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Vilma’s lawyer calls Goodell “misguided and irresponsible”

Lions Saints Football AP

Attorney Peter Ginsberg, who represents Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma in the bounty appeal and the defamation lawsuit filed against Commissioner Roger Goodell, has issued a statement in response to Friday’s stories regarding the ledger that supposedly documents bounty payments to Saints players.

Ginsberg calls the report “yet more evidence of how misguided and irresponsible Commissioner Goodell has been in handling this issue.”

The lawyer then raises three alleged deficiencies regarding the leaked ledger evidence:  (1) the information identifies no specific players who were injured or paid; (2) statistics from the 2009 game between the Saints and the Panthers, for which three $1,000 payments allegedly were made, “show that opposing defensive players, not offensive players, were the brunt of any physical plays”; and (3) the payments made, regardless of the name applied, reflected “good, clean, legal plays, and . . . any dirty or penalized play resulted in fines to players, not awards.”

Ginsberg then offers a general comment on Vilma’s role in the alleged bounty program:  “The truth is that Jonathan Vilma gave no money, incentive or encouragement ever — not at any time in his eight-year career — to injure or knock out of any game any player with a dirty or unsportsmanlike hit.  The facts are plain and simple.  During the three seasons in question, Jonathan Vilma was one of the least penalized players not only on the Saints but in the NFL.  There is not one instance in which Jonathan Vilma set out to injure a player or gave any incentive to another player to injure an opposing player.”

That final paragraph invites questions as to whether Vilma gave money, incentive, and/or encouragement to knock a player out of a game with a clean or sportsmanlike hit.  Either way, this controversy won’t be resolved until someone/anyone discloses all evidence of player guilt and/or innocence.

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89 Responses to “Vilma’s lawyer calls Goodell “misguided and irresponsible””
  1. skolvikesskol says: Jun 2, 2012 2:52 PM

    They dont get it at all. With every breath they dig themselves deeper in a hole of the court of public opinion… Unless u live in louisiana, nothing they do short of taking it like a man will matter… End of story… I will forever remeber vilma as the bountgate liar guy, prob wont remember 1 thing he has done on the field now

  2. marcinhouston says: Jun 2, 2012 2:53 PM

    Roger Goodell is no different than some shady dishonest insurance salesman, general contractor, or ponzi scheme broker who goes around swindling naive senior citizens out of their money, except that it just happens that the 32 seniors he swindled own NFL teams. The Roger Goodell show goes on as usual, all talk of evidence and no actual evidence, all big flashy proclamations to get attention for Roger, and Roger keeps cashing his paychecks while smearing the reputation of the entire NFL through the mud with one drama or another.

  3. dirtmcgirt24 says: Jun 2, 2012 2:54 PM

    Anyone who repeatedly claims innocence just might be innocent.

    Anyone who instead repeatedly demands to see evidence is playing the “innocent until proven guilty” card.

    Vilma keeps demanding evidence. If he was innocent, he’d simply appeal, knowing there is no evidence.

  4. qdog112 says: Jun 2, 2012 2:57 PM

    Goodell has stepped in it. His Draconian punishments will be his downfall. Due process entitles Vilma to see his accuser and all the evidence used by Goodell to make his decision. This not about peanuts, Vilma stands to lose millions of dollars and is right to fight. This situation will highlight what has happened to evidence in other cases, like say the spygate thing. PREDICTION: Goodell will not survive this.

  5. jwayne111 says: Jun 2, 2012 2:59 PM

    What a misdirection of the issue. Someone remind him what Vilma is being disciplined for.

    Its not about dirty or penalized play. He participated and contributed in an illegal program forbidden in the NFL.

  6. blantoncollier says: Jun 2, 2012 2:59 PM

    Vilma, his lawyer, Dee, his mouth piece–they can the Commish anything they want including “Late for Dinner” it doesnt matter.

    The Commish reports to the owners not the players. And the owners like what he is doing for the game and their wallets.

    Those that are innocent use the courts or appeals proces. Those are not use the court of public opinion. Notice which one Vilma is using?

  7. doctorfootball says: Jun 2, 2012 2:59 PM

    The opposing lawyer had nothing nice to say about Goodell? No surprise there. When is the last time a lawyer had anything but negative comments about their opponents? Never. Saints did the crime. Now they do the time.

  8. qdog112 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:01 PM

    How many of you would challenge Goodell for $5 million dollars? Vilma would be crazy not to challenge.

  9. nypd1056 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:01 PM

    So Vilmas lawyer has seen the ledger????? If so share it with the rest of us. Page by page, I would like to read it.

