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Jonathan Vilma: NFL wouldn’t give me evidence

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Jonathan Vilma says Roger Goodell’s refusal to show him evidence of his activities in the Saints bounty program is the reason why he didn’t speak to league’s investigators about it.

“We asked for evidence and he wouldn’t give it to us,” Vilma told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. “How can I defend myself when I don’t know what I’m defending against? It’s just logical, things that people decided to ignore.”

Vilma’s attorney Peter Ginsberg also talked about a lack of evidence during a recent appearance on PFT Live. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has also publicly questioned the NFL’s evidence against the players suspended (Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove are the others) by the league.

Rapoport writes that when Vilma, who is also suing Goodell for defamation, was asked whether or not the union advised him not to cooperate with the investigation, the linebacker responded by repeating the question about defending himself. Vilma, who again said that he neither paid nor intended to pay anyone was suspended for a full year by the NFL for his role in the program, although he and the other players suspended by the league are fighting the suspension.

“He was invited to come in with his attorney to discuss the evidence prior to any decision on discipline,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in response to Vilma. “He declined. He has another opportunity to do so in his appeal. The union has been shown evidence.”

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74 Responses to “Jonathan Vilma: NFL wouldn’t give me evidence”
  1. catquick says: May 31, 2012 8:30 PM

    How about your own coach admitted it?

  2. tweeter75 says: May 31, 2012 8:33 PM

    “He was invited to come in with his attorney to discuss the evidence prior to any decision on discipline,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in response to Vilma. “He declined. He has another opportunity to do so in his appeal. The union has been shown evidence.”

    If that’s true, is this a desperate effort by Vilma to try to sway fans’ opinions against the NFL? A denial that is blatantly, obviously hollow?

    I wouldn’t believe anything Vilma says at this point.

  3. skoobyfl says: May 31, 2012 8:34 PM

    Guilty until RG says differently.

  4. knowerofallthings says: May 31, 2012 8:35 PM

    I don’t like Vilma but he does have the right to defend himself. I know it’s a company, not the government, but he has a point.

  5. karlton2 says: May 31, 2012 8:37 PM

    “Vilma, who again said that he neither paid nor intended to pay anyone was suspended for a full year by the NFL for his role in the program”

    —————————————————-

    So in other words, not only did Vilma offer to pay for hits, but he also intended to (or actually did) welch on paying his teammates.

  6. sportmentary says: May 31, 2012 8:37 PM

    Vilma you piece of #2, there were only two questions you needed to be asked and answer:
    1) Are you aware of any pay for performance/bounty program?
    2) Did you take part?

    Then it would have been up to this guy to tell the truth or lie. Unlike a court of law, the NFL was under no obligation to share their evidence with him but it was his obligation to sahre the truth or be suspended.

  7. captatl says: May 31, 2012 8:38 PM

    Vilma just does not get it. He is a member of a Union. The Union and the players signed off on the CBA. The CBA has a procedure. The procedure is being followed. Stop whinning. You had your chance to see the evidence with your attorney, if not then come out and say the NFL spokesman outright lied. Of course you are not going to do that. Because you had your chance. Only the folks in LA and maybe MS are buying your tired story.

  8. willisaldon9952 says: May 31, 2012 8:40 PM

    “How can I defend myself when I don’t know what I’m defending against?

    LOL! Sorry Vilma but you already know what you’ve been suspended for.

  9. tommyf15 says: May 31, 2012 8:41 PM

    If anything good has come of this, it’s Roger Goodell being exposed as a bully and a tyrant.

    The media and the fans are finally starting to see through Roger Godcomplex.

  10. eagleswin says: May 31, 2012 8:42 PM

    It seems to me, based on this article, that the NFL was willing to talk about the evidence with Vilma in a private meeting that included is lawyer.

    That make’s sense because it makes certain that the evidence does not get out in the public. You know as soon as goodell sends out a recording or copies of signed documents to a lawyer that they “mysteriously” will show up on ESPN. That scenerio does allow for Vilma to defend himself.

    The union advising Vilma not to cooperate, ie talk to Goodell (with his lawyer present) about the evidence against him bit him in the butt. The NFLPA knows that Goodell isn’t going to release the evidence to the public at this time and is using that fact in a PR ploy.

