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League, union at odds over Ornstein email

Sean_Payton_Suspension_I_Am_Not_OK Getty Images

The league’s case against the Saints arises in part from an email message from Mike Ornstein in which Ornstein purports to contribute $5,000 to a bounty on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The league’s March 21 statement regarding non-player bounty discipline characterized the email as follows:  “[P]rior to the Saints’ opening game in 2011, Coach Payton received an email from a close associate that stated in part, ‘PS Greg Williams put me down for $5000 on Rogers [sic].’ When shown the email during the course of the investigation, Coach Payton stated that it referred to a ‘bounty’ on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.”

Yes, it referred to a bounty on Rodgers.  But now Ornstein, the NFLPA, lawyer Peter Ginsberg (who represents Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma) are taking issue with the league’s broader characterization of the email.

According to the Associated Press, Ornstein claims that the reference to Rodgers, contained in an email sent by Ornstein from prison, was part of a “running joke.”  Ornstein said that the subject of bounties had been a topic of periodic kidding in the wake of the Vikings’ claim that a bounty had been placed on Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC title game.

In reality, the Ornstein email wasn’t directly sent to Payton.  Instead, it came to team spokesman Greg Bensel, who then forwarded it to the coaching staff with this message:  “email from Orny (he asked that I send it) the dude is in prison so I told him I would.”

“When I wrote that email, I was in jail,” Ornstein said.  “How was I going to pay for it?  In stamps?  I’m in federal jail in Florence.”

And so, now that more details are available regarding the Ornstein email, the players’ representative have pushed back.

“Ornstein’s email is just another example of the speciousness of the quote-unquote evidence that Commissioner Goodell claims to have to support his erroneous accusations against Jonathan and the other players,” Ginsberg told the Associated Press.  “As more of the evidence is revealed in the media, it is becoming more and more apparent how irresponsible the NFL’s actions have been.”

Richard Smith, hired by the NFLPA to advise players regarding the bounty investigation, also complained about the Ornstein email message.  “The NFL has not provided the players with any information like this,” Smith said.  “It is unfortunate that they continue to withhold evidence that can show players’ innocence.  This email proves what we have feared:  what they’ve been selling to the media as evidence doesn’t match up with the truth.”

Between the Anthony Hargrove declaration and the Ornstein email, it’s hard to disagree with Ginsberg and Smith.  Unless and until the NFL produces raw evidence that demonstrates player involvement in a bounty program or player funding of payments made to other players for knocking opponents out of games, suspicions will remain that the NFL is embellishing the bounty evidence in order to justify hitting the Saints hard enough to deter all teams, players, and coaches from using bounties in the future.

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59 Responses to “League, union at odds over Ornstein email”
  1. cakemixa says: May 10, 2012 11:05 PM

    It’s starting to look like Goodell needs to go.

  2. twodat says: May 10, 2012 11:09 PM

    So now the NFL is the thought police. What is this a reading violation? Have seen some fouled up evidence in my day but this email does not even add up to that. A forwarded email?? Please!!

    Best I would do as an investigator would be to read this but not quote it. No wonder the NFL keeps referring to the 2009 playoff games and no others. Let the lawyers loose Bleak House notwithstanding.

  3. saintij says: May 10, 2012 11:11 PM

    um… terrible rush to judgement much?

  4. bodybagx says: May 10, 2012 11:13 PM

    50,000 pages of evidence and this is the was the juicy one they decided to go public with. Whoops.

  5. sdisme says: May 10, 2012 11:16 PM

    So the email to Payton was actually sent to the Saint’s PR guy.

    This was the evidence of Payton covering up bounties for 3 years. – Awesome

  6. drgreenstreak says: May 10, 2012 11:17 PM

    Yawn…

  7. fitzmagic1212 says: May 10, 2012 11:20 PM

    just let it go saints. you got what you deserve deal with it and move on

  8. northeastkiller says: May 10, 2012 11:20 PM

    No wonder Goodell wants to keep this out of a courtroom. Badly misrepresenting the Hargrove statement and now a joke between friends about Childress whining to the league in 2009 where one party clearly has no way of even paying a bounty?