  10. captatl says: Jun 2, 2012 3:02 PM

    Does Ginsberg not realize that the Saints gave open access to local computers as well as servers? They have digital video of everything that went on in the locker room and meeting rooms. They may or may not have audio, but they do have coaches and other player testimony. If anyone thinks for a minute, that the attorneys for a 9 Billion dollar enterprise did not review everything including the punishment, then you have no clue as to how business operates. The NFL is not going to show their hand, period. Why would they? Contractually they dont have to.

  11. sg419 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:04 PM

    If you have the goods on the Saints then lets see it. It is no different than the Saints claiming innocence than Goodell claiming guilt. Put it out there for everyone to see. This will either shut up the Saints fans or everyone else.

    Than maybe we can get to some football.

  12. gweez76 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:19 PM

    Don’t blame him. He just does what Kraft and Mara tell him to do.

  13. clevelandschronic2 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:19 PM

    Except it is different. Saints didnt deny this. Nor did the coaches. Only people denying this is the dumbass players who got caught. Vilma is a whiny little baby. Just like the fans that support his jock. The saints and there fans are beyond stupid. Who dat layin down the law. Goodell…… Roger Goodell

  14. gweez76 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:20 PM

    dirtmcgirt24 says:
    Jun 2, 2012 2:54 PM
    Anyone who repeatedly claims innocence just might be innocent.

    Anyone who instead repeatedly demands to see evidence is playing the “innocent until proven guilty” card.

    Vilma keeps demanding evidence. If he was innocent, he’d simply appeal, knowing there is no evidence.

     ——————–

    Uh…the appeal goes to Goodell. Now you see the violence inherent in the system.

  15. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Jun 2, 2012 3:24 PM

    You are both ‘misguided and irresponsible’ and I have only four words for you:

    JUST GO AWAY ALREADY!

  16. sterling7 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:29 PM

    I think attorney Peter Ginsberg is absolutely correct in his assessment. Why don’t we let Jonathan Vilma be commissioner and run the NFL, that way when Jonathan Vilma doesn’t like something-he can put a bounty on it!

  17. meccaho says: Jun 2, 2012 3:32 PM

    “What a misdirection of the issue. Someone remind him what Vilma is being disciplined for.

    Its not about dirty or penalized play. He participated and contributed in an illegal program forbidden in the NFL.”

    So you agree with the harshest penalties ever given for a pay for performance system? Something Green Bay did a few years back and got no penalties.

    Talk about misdirection. Goodell claimed that Vilma was dirty and trying to injure players, everyone on the Saints has denied it. What they have admitted to is a pay for performance system.
    Completely different and all the evidence points to just a pay for performance system. How do you hand out $1000 dollars 3 times in the panthers game if only 1 defensive player was injured? Oh that’s right, for the interceptions and fumbles. Not a pay for injury bounty system which you can’t even accept anymore and just want the harshest penalties ever given for a stupid pay for performance system.

    Because you don’t want the Saints to be good, you will gladly accept Goodell’s lies.

  18. catquick says: Jun 2, 2012 3:42 PM

    What all the fans don’t realize is YOu are not entitled to see the evidence. This isn’t show and tell. You already know its true anyway. Williams ADMITTED IT!!!!!! what part of that don’t you understand? He would never have admitted it after his multiple denials unless Goodell had the goods on him. Vilma IS guilty! Otherwise, why would only 4 players get suspended? Why him, and not all the others? Because there’s proof he did it. Its an NFL interal matter. WE aren’t entitled to see it. I hope Vilma gets banned for life after this. he’s using emotional manipulation to create hatred against Goodell when he’s the culprit. I hope Goodell sues him for defamation of character also. You Saints fans aren’t doing yourselves any favors either. I used to root for the Saints, as I did in the Superbowl, but now, I hope you never win another game. You’re destroying your own teams reputation. a sign of the times I guess. No one takes responsibility for their actions anymore.

  19. mitchdms says: Jun 2, 2012 3:48 PM

    blantoncollier says:

    Those that are innocent use the courts or appeals proces. Those are not use the court of public opinion. Notice which one Vilma is using?

    Vilma is using both the court and appeals system. This is a response to an leak that clearly came from the league. The NFL is withholding evidence until it decides to leak some to reporters who won’t vet it. Hmmm. So who is using what now?

    At the end of the day, just as we should hold our players accountable for their actions, we as fans should demand that the league also carries itself in an ethical way. The way the NFL has used the media, releasing information unvetted and mischaracterized, is something no fan of the game should accept.

    In each of these threads, there are angry Vikings fans. Have you forgotten the league’s behavior in the StarCaps case? Those of you who simply are taking pleasure because it isn’t your team or is your team’s rival – what happens when the league behaves this way next time? I don’t care who anyone wants to see punished or loves to see squirmed. This is the game that we love and we should demand that all parties, including Goodell, live up to it.

  20. despenc925 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:54 PM

    ________ needs am explanation! SORRY, I ha to do it

  21. 92and94and51and56 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:55 PM

    I am all for Goodell being challenged on anything and everything. He’s gotten way too much power and he wields it like a petty tyrant.