  11. geo1113 says: May 31, 2012 8:48 PM

    To paraphrase what Vilma said, they wouldn’t show me the evidence because I wouldn’t go in to see the evidence. I mean seriously, did he think the NFL was going to fedex a package to him.

  12. jimw81 says: May 31, 2012 8:52 PM

    Drew Brees needs a explanation!

  13. sdisme says: May 31, 2012 9:00 PM

    tweeter75 says:
    May 31, 2012 8:33 PM
    “He was invited to come in with his attorney to discuss the evidence prior to any decision on discipline,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in response to Vilma. “He declined. He has another opportunity to do so in his appeal. The union has been shown evidence.”

    If that’s true, is this a desperate effort by Vilma to try to sway fans’ opinions against the NFL? A denial that is blatantly, obviously hollow?

    I wouldn’t believe anything Vilma says at this point.

    _________________________

    Greg Aiello says they showed the union evidence. Yet the union has filed two grievances on behalf of the players and has stated they have not seen any proof.

    Any you are saying not to believe Vilma?

  14. sdisme says: May 31, 2012 9:03 PM

    geo1113 says:
    May 31, 2012 8:48 PM
    To paraphrase what Vilma said, they wouldn’t show me the evidence because I wouldn’t go in to see the evidence. I mean seriously, did he think the NFL was going to fedex a package to him.

    ___________________________________

    Maybe he was a fool to believe that the NFL would honer his player contract. That states he has the right to defend himself with council on any suspensions / fines.

  15. sdisme says: May 31, 2012 9:11 PM

    May 31, 2012 8:37 PM
    “Vilma, who again said that he neither paid nor intended to pay anyone was suspended for a full year by the NFL for his role in the program”

    —————————————————-

    “So in other words, not only did Vilma offer to pay for hits, but he also intended to (or actually did) welch on paying his teammates.”

    ——————————————–

    You should read the lawsuit. He states he never pledged, paid or intended to pay any money.

  16. mikelitoris1 says: May 31, 2012 9:13 PM

    “Dey terk urrrrr jerbssssss.”

    - Jonathan Vilma

  17. percey12 says: May 31, 2012 9:14 PM

    Vilma, you piece of #2…

    You are being suspended from the work place, it happens every day to workers across the country for misbehavior in the workplace.

    This is not a court of law, you are not going to jail, although you should be!

  18. genericuser8888 says: May 31, 2012 9:14 PM

    The Saints coaches never did admit to what the NFL accuses them of.

    Sean Payton said he “should have paid more attention to the other side of the ball”. He was suspended for “lack of institutional control”, not for knowing about bounties. He was suspended for NOT knowing about bounties! In the words of Roger Goodell “If he didn’t know, he should have.”

    Williams apology was written by the NFL.

    Every time there’s a bit of bounty news, the old “your own coach admitted it” crowd comes out and shows their stupidity.

    And, to top it all off, Goodell has even threatened to lengthen their suspensions if they attempt to fight back in the media.

    The Saints are the scapegoat for all “pay for performance” pools in the league. I’m sure they had a “pay for performance” program, but I don’t think it was as bad as the NFL is trying to make out…after all 2009 = ZERO cart offs.

  19. cwwgk says: May 31, 2012 9:18 PM

    The owner met with Goodell, saw the evidence and accepted a $500,000 fine. The GM met with Goodell, saw the evidence, apologized and accepted a suspension. The head coach met with Goodell, saw the evidence, apologized and accepted a suspension (albeit unhappy with its length), the defensive coordinator met with Goodell, saw the evidence, apologized, and accepted an indefinite suspension.

    Refusing to meet and review the NFL’s evidence doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It also doesn’t mean it’s going away. Sticking one’s head in the sand is an asinine way to defend oneself.

  20. vikingamericann says: May 31, 2012 9:19 PM

    To those who say the Saints coaches admitted. You have been shown proof over and over that they never admitted to an injury program. So why don’t you hold yourself to the same standards you hold Vilma to. Stop lying, own up to the truth, and take your does of reality like a man.

  21. lolb23 says: May 31, 2012 9:21 PM

    Vilma is a liar and a cheater, and has been his whole life.