    The water carriers over at the Leader will run with it, but this is just more NFL ridiculousness in this matter. THESE are the “smoking guns” of the case, Roger? Give me a break.

  9. iced107 says: May 10, 2012 11:21 PM

    Goodell looks more and more like he’s crossed the line. If he has, he should pay for it.

    Starting to see more and more how the NFL has “falsified” evidence.

  10. vikesfan024 says: May 10, 2012 11:22 PM

    Is this supposed to be serious? Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that there was a bounty program on this team? If this wasn’t really happening, then why did Payton shrivel up into a ball and disappear after his lame excuse for an “apology”. If there were no bounties, wouldn’t Payton be defending himself and his team?

    Are you going to then try and tell me players weren’t throwing in? That’s laughable.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe they take all of your assets when you go to jail. This guy could have easily gotten money into the pool with a simple letter in the mail.

    I will never understand why fans have such a problem with Goodell. He’s trying to clean up the game. Why is that bad? What the Saints were doing is despicable and has no place in football.

  11. gingerkid2000 says: May 10, 2012 11:23 PM

    Let’s not kid ourselves. ANY evidence the NFL produces will be dismissed by these attorneys. That’s what they are supposed to do. Take a picture of a dog and convince you it’s a triceratops.

    Strange how so few attorneys came to the defense of Payton, Loomis & Williams at the idea of their punishment. But punish a player and suddenly attorneys from the 4 corners of the globe rush to take on the case because now the same evidence that convicted the coaches & the GM is paper thin and proves nothing. Anything for a little chump change, right?

  12. letmesetyoustraight says: May 10, 2012 11:24 PM

    Pop some corn and get a cold beer. This is getting very interesting.

  13. 1122world says: May 10, 2012 11:25 PM

    Goodell has them by the short and curlies and they know it.

  14. jealst says: May 10, 2012 11:25 PM

    The NFL wanted to use small market and competitive New Orleans as an example for other issues the NFL is currently engaged in… Now, it’s backfiring on them.

  15. cwwgk says: May 10, 2012 11:27 PM

    The General Manager admitted the program existed; the head coach admitted the program existed; and the defensive coordinator admitted the program existed. For multiple years. As alleged by the NFL. After denying to the NFL. After trying to cover it up. There’s absolutely no stronger evidence in the world stronger than a confession. Ask any prosecutor.

  16. ascensionparish says: May 10, 2012 11:27 PM

    Although at first glance, the Ornstein email doesn’t look good, I can totally see how this would have been written in jest.

    I mean, if you’re in prison — and going through some financial difficulties — and you’re going to lay down $5000 for a hit on a quarterback, i’d think the $5k offer would have a more prominent location in the email than as a Post Script.

  17. 805_9er says: May 10, 2012 11:33 PM

    I’m sure Ornstein has never been guilty of anything. And we all know it’s impossible for someone in prison to conduct business on the outside. My money’s still on the NFL. The Saints look slimier by the day…

  18. geo1113 says: May 10, 2012 11:33 PM

    Coach Payton stated that it referred to a ‘bounty’ on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.”
    ——————–

    Seems pretty clear to me.

  19. northeastkiller says: May 10, 2012 11:35 PM

    @vikesfan (of course) – the coaches didn’t fight because they want to get reinstated and don’t have anything like the NFLPA to work for them. Pretty obvious.

    @cwwgk – they admitted to a pay-for-performance system, NOT a bounty system. It’d do well to actually read these things instead of swallowing whatever ESPN tells you.

  20. dontouchmyjunk says: May 10, 2012 11:39 PM

    What’s in the other 49,999 pages?

  21. truthfactory says: May 10, 2012 11:41 PM

    Anyone actually listen carefully to the players during interviews?? They don’t necessarily say they weren’t bounties, they are asking “where’s the proof?” And “show me where money was exchanged”…

    Well, that tells me that there was bounties, but because they werent’ able to knock out opposing players, the money probably wasn’t exchanged, so they feel confident there is no “hard proof”. In a murder-for-hire criminal case, the actual murder and exchange of money doesn’t have to take place, just the intent needs to be there.