    However…there’s just no siding with Vilma on this issue. Goodell’s got him and the rest of the Saints dead to rights. They deserve everything they’re getting (and losing)

    Rage against Goodell all day, every day, 24 hours a day. But not here. Not on this one. Sucks I know, but he’s in the right this time.

  22. cwmorga says: Jun 2, 2012 3:56 PM

    @clevelandschronic2 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:19 PM

    Except it is different. Saints didnt deny this. Nor did the coaches. Only people denying this is the dumbass players who got caught. Vilma is a whiny little baby. Just like the fans that support his jock. The saints and there fans are beyond stupid. Who dat layin down the law. Goodell…… Roger Goodell
    —————-

    Nobody is claiming the Saints didn’t have a pay for performance system. They’ve admitted as much. Goodell suspended players and coaches for pay for running a pay to injure system.

    Try to keep up, slurper.

  23. bullcharger says: Jun 2, 2012 3:56 PM

    Vilma’s lawyer will say what ever he needs to say to create a case.

    The problem is Goodell didn’t have to share the evidence with the accused folks. It’s not a court of law its an employment relationship. If during an appeal process Goodell can show he had sufficient evidence it should be case closed.

    In addition, the defamation suit will have no chance.

  24. brenenostler says: Jun 2, 2012 3:58 PM

    If Vilma somehow wins this case, bounties are just going to continue and the players will just make sure to cover up the evidence. Maybe Goodell came down a little too hard on the Saints, but how else are you going to make sure that it never happens again?

    I hope you people that are against Goodell understand that.

  25. Patriot42 says: Jun 2, 2012 3:59 PM

    The guilty always hate the judge that gives the sentence.

  26. bullcharger says: Jun 2, 2012 3:59 PM

    Goodell has stepped in it. His Draconian punishments will be his downfall. Due process entitles Vilma to see his accuser and all the evidence used by Goodell to make his decision. This not about peanuts, Vilma stands to lose millions of dollars and is right to fight. This situation will highlight what has happened to evidence in other cases, like say the spygate thing. PREDICTION: Goodell will not survive this.

    ———–

    He will definitely survive this. What due process? Goodell followed the agreed due process? Vilma wasn’t entitled to see anything. It wasn’t a lawsuit, it was a suspension.

  27. jimbo75025 says: Jun 2, 2012 4:00 PM

    Anyway this is going to keep going until one of two things happen-

    1. It comes to light the NFL had little evidence.

    2. Goodell drops the a-bomb and releases what I would imagine are some pretty increminating things. If this happens the players, coaches, and organization are going to look even worse than they did at the start due to the continued legal wrangling. This could also hurt the value of the franchise which is I’m sure is something the NFL does not want. Notice that the person who has the most to lose in all of this-the owner has barely uttered a peep in protest and Payton, Loomis, Vitt, etc have not raised much of a stink by comparison to the players themselves.

  28. cwmorga says: Jun 2, 2012 4:01 PM

    @dirtmcgirt24 says: Jun 2, 2012 2:54 PM

    Anyone who repeatedly claims innocence just might be innocent.

    Anyone who instead repeatedly demands to see evidence is playing the “innocent until proven guilty” card.

    Vilma keeps demanding evidence. If he was innocent, he’d simply appeal, knowing there is no evidence.
    ————————

    Vilma wrote on his Twitter account that, “As I’ve said before..I NEVER PAID, NOR INTENDED TO PAY ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY, TO ANY PLAYER FOR INTENTIONALLY HURTING AN OPPONENT.”

    Again, try to keep up.

  29. euroamericans says: Jun 2, 2012 4:08 PM

    Youtube Scott Fujita dirty hit on Steve Smith. All you need to see to confirm the bounties.

  30. mjkelly77 says: Jun 2, 2012 4:11 PM

    Vilma’s lawyer calls Goodell “misguided and irresponsible”
    __________________

    What else is he gonna say? My client is guilty and deserves everything he gets?

  31. jedidev says: Jun 2, 2012 4:11 PM

    They dont get it at all. With every breath they dig themselves deeper in a hole of the court of public opinion… Unless u live in louisiana, nothing they do short of taking it like a man will matter… End of story… I will forever remeber vilma as the bountgate liar guy, prob wont remember 1 thing he has done on the field now

    ——

    Congratulations for unintentionally proving the reason for Vilma’s suit

  32. mjkelly77 says: Jun 2, 2012 4:14 PM

    qdog112 says:Jun 2, 2012 2:57 PM

    Goodell has stepped in it. His Draconian punishments will be his downfall. Due process entitles Vilma to see his accuser and all the evidence used by Goodell to make his decision. This not about peanuts, Vilma stands to lose millions of dollars and is right to fight. This situation will highlight what has happened to evidence in other cases, like say the spygate thing. PREDICTION: Goodell will not survive this.
    ____________

    Wow! You are totally lost on this issue.

