL.
    Many states do not require an employer give any reason for sanctions or termination. Go to the Arena League or Canada. Go to Hell and start a league.

  44. supert1978 says: May 2, 2012 11:38 PM

    The Saints are tarnished forever. It’s too bad the Rams get screwed while losing a new Defensive Coordinator while the crummy Saints get the Rams old head coach as their defensive coordinator. I say the Saints should get punished even more. Bye, bye Saints. HAHAHA!!!

  45. bballdad says: May 2, 2012 11:40 PM

    Tired of this crap!

  46. realitypolice says: May 2, 2012 11:44 PM

    As I said before, I am no Gregg Williams fan. I disliked him before all of this stuff even surfaced.

    But I have had it up to my eyeballs with:

    A) All of the people on here who act like Gregg Williams INVENTED bounties

    B) All of the people on here that don’t think that every coach that has ever employed him knew about the bounties and in fact knew about them BEFORE THEY HIRED HIM, and

    C) All of the people on here that are so willing to strip a man of his ability to make a living in his chosen field FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE over something that has been going on in professional football for decades. It is common knowledge, for example, that the Eagles used bounties under Buddy Ryan IN THE EIGHTIES.

    Enough. The man is losing millions under the terms of his suspension, and has had his reputation destroyed- deservedly so. Show some humanity. And don’t come back at me with “he didn’t show any humanity, why should I?”

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  47. bigbadal21 says: May 2, 2012 11:44 PM

    drgreenstreak says:May 2, 2012 11:18 PM

    It is regrettable for all that these coaches and players made such an egregious error in judgement.
    The ultimate shameful act is the denial of the obvious.

    What many on here (and some players) want is Goodell to name the whistle-blower(s) and have them “prove” the allegations. Right? You want a nasty, he-said-this, he-did-that kind of public spat.
    The NFL Rules are not law. These coaches and players are employees.
    I say there is other employment available in the sports industry. Go find another job if you don’t like the way the rules are enforced in the NFL.
    Many states do not require an employer give any reason for sanctions or termination. Go to the Arena League or Canada. Go to Hell and start a league

    Finally a sane voice is heard.

  48. tfaulk says: May 3, 2012 12:00 AM

    There are four players whose stories should be learned/told. I do not understand why the media haven’t forced them out into the light of day; even without their stories/testimony, the media should mention that these guys are central figures. (I suspect there is 1st hand testimony; players talking to players; players talking to the media, etc.)

    1. & 2. Remi Ayodele & Junior Galette – The two players who appear to be the most active bounty pursuers (at least in the first year of bounties, in the playoffs). Both are not signed to an NFL roster and have likely ended their NFL careers.

    3. The big “winner” – Bobby McCray (still active)

    4. Darren Sharper.

    Why in god’s name is everyone tap-dancing around the fact that DARREN SHARPER — 5 time Pro Bowl selection, 6 time All-Pro selection, 2005 NFC interception leading, hard-hitting, helped take GB along with Brett Favre (the prime bounty target) to the Super Bowl in his rookie season and played with as his teammate for 7 or 8 years, played for 4 or 5 years with the Vikings (an alleged bounty target)… Darren Sharper who ended his career on a high note with the Saints by playing a pivotal role in their first Super Bowl win, a season in which he broke the NFL record for interceptions returned for TDs… Darren Sharper, now retired from New Orleans, a city who fully embraced him from day one, headed for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame at Canton… Darren Sharper, eye witness. And yet we continue to dance…

  49. thegame2love says: May 3, 2012 12:11 AM

    The NFL didn’t need Williams to make a case against the Saints and they don’t need him to uphold an appeal. He doesn’t have to rat out anyone, its already documented in the records and emails and um’ the audio tape not to mention the informant.

  50. lombardihero says: May 3, 2012 12:48 AM

    This turned out to be the funniest story of the year.. The NFL cracks down on the saints players and only suspends 4 players.

    Boy that is cleaning it up Rodger matter of fact you did such a great job of sweeping it all under the rug.

  51. calbsure says: May 3, 2012 2:20 AM

    The tip will be sharp, the fall from grace has been swift and the acts committed will go down in infamy. Fall on the sword Greg-O, at least do something noble in your pathetic career.

  52. musicman495 says: May 3, 2012 2:37 AM

    jcbadger34 says: May 2, 2012 9:17 PM

    Gotta love Saints fans. They continue to deny that any bounty system existed……even as the guy with the stiffest punishment, accused of running the whole thing, confessed and is taking his punishment like a man.
    ——————————————
    Read William’s statement – “I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance’ program while I was with the Saints.” He “confessed” as you put it to “pay for performance,” not “pay for injury,” which is what the league penalized the players for today. And Ed Werder says sources now say the “3 year bounty program” actually lasted for two games in 2009. Who knows, by the time this is over, we may find that the “50,000 pages of evidence” is actually Don Goodell’s porn collection.

  53. mark0226 says: May 3, 2012 3:08 AM

    bigbeefyd says:
    Show us the documentation please?

    ====

    Dan Patrick show 4/6/2012 at 17:26. I would provide link to audio stream, but then the comment may not be accepted.

  54. electionconfidential says: May 3, 2012 3:43 AM

    Williams would be banned for life if the NFL actually cared concussions. RIP Junior Seau…

  55. kokomike says: May 3, 2012 5:57 AM

    NOLA: New Orleans, Louisiana
    NO LA in NOLA

  56. mrlaloosh says: May 3, 2012 8:26 AM

    “Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right” but, three lefts do.

  57. bradentonbuc says: May 3, 2012 8:38 AM

    Williams will wind up doing fine, unfortunately. Some college will scoop him up as soon as he realizes he is not going to get back in the NFL or be effective.

  58. jnd666 says: May 3, 2012 8:41 AM

    The Jurors for o’r Sov’r lord & lady the King & Queen present That Jonathan Vilma of Andivor in the County of Essex aforesaid Sometime in this present Year 2012, Wickedly Mallitiously & felloniously A Covenant with the Devil Did Make and Signed A pap to the Devil with a Red Marke & Beleived the Devil & promised to Serve him & was Baptized by the Devil & Unto him Renounced his form’r Baptizme By which Diabollicall Covenant With the Devil by the Said Jonathan Vilma in forme aforsaid made he is become a detestable Witch Contrary to the peace of o’r Sov’r lord & Lady the King & Queen Their Crowne & dignity & the Lawes in that Case made & provided.

  59. jcioffi1485 says: May 3, 2012 12:11 PM

    Link Williams chances to get back in the NFL based on an obligatory ratting out on those players who specifically said “yes sir” to his mandated demands to cart of specific players.

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