    If you believe there was no bounties, you have to ignore the incriminating audio of GW telling players to go for the ACL, Hargrove yelling “Pay me my money!” after he thought he knocked Favre out of the NFC Championship game in 09′, the coaches and player confessions, the incriminating email, and the players not really explicitly saying there was no bounties, just “no proof” that anyone was paid (2 totally different things).

    The bottom line is, this isn’t a court of law and Goodell doesn’t need to “prove” it with hard evidence. All signs point to the fact there were bounties in place, and they continued them even though they were warned. He has nothing to gain by doing this, and it has brought additional negative attention to the game he is paid to run. Any reasonable person could see what was going on, but that won’t stop the 50% of you guys thinking theres some crazy conspiracy. Guys tried running bounties and they were the ones who got caught… time to move on.

  22. mycm1127 says: May 10, 2012 11:42 PM

    cwwgk says: May 10, 2012 11:27 PM

    The General Manager admitted the program existed; the head coach admitted the program existed; and the defensive coordinator admitted the program existed. For multiple years. As alleged by the NFL. After denying to the NFL. After trying to cover it up. There’s absolutely no stronger evidence in the world stronger than a confession. Ask any prosecutor.

    You’re right they did admit to a “pay for performance” program no different than an incentive on a contract to get more sacks or ints. Not the same thing that’s why the NFL is withholding evidence. Oh that’s why they have none. They just think whatever they do now will help them in the lawsuit from former players and they’re horribly mistaken.

  23. sfsaintsfan says: May 10, 2012 11:42 PM

    Put me down for $5,000 on Goodell.

  24. truthfactory says: May 10, 2012 11:43 PM

    “Unless and until the NFL produces raw evidence that demonstrates player involvement in a bounty program or player funding of payments made to other players for knocking opponents out of games,…”
    ——————-

    They weren’t able to knock out the opposing players, so it’s likely there was no money exchanged, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t bounties.

  25. lostsok says: May 10, 2012 11:50 PM

    Jeez, maybe the Saints should have cooperated with the commissioner from the start, instead of being a bunch of arrogant tools. NOW they want to explain everything.

    Too bad, too sad.

  26. jealst says: May 10, 2012 11:58 PM

    vikesfan024 says:
    May 10, 2012 11:22 PM
    Is this supposed to be serious? Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that there was a bounty program on this team? If this wasn’t really happening, then why did Payton shrivel up into a ball and disappear after his lame excuse for an “apology”. If there were no bounties, wouldn’t Payton be defending himself and his team?

    ———————————————————————————–

    Payton did defend himself. Without a union and mischaracterized information he appealed his suspension. His appeal, however, went to the same guy that suspended him in the first place. So, he fought a losing battle. You’re a Vikings fan. If I was one I would “appreciate” Roger Goodell too. He’s gone through obstacles to keep that team in Minnesota as well as delegate “revenge” (New Orleans punishments). Which Vikings fans say they deserve for their play in the NFCCG. You’re right, though, what the Saints are ACCUSED of has no place in football. Their actual on field performances, which contridicts all accusations does, and that’s why they are one of the most fun teams to watch.

  27. teddybayer123 says: May 11, 2012 12:12 AM

    I stopped caring at least 9 paragraph’s ago.
    Which is harsh.

  28. cowboyscanada says: May 11, 2012 12:20 AM

    How ’bout them Saints!! ,,,,,, Classless organization!

  29. steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh says: May 11, 2012 12:24 AM

    6 rings > you and your pathetic life

  30. ningenito78 says: May 11, 2012 12:37 AM

    Florio it’s refreshing to see a sports writer not stick to his original opinion and judgements on this whole ‘Bountygate’ garbage. This site, in particular, was extremely hard on the Saints organization when the news first came out. However, as details have continued to leak out you have been fair and rational. Without using athletes on the payroll like ESPN trying to justify it by saying ‘well everybody is doing it’. You have been fair by just sticking to the facts. Kudos.