  33. nineroutsider says: Jun 2, 2012 4:14 PM

    Ummmm, seems like we are forgetting a few things. I know we live in a highly litigious society, but I think we are being to quick to demand “beyond a reasonable doubt” evidence. I understand the need somewhat, especially if you are a Saints fan, (I am trying to wear their shoes here and I know I would be hot about this if it were my 9ers), but we need to consider a few things:

    1) The Saints put the league in this position. The league privately gave them ample opportunity to simply stop the program and they arrogantly refused to do it. The league had to expose it’s own member to heed off some reporter doing it. The league has tried very hard to frame this story in the most positive manner…by saying “See, we can police ourselves, we care about player safety.”

    2) This isn’t like Apple going at Microsoft (like my 90′s example?). The Saints are one of 32 FRANCHISES that comprise the league. The league fights hard to protect the interests of all of it’s franchises. Let’s not forget that. They are on the same side.

    Would I love to see and hear all of the evidence? Yes I would. Do I think the league is required to release it as if this were an actual criminal court case? No I do not. Do I believe that the Saints were viciously employing an injury bounty program. No, I do not. However, do I believe they had one, perhaps in name only, perhaps as a motivational tool only? Yes, I do. I do believe that much has been proven and I’m sure the league has more evidence to back it up. Therefore, the league was right to punish them, especially after they didn’t stop. Ware the player punishment perhaps too harsh? I tend to think they were (although I rarely admit it).

    I know the league has rubbed certain diehard fans the wrong way, but the league has wide appeal. They appeal to casual fans who aren’t looking for Roman gladiator death fights. They don’t want to hear about ripping out a guy’s inside ACL from a coach. The league needs to fight off Congressional hearings by policing themselves and showing they are genuinely concerned about player safety. BTW, this has nothing to do with the concussion lawsuit that I think they league will beat…easily.

    Undoubtedly, the league has made an example out of the Saints. Was it 100% far? No, example never are. Nonetheless, it was the right thing for the league to do for the greater good.

    I still have yet to read one person asking, “why did my team put itself in this position?” If you never get upset with your team, and you are continually in lockstep with them, then you are nothing more than a homer. Which is fine, but don’t think the rest of us are taking you serious and don’t believe that you deserve to be taken serious. Your team did this to itself and it’s fans, yet their fans aren’t upset with them. It seems to be an epidemic in this country. We don’t want to be reasonable we just want to back our team 100% of the time, whether its sports, business, or worst of all, politics.

    None of us believe your aim is the truth, but rather we know your aim is to solely to prove your team right. Try looking for the truth and see how you look at this. Pretend another team did it or something, instead of taking it personal because (T.O. sniffles) that my team, man….

  34. 49erstim says: Jun 2, 2012 4:15 PM

    Can they really m.ake such “defaming” claims? Hmmmmm.

  35. eagleswin says: Jun 2, 2012 4:16 PM

    gweez76 says:Jun 2, 2012 3:20 PM

    Uh…the appeal goes to Goodell. Now you see the violence inherent in the system.

    ————————————–

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    However, the players approved the current system less than 12 months ago after complaining about it for several years. That’s not Goodell’s fault.

  36. downslide33 says: Jun 2, 2012 4:18 PM

    Vilma’s lawyer calls Goodell “misguided and irresponsible”. Hmmm, sounds like he is defaming Goodell. Roger should sue him!!

  37. imjinbrdgr says: Jun 2, 2012 4:21 PM

    They dont get it at all. With every breath they dig themselves deeper in a hole of the court of public opinion… Unless u live in louisiana, nothing they do short of taking it like a man will matter… End of story… I will forever remeber vilma as the bountgate liar guy, prob wont remember 1 thing he has done on the field now
    ____________________________________

    First of all I don’t have a dog in this fight. But when I read a statement like yours I have to wonder why you take that stance. Are just swallowing everything that comes out of the league office or can you offer some evidence? Because the league hasn’t offered any that I know of. They say they have a ledger, OK lets see it and compare it to the game films. Did these alleged hits even happen? Were there players carted off during those games.

    I support Goodells’ effort at player safety because I don’t think the game can continue without it. However he has been operating with absolute power for a while now and that can be dangerous in any situation. “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
    I hope he is not just throwing players under a bus to make a point. I don’t think that can be good for the game either.

    Bottom line is every single second of every single game is on tape. When I see a ledger of players getting $1,000 and then see a replay of that player causing an injury with a cheap shot, then I say ban the player and the payer for at least a year and maybe for life. But until then these guys are still entitled to innocent until proven guilty.