  22. leo133074 says: May 31, 2012 9:24 PM

    Vilma and his people think the average fan is stupid; judging some of the responses, they are correct. However to the rest of us, this filibustering insults our intelligence.

  23. musicman495 says: May 31, 2012 9:27 PM

    catquick says: May 31, 2012 8:30 PM

    How about your own coach admitted it?
    —————————————————
    For the 5,000th time, the coach did not admit to what Vilma is being suspended for. Capiche?

  24. marcinhouston says: May 31, 2012 9:28 PM

    Roger Goodell made explicit public statements to willfully destroy Vilma’s reputation, costing him not only his NFL salary but other opportunities and endorsements, but refuses to provide evidence to back up those statements to any truly neutral party. Roger Goodell is guilty of defamation and will be convicted in a court of law and go down as a criminal. It will be ironic when the self proclaimed judge, jury, and executioner finally faces a judge and jury.

  25. permiepoo says: May 31, 2012 9:30 PM

    This legal game is getting old… if the NFL has evidence what do they have to gain by NOT just releasing it? If it’s ironclad proof… let it speak for itself.

    “We invited him to discuss evidence” sounds like something a lawyer would say. Gather the evidence and send it to his attorney, like you would *have* to do in any court of law.

  26. musicman495 says: May 31, 2012 9:32 PM

    tweeter75 says: May 31, 2012 8:33 PM

    “He was invited to come in with his attorney to discuss the evidence prior to any decision on discipline,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in response to Vilma. “He declined. He has another opportunity to do so in his appeal. The union has been shown evidence.”
    ————————————-
    Vilma was invited to come to the league office to answer questions of the league’s choosing, without being told anything about the evidence they claim they had against him, and without any guarantees that anything he said in the meeting would further be used against him. Gee, I wonder why his lawyer did not jump at that opportunity?

    Goodell is a megalomaniac who will soon get his comeuppance in court.

  27. xenova1 says: May 31, 2012 9:34 PM

    The way this is being handled by the league is going to leave a bigger stain than that of the bounty program itself.

  28. permiepoo says: May 31, 2012 9:36 PM

    sdisme says:
    May 31, 2012 9:00 PM

    Greg Aiello says they showed the union evidence. Yet the union has filed two grievances on behalf of the players and has stated they have not seen any proof.

    Any you are saying not to believe Vilma?

    =========================

    Just more evidence this site is becoming a NFL mouthpiece. How any fair-minded person can come to the conclusion that the NFL can do whatever it wants is unconscionable to me.

    What the Rog has failed to deal with in any of this is the fact that these “bounties” were certainly *not* a Saints-only thing. Players have talked about it in their social circles for years. Yeah, Gregg Williams is an idiot, that doesn’t give Rog carte blanche to hand down a year-long suspension to one player without evidence that they deserved it anymore than anyone else.

    Watch the game film…. Vilma was playing the same game everyone else was. Those that don’t think so do not know football.

  29. musicman495 says: May 31, 2012 9:36 PM

    captatl says: May 31, 2012 8:38 PM

    Vilma just does not get it. He is a member of a Union. The Union and the players signed off on the CBA. The CBA has a procedure. The procedure is being followed. Stop whinning. You had your chance to see the evidence with your attorney, if not then come out and say the NFL spokesman outright lied.
    ——————————————
    The meeting with the league was NOT so Vilma could see the evidence, but to tell Vilma and his lawyer what the league had been told by someone, which we and they already know. And the defamation complaint does in fact call the charges against Vilma untrue. Sounds like Vilma is not the one who does not get it.

  30. dawglb says: May 31, 2012 9:36 PM

    You ARE the evidence, moron! You want to see it? Look in the mirror. Stop clogging up the NFL’s calendar with your nonsense . You thought you were being a tough guy on the field? Try acting like a man, off the field. Own up to it and move on.

  31. waitingguilty says: May 31, 2012 9:56 PM

    Just a thought…But had he showed up to speak with the NFL investigators, don;t you think he’d get a feel for the evidence based on the questions he was asked?

    He could always refuse to answer if he did not feel ready.

  32. rickrock6661982 says: May 31, 2012 10:02 PM

    I want to see Vilma on Jeopardy

    He literally could set a record

  33. booker1974 says: May 31, 2012 10:04 PM

    tquick says:May 31, 2012 8:30 PM

    How about your own coach admitted it?