  31. steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh says: May 11, 2012 12:38 AM

    Wow, we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “wow we’re amazing.” We proceed to stretch, brush our teeth, and win another championship. Just the average thing for us. Yep.

  32. saints4evah says: May 11, 2012 12:53 AM

    At last…after beig attacked on every level by everybody in existence with this witch hunt, the worm has turned!!!
    Stay thirsty my friends!!!

  33. saintsfan26 says: May 11, 2012 12:58 AM

    Free Sean Payton!

  34. genericuser8888 says: May 11, 2012 1:09 AM

    I really, really need to clear some things up about the Saints coaching staff “admitting” to a bounty program.

    No one on the coaching staff has personally admitted to a bounty program.

    Greg Williams – The league wrote his apology letter. I’m sure he was the ringleader of whatever was going on, but if he knew what he was doing was wrong, why did the league have to write his letter for him? Greg probably would admit to wrongdoing, but like I said, the only “concrete” thing we have is a league written apology. No interviews, nothing that Greg wrote our personally, etc.

    Sean Payton – admitted that some sort of illicit behavior took place “on his watch”. He never actually admitted knowing about it and never mentioned the words “bounty” or “pay for performance”. In fact, when reporters asked him about the scandal, he simply said that he “took responsibility” because he “paid too much attention to one side of the ball” and that he “should have known”. (I believe those are his exact quotes, if they aren’t, they are very close. I watched his interview by the press a week or two ago at the Florida NFL meeting.)

    Joe Vitt – was sent to oversee Williams by Sean Payton. Vitt says things were said that should not have been said, but denies that anything illicit was ever done on the field. In a recent press conference, he said that he has been suspended for “words” and not what happened on the field. He denies, even now, that the Saints ever set out to injure anyone. To my knowledge, he has never said the words “bounty” or “pay for performance” in an interview. Sean thought Williams might be getting out of control, and Vitt was sent to make sure that nothing affected on-field play. Vitt was supposed to babysit Williams until the season ended and Williams could be fired. If I remember correctly, I read most of this stuff on PFT or another news web site a few weeks ago.

    So, maybe I am wrong, but I follow the Saints fairly closely, and I don’t think any of the coaching staff has come out and actually said that they were involved in a pay for performance program or bounty program. And, while I’m sure Greg Williams has admitted his involvement to the NFL, the NFL even wrote his apology letter!

    At the end of the day, the coaches HAVE to accept whatever punishment the league dishes out because they don’t have a union. If they ever want to coach again, they HAVE to comply with what the league says. But even with this in mind, it’s pretty obvious that Sean Payton and Joe Vitt do not see things the same way as the league sees them. They feel persecuted, and they have resisted as much as possible any admission of running a “bounty” program in the way that the league is characterizing it.

    Overall, I see it like this: Greg Williams was getting out of control with his words. Maybe he had some sort of pay for performance program in action. At the very least, it’s obvious he talked about targeting other players. But, the players never tried to carry out that order to intentionally injure opponents, and Payton sent Vitt to make sure that that line was never crossed, even though he knew Gregg was getting out of hand. The league knows that some fishy stuff had been going on, for a long while, and decided to go ahead and make an example of the Saints with whatever weak evidence they had. The more info that leaks, the worse the league looks… then, you also have the NFL’s head of the investigation resign, and then the league quickly says that although he was involved, he was not “the head” of the program, and then they hire a big time attorney to say the evidence is “sound” in place of actually releasing the “smoking gun” evidence… It’s just getting really ridiculous. The Saints had something bad going on in the locker room, but being railroaded by the NFL isn’t really right either.

  35. mcg8569 says: May 11, 2012 1:15 AM

    The documentary in which Williams unquestionably implicates himself wasn’t enough for me. I HAD to have an email suggesting bounties from a dude in jail before I believed this whole bounty thing.

  36. detroitcityryda says: May 11, 2012 1:26 AM

    Saints are a joke and their stubborn fans are the worst bunch ever

  37. lookthisisntthatcomplicated says: May 11, 2012 1:27 AM

    Well, well, well.