  38. eagleswin says: Jun 2, 2012 4:36 PM

    With the news that the NFLPA and Drew Brees were pulling Pamphilons strings behind the scenes with the Williams Audio, would it surprise anyone if the NFLPA was behind Vilma’s lawsuit?

    The NFLPA is about as shady as it get’s and if that turned out to be the case, i wouldn’t be surprised. They just don’t like it when things get traced back to them.

  39. pongonfl says: Jun 2, 2012 4:41 PM

    You would think that Vilma would recall that his suspension will be reviewed at the end the one year term.
    Reviewed implies that it might not be lifted.

  40. euphoni says: Jun 2, 2012 4:41 PM

    For all the dopes who are saying why doesn’t Vilma go through the appeal process and why is he using public opinion… Wake up!! Who would rule on Vilma’s appeal??

  41. nineroutsider says: Jun 2, 2012 4:48 PM

    @gweez76 says:Jun 2, 2012 3:20 PM

    dirtmcgirt24 says:
    Jun 2, 2012 2:54 PM
    Anyone who repeatedly claims innocence just might be innocent.

    Anyone who instead repeatedly demands to see evidence is playing the “innocent until proven guilty” card.

    Vilma keeps demanding evidence. If he was innocent, he’d simply appeal, knowing there is no evidence.

    ——————–

    Uh…the appeal goes to Goodell. Now you see the violence inherent in the system.
    —————————————–
    Oh, I’m sorry…poor bitter Skins fan…was big mean Goodell (and the rest of the owners) too harsh on your cheating team too?

  42. nineroutsider says: Jun 2, 2012 4:49 PM

    euphoni says:Jun 2, 2012 4:41 PM

    For all the dopes who are saying why doesn’t Vilma go through the appeal process and why is he using public opinion… Wake up!! Who would rule on Vilma’s appeal??
    ————————————————–
    Just the guy that he and a 1,000+ plus other guys voted for.

  43. pacificajim says: Jun 2, 2012 4:50 PM

    Vilma’s lawyer calls Goodell “misguided and irresponsible”.

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

    Upon seeing this headline, Goodell chuckled and said “Hey, listen to what this bloviating ignoramus said about me.”

  44. hedleykow says: Jun 2, 2012 4:55 PM

    Commissioner Regor Dogell wouldn’t say bad things about Nathan Wilma if it weren’t true. Wilma’s lawyer is a meany and a liar.

  45. vetdana says: Jun 2, 2012 4:55 PM

    Due process entitles Vilma to see his accuser and all the evidence used by Goodell to make his decision. ….But….. unfortunately it went out the window with the signing of the last CBA ,which gave the Commmish…ALL POWER in identifying transgressions and handing out punishments for same.The players signed the agreement before these possibilities were discussed and addressed and now they are paying for this decided lack of foresight !

  46. mitchdms says: Jun 2, 2012 5:21 PM

    nineroutsider says:

    I still have yet to read one person asking, “why did my team put itself in this position?” If you never get upset with your team, and you are continually in lockstep with them, then you are nothing more than a homer. Which is fine, but don’t think the rest of us are taking you serious and don’t believe that you deserve to be taken serious. Your team did this to itself and it’s fans, yet their fans aren’t upset with them. It seems to be an epidemic in this country. We don’t want to be reasonable we just want to back our team 100% of the time, whether its sports, business, or worst of all, politics.
    ____________________________________

    You have read one now. I’m furious with Payton, Loomis, and Williams for their arrogance in continuing the pay for performance program after they were warned. The Saints were wrong, and they are paying for it in suspensions and draft picks. The players in question, however, should be allowed to defend themselves if they feel that the league got the facts wrong with the very public accusations, and is behaving in a way that they should not.

    The relative guilt of one person doesn’t excuse the poor actions of another. If I’m guilty of a crime, it doesn’t excuse prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. If I got caught speeding, I shouldn’t be charged with vehicular manslaughter. The judge or lawyers shouldn’t leak questionable information to a friendly media to make there case seem stronger than it may be.

    Unfortunately, it is because the Saints are guilty of something that people are all too willing to overlook the league’s questionable behavior. And why terrible journalists simply parrot what the league says with absolutely no vetting or legwork. And why no one asks why those who claim to hold the facts behave in ways that make people like have to Florio question their every word. That is shameful, and it does not contribute to the health of the game any more than pay for performance systems do.

    The Saints put themselves in this position, but that doesn’t mean that fans should simply turn a blind eye toward some pretty shameful actions from the league.

  47. bigbadal21 says: Jun 2, 2012 5:29 PM

    What I dont understand is why Vilmas restructured contract does not get more publicity.
    When suspensions were talked about and his name was bantered about the team restructured his contract so that any suspension in 2012 would have the minimum impact on him financially.His 2012 game checks were drastically reduced and he received a bonus prior to the suspension. But nobody has called this out.