    ________________________________

    How about the truth is that no one has admitted anything in regards to bounties. How about you learn to read more than the league’s talking points?

    Williams released a statement (written for him by the league after they deemed his own statement to not be repentant enough), apologizing for a “pay for performance” system that rewarded players for making big plays. No where did he admit to putting bounties on players or paying players to injure opponents. Payton and Loomis merely stated that as the head coach and GM that they accepted responsibility for whatever happened on their watch. Assistant Coach Joe Vitt stated they’re being punished for their words and not their actions. None of them admitted a pay to injure bounty system.

    The league has been very shady on this. They handed down the biggest punishments in the history of the league, but won’t show exactly what it was that earned the punishments? The big play pool in the locker room was against league rules and the involved parties should be reprimanded appropriately, but the punishments handed down are in no way appropriate.

    The league alleges a three year pay to injure system, yet there’s not a single player they can point to that was injured, or Saints players who paid or were paid for injuring anyone.

    The whole crux of the league’s “evidence” appears to come down to the Saints being too rough on Favre in the NFC championship game (go figure, they were trying to go to the Super Bowl and tried to put as many hits on the opposing quarterback as possible, imagine that)which led to an initial investigation, over the top locker room talk, and a couple of emails that made what a rational person could see were jokes referencing the earlier investigation.

    The league keeps saying they’ve shown the NFLPA the evidence, but the NFLPA says that they haven’t seen evidence of what the league alleges. The league has also been proven to have misrepresented what evidence they do have (see the Hargrove statement and the Ornstein emails). Why are they so much more credible than the players, who have all vehemently denied that there was a pay to injure system?

  34. dryzzt23 says: May 31, 2012 10:18 PM

    Why is it that the players and the NFLPA feel that the NFL management is somehow accountable to them for any and all decisions they make?

    The NFL is not compelled by law to give the players anything.
    Is the player compelled to disclose exactly what PEDs they take? Or why they decided to get into a bar fight?
    When the players hold themselves accountable and give back signing bonuses as a symbol of their personal accountability, then I will consider the players side.

  35. dryzzt23 says: May 31, 2012 10:20 PM

    The media feels like they are somehow “entitled” to every shred of information that any business, government entity, or private citizen is in possession of, and if they don’t give it up then the media makes assumptions and presents them as facts.

    They seem to have infected the NFLPA and the players with this ridiculous mentality.

  36. mjkelly77 says: May 31, 2012 10:22 PM

    jimw81 says:May 31, 2012 8:52 PM

    Drew Brees needs a explanation!
    _____________

    Wow, very witty. It’s only been done a thousand times already.

  37. djm426 says: May 31, 2012 10:34 PM

    Hey,how about u just make clean hard hits n not try n cheat by crippling people with dirty hits..now u will have an * next to your SB

  38. crubenst says: May 31, 2012 10:44 PM

    Plain and simple, if you’re innocent, why do you need to see the evidence BEFORE you meet with Goodell?

  39. franklamar17 says: May 31, 2012 10:48 PM

    They don t have any thing just hearsay

  40. 6thsense79 says: May 31, 2012 10:53 PM

    catquick says:May 31, 2012 8:30 PM

    How about your own coach admitted it?
    —————————
    Admitted what? Print word for word exactly what this admission was without paraphrasing anything. Please also show where in this supposed admission it directly indicates Jonathan Vilma or any of the suspended players. If you can’t do this then my advice is to stay silent on things you have no idea on. And the 100 or so people that agreed with you are invited to do the same or be quiet.

  41. reggiebush25 says: May 31, 2012 10:58 PM

    U clowns don’t know whats’ going on. GODell has only hearsay bull%&*# evidence.

  42. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: May 31, 2012 10:58 PM

    JUST SHUT THE F UP ALREADY!!!

    No one cares what you have to say…you know you are guilty, deal with your punishment like a man and go away for the year. We don’t want to hear it anyomore.

  43. sweetnlow44 says: May 31, 2012 11:18 PM

    Feel bad for Vilma. I don’t think he realizes how dumb and desperate he’s coming off as. His lying is just digging a deeper hole.