    Looks like Goodell has been taking some liberties with the truth.

    Makes you kinda wonder if the so-called “admission” by Payton – vague and unspecific as it is – was coerced by Goodell. “Look, Sean, I have a ton of ‘evidence’ against you. I’m going to suspend you either way. Admit to it and apologize, and the suspension won’t be for life. What? No, you can’t see the evidence!”

    I have yet to see a smoking gun in the case against the Saints, and everything the league has put forth so far has called into serious question the NFL’s credibility.

    Pretty easy solution here: if the evidence is so persuasive, release it! Is it legally required? No, of course not. The NFL doesn’t have to release anything. But the fans don’t have to believe the NFL is telling the truth, either.

  38. daknight93 says: May 11, 2012 1:30 AM

    Payton and Vilma get suspended for a year over a forwarded email from the pr guy…this is so lame and weak, if this is the best goodell can come up with, then his credibility as commissioner is no good..this is really ridiculous and foolish by Goodell

  39. jamesmatthiascox says: May 11, 2012 1:35 AM

    Anytime I see a new article about “bounties” I am going to take a shot…Sounds like a good drinking game

  40. neilnixon says: May 11, 2012 1:35 AM

    cwwgk says:
    The General Manager admitted the program existed; the head coach admitted the program existed; and the defensive coordinator admitted the program existed. For multiple years. As alleged by the NFL. After denying to the NFL. After trying to cover it up. There’s absolutely no stronger evidence in the world stronger than a confession. Ask any prosecutor.
    ———————————————
    This comment, like so many others regarding this issue, is based on the presumption that everything offered by the NFL to justify the extreme punishments are “irrefutable facts.” In fact, cwwgk hasn’t seem the evidence, PFT hasn’t seen the evidence, the media hasn’t seen the evidence, the Saints coaches, GM and players haven’t seen the evidence….all are only going on what the NFL has chosen to show or leaked out.

    As more and more questions regarding the accuracy of the NFL’s story and more light is shed on the league’s apparent manipulation of Hargrove’s statement (a careful reading of the statement demonstrates he never said “he knew of and participated in a bounty system); their over-hyping of their “independent” counsel who reviewed the evidence (when it later comes out that she had worked for the league on two previous matters); the resignation of the league’s director of investigations in their security operation on a Friday afternoon and the
    not so apparent efforts of the league’s media relations people to bury or minimize this; and now this issue with Ortenstein; it’s all starting to look a bit fishy to any objective person who hasn’t made up his or her mind based on what the NFL has released with NO substantiation.

    The way to really get to the bottom of the issue is for the NFL to show what they have that would justify the most harsh punishments in NFL history. Why are so many of you on here so against seeing the evidence????

    Also cwwgk, if you can find me any statement by Williams, Vitt or Payton saying they admitted to a “bounty system” over multiple years — as you have stated, please share it with us by posting it. My reading is that they apologized to a “pay for performance” program that was against league rules. No one EVER admitted to a bounty system; AGAIN this is what the league is claiming with no published evidence. And by the way, several other teams in recent history have been cited for a “pay for performance” system and not penalized including Green Bay in 2007.

  41. sfm073 says: May 11, 2012 1:36 AM

    Sure Payton and Williams admitted to it, but every player (including beloved

  42. flannlv says: May 11, 2012 1:52 AM

    For all of you out there misrepresenting the facts out there, the only thing the coaches admitted to was a pay for performance system that has been going on in the NFL since the dawn of the league. Coaches and management appealed the suspensions via the only avenue available (not covered by the CBA for team reps, etc.) which is back to Goodell. The NFL is trying to make an example out of the Saints as a rebuttal to the league lawsuits. They picked the wrong team and city. This isn’t going away.

  43. hedleykow says: May 11, 2012 1:58 AM

    It’s unbelievable that prisoners can send emails from jail that promise payment for criminal acts to be carried out and no one questions anything. Really?