  48. letmesetyoustraight says: Jun 2, 2012 5:32 PM

    clevelandschronic2 says:Jun 2, 2012 3:19 PM

    “The saints and there fans are beyond stupid.”

    =====

    That should be “their”, Einstein.

  49. kodakinvegas says: Jun 2, 2012 5:40 PM

    You can sure tell the Saints FANS from the AIN’T fans. Tight, wrong or indifferent. They stand out like glow sticks in the night. I’ve read the same excuses over and over, I’ve read the prosecutorial side over and over. Here is what I’ve come up with….. Saints fans are either wholeheartedly dedicated, right OR wrong or they are totally oblivious to the law and/or dumber than a pile of rocks. I say it’s “dumber than a pile of rocks”. The “Who Dat” and paper bags gave them away. Dat Hoo

  50. Donald Whitaker says: Jun 2, 2012 5:46 PM

    You guys are kinda missing the point. I see a lot of “the Saints did the crime, so do the time” or “Take the penalty like a man” BS and he’s saying he didn’t do what he’s alleged of doing. Not only that but the commissioner went on to make it seem like the Saints were running some kind of criminal enterprise when in fact it was probably similar your NCAA tournament that you have in your workplace every year. Think about it like this, you make 60K a year at your job would you wanna lose your gig for a year because your boss found out about a 20 bet between you and a friend? Thats kind of the equivalent. Regardless Vilma is winning…

  51. bodybagx says: Jun 2, 2012 5:50 PM

    “Paper bags” zingers aree so 1981, people. Might as well rag on bellbottoms, while we’re at it.

  52. boblavoie says: Jun 2, 2012 5:50 PM

    Vilma’s lawyer is a lawyer. What could be worse than that?

  53. austinwhodat says: Jun 2, 2012 5:55 PM

    kodakinvegas says: Jun 2, 2012 5:40 PM

    You can sure tell the Saints FANS from the AIN’T fans. Tight, wrong or indifferent. They stand out like “glow sticks in the night.”

    hahahaha! kind of like the whole city of Vegas! LMAO.

  54. wetpaperbag3 says: Jun 2, 2012 5:55 PM

    Jason Cole is on Sirius NFL Radio right now is dancing around direct questioning by former WR Amani Toomer. Jason Cole is coming across as someone who doesn’t even understand what it was he saw/obtained. He’s looking at the ledger in an abstract view, but not to what parts pertain to Vilma or any other player directly.

    It’s really as if he was more interested in breaking a news story than he was in trying to get to the truth. He kept trying to connect the dots, despite the dots not lining up or not being enough dots in the first place.

  55. caliangel08 says: Jun 2, 2012 5:58 PM

    Note for Roger Goodell

    Man up and show the evidence .

    This Diva of a commissioner is getting annoying and its about time someone called him out on this bounty matter .

    Release the evidence to the NFLPA for review and this matter should be concluded , Goodell is acting like a little school girl .

  56. sbad1985 says: Jun 2, 2012 5:59 PM

    The whining gets tiresome. The scandal isn’t Goodell’s fault. It’s like a criminal blaming the victim for getting jail time.

    Most folks would have a lot more respect for these guys (and fans) if they just manned up and went on. Try to rebuild the respect. Move on.

  57. cwwgk says: Jun 2, 2012 6:10 PM

    Consider the source. The same lawyer called a federal judge in Florida a few choice words. That landed him a five year suspension and a $370,000 fine. The guy’s good at crying wolf. Seems a perfect fit for Vilma .

  58. moseszd says: Jun 2, 2012 6:33 PM

    Vilma should just shut up. There are players who have blown the whistle. There are multiple coaches who have admitted to the wrong doing.

    At this point in time, too many people who have participated have manned-up and taken their medicine. Yet he has to keep opening his mouth and is now suing for defamation?

    When you’re in a hole and need to get out, the first thing you do is to STOP DIGGING THE HOLE DEEPER.

  59. nawlinssaints1956 says: Jun 2, 2012 6:37 PM

    Well Skol, I live in the Twin Cities and I do get it. The longer this goes on without the Commish being forced to show this “damning evidence”, the more questionable his actions become. Is there something here? Yes; the coaching staff was punished for the lies and inaction. The players have every right to see the evidence against them. If the league is so certain they are guilty as alleged, there should be no issues with releasing everything…

  60. moseszd says: Jun 2, 2012 6:41 PM

    I guess all the people on their knees for Vilma forget this:

    Payton and Loomis issued a joint statement on March 6 taking full responsibility for the problems in New Orleans.

    “We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch,” they said in a statement. “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.”

    Let’s not pretend it didn’t happen. Let’s not pretend Vilma is innocent. This is a big stink over a closed issue where SOME PEOPLE won’t man up and accept their punishment.