  44. tyler200829 says: May 31, 2012 11:20 PM

    Films shut your mouth you moron, your own coach admitted to it, and then you and sharper come out and say it never happened? Nice try, it’s a child’s game played by men who act like children…give me a break

  45. saintsfan26 says: May 31, 2012 11:23 PM

    For all of you Saints/Vilma haters your comments above are the very reason why Goodell is being sued for defamation. Goodell has no proof of Vilma intentionally trying to hurt anybody but Goodell accused Vilma of doing so. All of you haters just believed everything Goodell said as if Goodell is like some angel sent from heaven or something. Goodell is no angel. Vilma is suing because Goodell lied. Vilma is a good man, a respected teammate and a great leader. He is respected all over the NFL. I am so sorry for all of you people who just believe everything Goodell says. One day you will all see the truth. Geaux Vilma!! Who dat!

  46. fusion3450 says: May 31, 2012 11:32 PM

    catquick says:
    May 31, 2012 8:30 PM
    How about your own coach admitted it?
    ———-
    noooo……he didn’t. go read the facts

  47. getthegleam says: May 31, 2012 11:41 PM

    In non professional terms this is what we call…Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.

    In all seriousness, if you know you are innocent Mr. Vilma, you wouldn’t need anyone to “Show” you any evidence because you know there is no evidence correct?

  48. christinamer says: May 31, 2012 11:46 PM

    You know you did it. Shut up.

  49. daybreaker2 says: May 31, 2012 11:48 PM

    “How about your own coach admitted it?”

    ——————-

    Admitted what? The only thing any one has admitted to is a bonus program for big plays.

    No coach or player has admitted to any bounties for injuries.

    Prove me wrong.

  50. daybreaker2 says: May 31, 2012 11:50 PM

    I guess the NFL has so much evidence, that’s why Goodell just filed for a delay in the Vilma defamation case? Just too much evidence to sift through? Yeah. Ok.

  51. scomibord says: Jun 1, 2012 12:06 AM

    Vilma was told prior to his decision to not visit das fuhrer, that das fuhrer was not going to providehim with the opportunity to see any of the evidence against him, hence, Vilmas decision to decline meeting with das fuhrer

  52. trubroncfan07 says: Jun 1, 2012 12:15 AM

    Vilma better get read to get black balled.

  53. wtfru2 says: Jun 1, 2012 12:17 AM

    This isn’t a court of law it’s about a job. If I threatened my co-workers with bodily harm do you think I’ be working?

  54. larryjames836 says: Jun 1, 2012 12:26 AM

    saintsfan26; you are right there are a lot of Saints haters out there they all are Goodell cheerleaders they don’t know anything about New Orleans and show don’t know anything about the Saints. They are Roger Goodell yes slapnuts fans whatever Goodell say his yes fans right behind him. All of them are heresay players if someone tell them the sky is falling they will say yes, Vilma has the rights to defend himself. He will be less than a man not to defend himself I know one thing he is getting respect from Goodell because Goodell just knew he was in the clear. Right now Vilma got all of Roger Goodell attention with that lawsuit Goodell knows now that Vilma is on the real side pulling Goodell W-Card.

  55. blondebombr says: Jun 1, 2012 1:08 AM

    INVESTIGATION PROCESS 101

    The investigation process is:

    1. A fact finding mission
    2. Collect as much evidence as possible before the next stage, where you make your case.
    3. NOT the stage of accusations.

    Vilma claims he wasn’t shown the evidence so he couldn’t defend himself during this process. How guilty is that?

    During this stage it’s not about sharing evidence, it’s about investigating. That’s it.

    So they have been told Vilma did a certain act. They go to him and ask him about it. What does he have to say about it? Deny it? Accept it? Have a different version?

    That’s all that happens. They then take his statement and add it to the rest of their data.

    Anyone crying that “I wasn’t shown the evidence against me” during the investigation process is sounding very, very guilty. Because at that time, it’s just fact finding, ma’am.

  56. saintsfan26 says: Jun 1, 2012 1:13 AM

    Cwwgk: you are an idiot. The coaches and the GM appealed their suspensions. Goodell upheld the suspensions that Goodell handed down to them. How is that fair?