  44. truthserum4u says: May 11, 2012 2:00 AM

    Funny how everything was just joking, a misunderstanding, taken out of context, not characterized correctly, misinterpreted, just a ploy to rile the troops…

    These are the reasons being given for, among others, the following: Hargrove’s comments caught on tape during the NFC Championship game, Williams speech before the 49ers playoff game caught on tape, Vilma throwing down $10 grand, Hargrove’s declaration, Williams’ admission, Ornstein’s email, and on and on…

    My initial belief was the bounties (intent to injure, not pay for plays) took place for a handful of games and that the suspensions seemed extreme. I do realize though some of the suspension is from how they responded to the league’s investigation. But now, with the EVERYTHING isn’t what it appears to be alibi, I’m starting to think where there’s smoke there just might be fire.

  45. ilovefoolsball says: May 11, 2012 3:11 AM

    cwwgk says:
    May 10, 2012 11:27 PM
    The General Manager admitted the program existed; the head coach admitted the program existed; and the defensive coordinator admitted the program existed. For multiple years. As alleged by the NFL. After denying to the NFL. After trying to cover it up. There’s absolutely no stronger evidence in the world stronger than a confession. Ask any prosecutor.
    _________
    Another example of a human who has learned how to type, but not how to read. Maybe if I spell it out for you it would be easier to understand sweetheart? Remember to take a deep breath and take your time with each line.
    Here we go:

    THEY
    ADMITTED
    TO
    PAY
    FOR
    PERFORMANCE

    NOT

    PAY
    FOR
    INJURIES

    BIG
    DIFFERENCE

    GET
    IT?

    There, now take a nap and a V8. You’ve worked really hard today.

  46. sf944 says: May 11, 2012 3:28 AM

    Goodell, I need to hear an explanation…

  47. bhester1906 says: May 11, 2012 3:28 AM

    I’m well aware that there more pressing issues to address in the labor negotiations but damn. How did they allow Roger to have all this power? He fines the Redskins and Cowboys $46M for violating a Salary Cap that wasn’t non existent. Then suspends players for bounties when he only has shaky evidence. What’s next???

  48. 6thsense79 says: May 11, 2012 4:00 AM

    cwwgk says:May 10, 2012 11:27 PM

    The General Manager admitted the program existed; the head coach admitted the program existed; and the defensive coordinator admitted the program existed. For multiple years. As alleged by the NFL. After denying to the NFL. After trying to cover it up. There’s absolutely no stronger evidence in the world stronger than a confession. Ask any prosecutor.
    —————————————————–
    Yes because we know in the real world cops/prosecutors never abuse their power to pull false confessions out of folks accused of crimes until…..oops evidence like DNA comes out to throw serious doubt over those “confessions”. Ask any prosecutor……Are these the same prosecutor that almost always claims the person they’re prosecuting is guilty even when their evidence don’t stack up? Or when a defendent is found not guilty they used their favorite phrase “he wasn’t found innocent, he was found not guilty”.

    In any case whatever the New Orleans coaches did or did not confessed to carries zero weight in the case against the players unless they are directly saying to the league these 4 players that you suspended were directly involved with the bounty program and this is what they did.

  49. 6thsense79 says: May 11, 2012 4:17 AM

    Ever since Roger Goodell became commissioner of the league the NFL has been operating under what I like to call “the ends justifies the means clause”. For example no matter what side you fell on the quote, unquote “illegal” hits the fact was those types of hits were never penalized on this scale before. Suddenly a receiver had to catch the ball and take two steps before a defensive back can touch him. Even refs looked confused out there. That’s why the NFL directed them to call a penalty on hard hits when in doubt. One of the worst calls and fine involved Ndamankong Suh’s violent push of a scrambling Jay Cutler a couple of seasons ago. No violation of any rule there but fine still stood.

    Second end’s justifies means clause was the decision to take away cap space from the Skins and Cowboys because the refused to basically collude at the request of the league during an uncapped season. When I first heard that the league was taking away $30 million in cap space from the Skins I thought damn what did Snyder do now. The league initially first presented this as a case of the two teams breaking some rule untill people started asking what rule did they break and found out the league was feeding the public BS.