  61. marcinhouston says: Jun 2, 2012 7:18 PM

    “The guilty always hate the judge that gives the sentence.” – Patriot42

    OK this makes 100% sense, but what percentage of the time do the innocent like the judge that wrongfully convicts them?

  62. zeeman911 says: Jun 2, 2012 7:22 PM

    I think Vilma is guilty, but I hope they got better evidence then that crappy ledger……

  63. robf2010 says: Jun 2, 2012 8:05 PM

    “What I dont understand is why Vilmas restructured contract does not get more publicity.”

    The Saints restructured almost every big money contract this season. They’re up against the salary cap and are trying to sign Drew Brees. Will Smith and Jabari Greer also restructured. It worked out nicely for Vilma but it also benefited the Saints. There’s nothing here.

    What you might have asked is why they didn’t release him outright. That’s the mystery to me.

  64. taintedlombardis says: Jun 2, 2012 8:30 PM

    nineroutsider says:
    “Oh, I’m sorry…poor bitter Skins fan…was big mean Goodell (and the rest of the owners) too harsh on your cheating team too?”

    Another internet retard. What rules did the Skins break? Oh right, only nonexistant ones, unlike Carmen Policy in 1997. Me thinks the 9ers might be in order for an * considering they had a super bowl team with secret contracts….

  65. effingbcnts says: Jun 2, 2012 8:38 PM

    Seriously people, I hate lawyers.

    Besides Vilma making this ridiculous defamation lawsuit which won’t holdup.

    Everyone on here thinks that Goodell has to abide by due process. Guess what folks, it’s a private fricken business. There only due process is Goodell saying — no more of this type of behavior, I have enough innuendo to punish the whole lot of you.

    The legal thing Goodell really has to contend with is all the ex-players and their concussion lawsuits. If he were to do nothing, this could get a whole lot worse.

    Someone said that Goodell will not weather this storm, well as much as I can’t stand to think it — the NFL is likely to start going through some bad storms it might not be able to withstand.

  66. purpleguy says: Jun 2, 2012 9:02 PM

    A lawyer blustering in the press, what a surprise. Then again, there is an old saying in the legal business — the more guilty a person is, the louder his attorney bangs on the table.

  67. larryjames836 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:39 PM

    Yes Roger Goodell letting hearsay misguided him just as you letting others misguided you yes you are irresponsible you just can’t pickup some papers and think it means what you want it to say it don’t work like that in a courtroom. You must have something solid that you can standup on the lawyer the NFL had you don’t hear to much from her any more she knows Goodell don’t have a solid case. Vilma lawyer knows Vilma has a case this is why they still going strong if Vilma don’t fight his case then he was involved. No man going to waste his money if he knows he was involved and no lawyer going to let make a fool out of him. Because he going to let you know if you has a case are not, so Mr.Vilma a closed mouth want get heard but a open mouth speaks power. So you must speak like Goodell with power we you speak loud this brings on respect what Goodell do you do better believe it or not you got Goodell where you want him he is on the clock. Now he must respond to your demand he are afriad of you because of the pressure the others don’t pressure him they just took what he said. This is why lawyers important because they knows the law because what sounds like bounty program to Roger Goodell must not sound like bounty program to the law. Plus they have many more avenues they can take then that Goodell want do for you he will have to do it for them one way are the other don’t worry what people’s say nor the media they don’t care you is on your own with the backup of the WHODAT’S fans.

  68. eagleswin says: Jun 2, 2012 10:06 PM

    larryjames836 says:Jun 2, 2012 9:39 PM

    —————————

    Are you inebriated?

  69. reggiebush25 says: Jun 2, 2012 10:11 PM

    Goddell is one of those ole plantation owners. “By golly I’d gotta whip every member on this here Saints team.”

  70. musicman495 says: Jun 2, 2012 10:55 PM

    catquick says: Jun 2, 2012 3:42 PM

    What all the fans don’t realize is YOu are not entitled to see the evidence. This isn’t show and tell. You already know its true anyway. Williams ADMITTED IT!!!!!! what part of that don’t you understand?
    ———————
    Read Greg Williams statement, genius – for the 5,000th time no one has admitted to a pay for injury program, which is the reason the players and coaches have been suspended. What part of that don’t YOU understand.

    As for who is entitled to see the evidence, no one is saying that fans are entitled. But the players and their lawyers and union sure as hell are, before players are denied millions in salary on a commissioner’s whim. Last time I look this was not Cuba.

    Please get a clue, “catquick.”

  71. musicman495 says: Jun 2, 2012 11:04 PM

    taintedlombardis says: Jun 2, 2012 8:30 PM

    nineroutsider says:
    “Oh, I’m sorry…poor bitter Skins fan…was big mean Goodell (and the rest of the owners) too harsh on your cheating team too?”