  57. cwwgk says: Jun 1, 2012 1:29 AM

    In response to the NFL’s allegations of a bounty program Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis issued the following statement: “We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility…These are serious violations and we understand the negative impact it has had on our game. Both of us have made it clear within our organization that this will never happen again, and make that same promise to the NFL and most importantly to all of our fans.”

    The league alleged the Saints violated the rules by conducting a bounty program. Payton and Loomis stated the violation HAPPENED under their watch.

  58. flannlv says: Jun 1, 2012 2:52 AM

    Clearly you legal scholars on here don’t understand semantics or lack an ability to comprehend what the NFL’s statement says. The last sentence says the NFLPA has been shown evidence. What has been disclosed are summaries, which have been demonstrated to be mischaracterizations of the statements. You further have a statement from Williams that was written by the NFL for Williams to read at his press conference, which doesn’t mention bounties. There also exists letter of suspension sent to the coaches/executives that threaten additional suspensions if the situation is discussed. Also, the coaches/executives are not a part of the NFLPA.

    Vilma and the players have sought two avenues of redress via the NFLPA provisions as to whom and if the league even has jurisdiction over the suspensions.

    Finally, Vilma filed a defamation action against Goodell, individually wherein the complaint unequivocally states Vilma didn’t offer to pay, intend to pay or pay for any plays resulting in injury.

    The NFL has refused to show the raw data so as to allow Vilma to address the issues/evidence. If it was so iron clad, the league would have no problem allowing the players the opportunity to review the raw data. They haven’t. My guess is they won’t either. Whether Vilma came to the NFL offices or not. So the only way Vilma can obtain that information is through the discovery process in court.

  59. silentcount says: Jun 1, 2012 4:44 AM

    If Vilma wins, is there anyway Goodell remains? His whole “bounty injuries” claim was supposedly based on his public accusations against Vilma. If the truth reveals that not to be true, then perhaps everything is simply a Goodell exaggeration to support his hidden agenda. It questions the justification of coach suspensions, team fines and losing draft picks. Goodell was able to bully and threaten the coaches to sign his apology form, but he didn’t figure on Vilma to boldly challenge him in court. Refusing to show what he claims to be evidence and asking for delays is a clear indication that Goodell will lose and he knows it. What happens then?

  60. 34trap says: Jun 1, 2012 4:56 AM

    Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah! Vilma is a world class competitor and a world class athlete. He belongs in the NFL, and it’s a damn shame that he won’t be playing this year. His teammates were going to do their high-paid jobs anyways, all he was doing was giving them a tip!
    And this is coming from a Lions fan. The Saints killed us in the playoffs. Every team in the league wants a Jonathan Vilma in the huddle. #p*sssification of amurica

  61. truthserum4u says: Jun 1, 2012 5:52 AM

    sdisme says:May 31, 2012 9:11 PM

    You should read the lawsuit. He states he never pledged, paid or intended to pay any money.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Funny word “pledgeed”. Basically stating he didn’t promise. Vilma has chosen his words carefully and at no time has he stated he never spoke the words attributed to him. Only some leaks that it was said to rile the players. He keeps focusing on the money aspect, not the intent.

    musicman495 says:May 31, 2012 9:27 PM

    For the 5,000th time, the coach did not admit to what Vilma is being suspended for. Capiche?

    fusion3450 says:May 31, 2012 11:32 PM

    &

    catquick says:
    May 31, 2012 8:30 PM
    How about your own coach admitted it?
    ———-
    noooo……he didn’t. go read the facts

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Facts? And all you people asking for proof the coaches made statements implicating Vilma without providing PROOF that the coaches didn’t make the statements crack me up. The truth is no one here knows. No one here was in the room with Goodell while he spoke to the Saints staff. All you’re going by is self serving leaks made by the NO organization.

    And heresay? The league came out early in the process and said it had multiple sources for their evidence. In any event, sooner or later we’ll see which side was more truthful.

  62. mikeinfected says: Jun 1, 2012 6:13 AM

    please, please let him back in the NFL but for fairness, turn over the evidence to all of the players and teams that The Saints have been found guilty of targeting.

    Self-regulation can be a wonderful thing sometimes.

    As can bulletin boards.