    Third ends justifies the means case could very well be this whole New Orleans bountygate thing. No one has seen anything to justify the punishment of the 4 players suspended. Nothing.

    I really have a hard time taking what this league says at face value.

  50. pantherdan says: May 11, 2012 5:04 AM

    I wonder if a guy like that is capable of having a bet placed on the game for $100,000. or a 50-1 prop bet that Rodgers will be out of the game by the 4th quarter…..Hmmmm, then he says put me down for $5,000.

    I mean, hey, I am just saying….Guess what he was in prison for?

  51. pantherdan says: May 11, 2012 5:12 AM

    Frig it…There is no way this thing gets reversed, with the lawsuits against the NFL now that are ongoing over head-shots and now with Jr Seau doing his number….The league has to stand firm.

    Actually, this is the weakest the league has been (from a legal standpoint) in 3 decades and the NFLPA has them cornered!

    The game is under fire and Warner and others are not helping things either! There is a 3 pronged attack on the NFL right now and the Saints brought about half of it on everybody because of that fat pig greg williams and the no brain coach, dirty baby payton and now the cheating mickey loomis pops up! what a bunch of white trash and a real horror story for fans may not be far away.

  52. sudz28 says: May 11, 2012 5:56 AM

    “When I wrote that email, I was in jail,” Ornstein said. “How was I going to pay for it? In stamps?”

    Denying with a question… classic ‘tell’ of someone who’s lying to you.

  53. hrjx says: May 11, 2012 6:04 AM

    Let’s not forget that this is one small piece from a collection of evidence. I’m no lawyer but getting someone on tape asking for his piece of the payday and a coach detailing where and how to hurt someone seems slightly more damning.

  54. themonster49 says: May 11, 2012 9:30 AM

    The accused staff admitted their guilt in apparently clear and direct fashion.

    So who are the ones attempting to spin this? I think an entity is behind this attempted spin and PR campaign. Like the NFLPA.

  55. themonster49 says: May 11, 2012 9:33 AM

    “[P]rior to the Saints’ opening game in 2011, Coach Payton received an email from a close associate that stated in part, ‘PS Greg Williams put me down for $5000 on Rogers [sic].’ When shown the email during the course of the investigation, Coach Payton stated that it referred to a ‘bounty’ on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.”

    I seriously doubt Saints Head Coach Sean Payton was joking when he told the NFL that.

  56. ascensionparish says: May 11, 2012 3:31 PM

    truthfactory says:May 10, 2012 11:41 PM

    Anyone actually listen carefully to the players during interviews?? They don’t necessarily say they weren’t bounties, they are asking “where’s the proof?” And “show me where money was exchanged”…

    Well, that tells me that there was bounties, but because they werent’ able to knock out opposing players, the money probably wasn’t exchanged, so they feel confident there is no “hard proof”. In a murder-for-hire criminal case, the actual murder and exchange of money doesn’t have to take place, just the intent needs to be there.

    If you believe there was no bounties, you have to ignore the incriminating audio of GW telling players to go for the ACL, Hargrove yelling “Pay me my money!” after he thought he knocked Favre out of the NFC Championship game in 09′, the coaches and player confessions, the incriminating email, and the players not really explicitly saying there was no bounties, just “no proof” that anyone was paid (2 totally different things).

    The bottom line is, this isn’t a court of law and Goodell doesn’t need to “prove” it with hard evidence. All signs point to the fact there were bounties in place, and they continued them even though they were warned. He has nothing to gain by doing this, and it has brought additional negative attention to the game he is paid to run. Any reasonable person could see what was going on, but that won’t stop the 50% of you guys thinking theres some crazy conspiracy. Guys tried running bounties and they were the ones who got caught… time to move on.
    ___________________

    You don’t live up to your handle very well.

    First of all, no player has admitted to a pay-to-injure program. Some have conceded that there was a pay-for-performance pool, not unlike what happens elsewhere in the league. The NFL is jumbling the two together, because both are against the rules yet penalties for pay-for-performance have NEVER been enforced.

    Secondly, the players are asking for proof because the league has said that it has based its penalties and decisions at least partly based on “forensic” evidence it has found. If forensic evidence exists linking players to a pay-to-injure program, the players deserve to be shown that evidence so they can properly appeal the suspensions.

    Thirdly, GW’s audio may or may not incriminate himself in the matter, but it doesn’t incriminate the players, who went out the next day and did not commit a single penalty. Nor did they ever hit Alex Smith’s head, or Frank Gore’s head, or Crabtree’s ACL, or Kyle Williams’ concussed head. That’s a fact.

    Fourthly, how do you know Hargrove is the player who yelled, “Pay me my money!”? Hargrove admitted to saying, “Favre is out,” but that’s hardly evidence of a bounty program. Sounds like a defender who is glad that the opponent’s backup QB might be entering the game. Hargrove wasn’t even in on the play that Favre was shaken up on. That was Remi Ayodelle and Bobby McCray, neither of which received league sanctions.

    And you’re right: Goodell, under the current CBA structure, does not have to disclose evidence. But it would be the right thing to do at this point.

    And he’ll probably have to when Vilma takes the NFL to court.

    I believe the Saints are guilty of a pay-for-performance program, and not ceasing in possible “bounty” rhetoric dispite having been warned by the league to do so. That’s on them.

    But I do not believe that the Saints players are guilty of carrying out a pay-to-injure program on the field of play. Yet the NFL wants me to believe that in order to protect itself from the gajillion lawsuits being filed by former players.

    Let me know if I can help you anymore.

  57. kodakinvegas says: May 11, 2012 10:35 PM

    “All they admitted to was pay for performance”. That’s a nice defence, but here’s the problem

    A pay for performance outside of the contract is against NFL rules
    B. They made an an absolute and deliberate attempt to lie and cover it up.
    (Why, if therrs nothing wrong with it?”
    C. Pay for performance encourages excessive aggression, head shots, ACL targets, ankle twists and repeated head attacks All of which are EVIDENCED inthe GREGG WILLIAMS tape and upper level management is held accountable for lower level performance. EVIDENCE ISSUE. SOLVED.
    P.S. Private enterprise, not a court of law

  58. saintjude267 says: May 11, 2012 11:38 PM

    this ordeal needs to be renamed >>>>>> GOODELL-GATE !!! <<<<<<

  59. ascensionparish says: May 12, 2012 12:38 AM

    kodakinvegas says:May 11, 2012 10:35 PM

    “All they admitted to was pay for performance”. That’s a nice defence, but here’s the problem

    A pay for performance outside of the contract is against NFL rules
    B. They made an an absolute and deliberate attempt to lie and cover it up.
    (Why, if therrs nothing wrong with it?”
    C. Pay for performance encourages excessive aggression, head shots, ACL targets, ankle twists and repeated head attacks All of which are EVIDENCED inthe GREGG WILLIAMS tape and upper level management is held accountable for lower level performance. EVIDENCE ISSUE. SOLVED.
    P.S. Private enterprise, not a court of law
    _________________________

    I’ll try to handle your lack of proper syntax in order.

    A. Yes, “pay for performance” is outside the rules of the NFL. But it has never been enforce. Scores of current and former players have come forth publicly and admitted that they participate in it too.

    B. Yes, and that’s why Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Joe Vitt have been santioned.

    C. “Pay for performance” awards big plays like interceptions, bit hits, tackles behind the line of scrimmage, etc. No one has said that pay-for-performance involved things like head shot, ACL targets, etc. Any conclusion of such would be clear assumption on your part. And, again, if anything, the Williams audio proved that there was no ‘pay to injure’ program since the Saints did not try to injure any 49ers player in that game. You’re simply refusing to see the whole picture. You’re just being a simpleton who swallows what Goodell is spoon-feeding you. And that’s ok. We need people in the world like you.

    P.S. Private enterprises can be sued too. That means a court of law will soon be involved.

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