  63. panamon says: Jun 1, 2012 6:37 AM

    I can’t wait until likely multiple people who will admit in an uncorroborated manor the same thing- that he made the Favre bounty and likely Arizona—something the NFLPA of course won’t consider evidence.

  64. eagleswin says: Jun 1, 2012 6:42 AM

    sdisme says:May 31, 2012 9:00 PM

    Greg Aiello says they showed the union evidence. Yet the union has filed two grievances on behalf of the players and has stated they have not seen any proof.

    Any you are saying not to believe Vilma?

    ——————————–

    Union supporters and Saint fans keep grasping at straws and twisting things.

    Were the union grievances in regard to evidence in the bounty investigation? NO. They were trying to say that Goodell didn’t have the AUTHORITY to pursue and punish. That had ZERO to do about the merits of the case. I fail to see how that is evidence of the NFL’s case being weak/lying?

    This is also the same union who bemoans player safety but yet refuses to do anything about it. This is the same union who signed off on HGH testing but refuses to allow the league to test for it. This is the same union who signed off on the Redskins/Cowboys punishment (so that it would be exempt from collusion charges) for millions of dollars and then turned around and took the NFL to court to try to make more millions of dollars (conveniently ignoring their own role).

    DeSmith is out for DeSmith and noone else. His expertise is as a trial lawyer, not as a labor head. It’s no wonder that he prefers the courtroom to any other venue.

  65. mwindle1973 says: Jun 1, 2012 6:48 AM

    Here’s an interesting thing to think about. If one feels wronged by their employer do they sue them? Well it depends…do you plan on working for them or anyone else in that industry again? If you do, you probably shouldn’t sue them. Right or wrong, if you want to play their game you have to play by their rules. Vilma is just one fish in a large pond. Athletes like him sometimes have an inflated sense of self-importance that doesn’t serve them very well in instances like this. Welcome to life, people get screwed every day, right or wrong, you have to take your lumps and move on. Unless, this is of course a situation where he knows by the time he can play again he may not have it. After all he was heavily criticized as losing a step or 2 last season. It’s odd too that there has only been a small amount of attention paid to the fact that he was a key figure pointed out in the Miami U bounty scandal that came out about a year or so ago. Either way whether he is guilty of the actions he’s accused of or not, and whether he wins his lawsuit or not, he is probably not going to play in the NFL again. If he does, he will have limited employment opportunities.

  66. truthserum4u says: Jun 1, 2012 7:12 AM

    @ booker1974

    First let me say I think the punishment is too much since no players were actually injured in this whole ordeal. However, a lack of injuries is not proof in and of itself that the bounty system didn’t exist. A poor job of carrying out a crime doesn’t exonerate you from the intent, and I believe that is why Goodell is going after them.

    The Saints were more than “being too rough” on Favre. Blatant and some not so blatant illegal hits were carried out until it was clear Favre was not at full speed anymore. Long time media members stated they’ve never, in all their years covering the sport, witnessed a QB get hit long after making a hand-off. But that is exactly what Bobby McCrary did in that NFC Championship game. Favre was into his third step without the ball on a play going in the opposite direction and McCrary jacked him in the chin with his helmet. But his actions were just misunderstood; he meant no harm. That was simply the worst of the bunch.

    You see, rational people look at the Saints excuses (locker room talk [aimed at specific injuries] misinterpretations, misunderstandings, taken out of context, and my favorite – just joking) and realize innocent people generally don’t have that many things to explain away. But it’s all just a big misunderstanding!

    Keep in mind the NFLPA also made claims that they weren’t getting financial information during the lock-out; and that turned out to be false.

    Finally, there was the ESPN report by Ed Werder. The source from a significant person in the Saints organization stated the bounty thing was over blown. That it only existed for the two NFC playoff games against Arizona & Minnesota, and that it stopped after word came the Vikings had made a complaint. But I’m sure that was taken out of context. Or perhaps Ed misunderstood. Or maybe …it was just a joke.

  67. sj39 says: Jun 1, 2012 7:21 AM

    He wasn’t supposed to be defending himself, he was supposed to come clean.

  68. eagleswin says: Jun 1, 2012 8:47 AM

    cwwgk says:
    Jun 1, 2012 1:29 AM
    In response to the NFL’s allegations of a bounty program Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis issued the following statement: “We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility…These are serious violations and we understand the negative impact it has had on our game. Both of us have made it clear within our organization that this will never happen again, and make that same promise to the NFL and most importantly to all of our fans.”

    The league alleged the Saints violated the rules by conducting a bounty program. Payton and Loomis stated the violation HAPPENED under their watch.

    ——————————————

    The problem is that saints fans will continue to deny because the word BOUNTY wasn’t used. Everyone knows what the violations were and what performance the “pay for performance” were really paying for. There was no need to explain what violations they committed. The team and it’s coaches know why they were punished and have accepted it.

  69. radrntn says: Jun 1, 2012 9:29 AM

    Time will tell all, but in my opinion the commissioner might be trying to do way to much way to fast, and is beginning to create more enemies then the friendships like he has with Robert Kraft. I mean going after players and owners alike will start putting nails in the coffin for the commish……If anybody think’s the nfl should be a bunch of choir boys, then maybe it’s time for a new league, but let the nfl be the nfl. Some things are better off left alone.

  70. reporterofthetruth says: Jun 1, 2012 9:50 AM

    catquick says:
    May 31, 2012 8:30 PM
    How about your own coach admitted it?

    Payton never said Vilma did anything. Try harder next time to separate the facts vs. fiction.

  71. goodolebaghead says: Jun 1, 2012 10:05 AM

    I don’t understand why the only ‘evidence’ the NFL has released has turned to dust in the light of day. I have yet to see one thing that proves anything besides pay for performance. Guilty or not, you have all decided he is guilty now. Period. If he is actually innocent (which is possible you know) then Goodell defamed him and cost him a job he worked his entire life for. I think this was a serious enough punishment to warrant this investigation. The way Goodell is going about punishing people is bad for the NFL, and what’s bad for the NFL is bad for YOUR TEAM. Careful, next time he might be doing this to your team.

  72. bass1717 says: Jun 1, 2012 10:20 AM

    He should have met with Goodell when he was asked and just came clean, I think Goodell may have been a little more lenient on the suspension……instead he did what he and all the NFL players thought was cool, he stood up to “the man” and said no…….and I believe it backfired in his face……shut up Vilma and take your punishment like a man

  73. booker1974 says: Jun 1, 2012 1:28 PM

    truthserum4u ,

    No one denies that the Saints went hard after Favre that game, and yes, the McCray hit after the handoff looked like a cheap shot (in McCray’s defense, Favre was faking a bootleg after the handoff, but it did look like a gratuitous hit).

    That said, just because they were hitting him every chance they got doesn’t mean there was a bounty — just that they viewed punishing Favre as a strategy to win the game so they could go to the Super Bowl (kind of like the beating the Vikings put on Tony Romo the week before).

    And I am familiar with the Ed Werder report, which stated that the NFL’s allegations were exaggerated; there were theatrics prior to the Cardinals and Vikings games, and that after the league inquired to Payton, he told Williams to knock it off and it never was an issue again.

    You sarcastically comment that the whole things comes down to “misunderstandings.” No, the whole things comes down to whether or not the Saints had an ongoing, three year pay to injure program, as the league alleges, and frankly there is nothing to back that up. No one is saying the Saints are choir boys, but tough locker room talk and bravado and players rewarding each other for making turnovers does not equal what they’ve been punished for. Going hard after Favre in a game with a Super Bowl berth on the line does not equate to a three year pay to injure system.

    And the Ornstein emails were clearly jokes — seriously, the guy was in prison across the country and broke — yet his emails appear to be the basis for much of the allegations.

    Believe me, if there is clear evidence that the Saints did what they are charged with I’d love to see it and know that they weren’t getting screwed on this. Until then it will continue to appear that the Saints were a team that was a convenient scapegoat.

  74. booker1974 says: Jun 1, 2012 1:34 PM

    For people that say Vilma should have just met with the commisioner and come clean, the reason he and the others didn’t goes back to the Starcaps violations (remember that?). The players tried to be straight up but the league flipped it into a “gotcha” scenario, and the NFLPA took note. The league under Goodell has made it clear by their actions that they are not looking for justice, but instead to assert their authority as much as possible.

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