    Another internet retard. What rules did the Skins break? Oh right, only nonexistant ones, unlike Carmen Policy in 1997. Me thinks the 9ers might be in order for an * considering they had a super bowl team with secret contracts….
    ———————————-
    Thank you, taintedlombardis. I love it when sanctimonious 49er fans with their rich history of a convicted felon for an owner decide to lecture the rest of us on sports integrity.

  72. dawglb says: Jun 3, 2012 12:16 AM

    I’ll bet Vilma’s lawyer is just like the lawyer on Seinfeld ……..what was his name? Johnny….?

  73. cwwgk says: Jun 3, 2012 12:27 AM

    @musicman495: no one has admitted to a bounty program? How about the organization itself? After the NFL fined the team $500,000 for violating league rules by running a bounty program, the Saints issued this statement :

    “To our fans, the NFL and the rest of our league, we offer our sincere APOLOGY and take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for these SERIOUS VIOLATIONS…There is no place for BOUNTIES in our league and we reiterate our pledge that THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.”

    No denial or qualification. The Saints apologized for running a bounty program and pledged it would never happen again.

  74. 49erstim says: Jun 3, 2012 12:29 AM

    Thank you Musicman because the rest of us love it when you try to deflect the attention away from the dumpster fire that used to be just another johnny come lately franchise.

  75. tokyosandblaster says: Jun 3, 2012 12:54 AM

    In other words, A misguided and irresponsible person, representing a misguided and irresponsible person, has the audacity to call someone else (who is trying to be responsible) “misguided and irresponsible.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have the pot of all pots calling an egg black.

  76. larryjames836 says: Jun 3, 2012 12:54 AM

    All of you think Roger Goodell got power he better hope he get a judge that think the way he do if not he washed up without bleach I know in Louisiana to he better hope that’s the home of the New Orleans Saints now put that in your pipe and smoke that mess. And he don’t have know power only from people’s like you guys got you’ll mind blown on the real. You fight on your own ground know one else’s grounds you stand a better chance you guys don’t know anything about that watch the smoke when the dust settle.

  77. saintsfan26 says: Jun 3, 2012 2:28 AM

    I think Goodell should have punished the Saints for having the bounty program (even though everybody else does it, we did get warned and we did get caught). We are guilty of that. But where he messed up was accusing us of intentionally trying to injure others. That is where his “evidence” becomes laughable. So lets take a look at what we actually did, compared to what we are actually being punished for:

    Here is what we know are facts and what we are guilty of:

    1. We had a pay for performance program that paid for big plays. 2. Gregg Williams has a foul mouth.

    Here is what we are being punished for: 1. We had a pay for performance program that paid for big plays. 2. Gregg Williams has a foul mouth 3. An anonymous source said we placed 10,000 to injure Kurt Warner (heresay and no proof has been provided) 4. An Anonymous source said we placed 10,000 to injure Brett Favre (heresay and no proof has been provided) 5. A prisoner placed a bounty on Cam Newton. (A joke left in the post script) 6. A prisoner placed a bounty on Aaron Rodgers. (A joke left in the post script) 7. We lied to Goodell and attempted to cover it up. (I dont even think we really lied to him. I think what happened is Goodell really believed those emails from Ornstein were a legit bounty being placed on opponents. Goodell questioned Payton about those emails, and Payton told the truth, they were a joke or he didnt even see them. Goodell didnt believe Payton and thats why he thinks we lied to him. Goodell was wrong.)

    I might be missing a few things still, but for the most part i made my point.

    So now what we are dealing with is an arrogant Commissioner who is too proud to admit he was wrong. It is too late for him to turn back now and admit he was wrong. We are guilty of some things, but not most of it. We are however being punished for ALL of it. If Goodell ever wanted to gain respect back from Saints fans, the only thing he could do to make us feel like it was a fair punishment is to cut every single punishment he made in half. Even then it would still be too harsh, but at least it shows that he is willing to admit to his mistake and would gain some respect back from us.

    I would be happy if he reduced the punishments to this:

    Payton 8 games Loomis 4 games Vitt 3 games Vilma 4 games Smith 2 games Fujita 2 games Hargrove 4 games Give us back our 2nd rounder next year

    I know this wont happen, and i also still believe that even those penalties would still be too harsh. But it is the only way Goodell could gain any respect back from Saints fans while at the same time still make his statement that bounty programs are unacceptable. _

  78. catquick says: Jun 3, 2012 3:31 AM

    musicman 495….He WAS suspended, wasn’t he, genius? What part of that don’t YOU understand? No, its not Cuba, yet. Obama’s working on that though. Its a CLUB, not a government job. You follow the rules or you’re banned. Vilma didn’t. How big a fool do you have to be to think Goodell just picked him out willy nilly? There’s a reason for all this, and Williams DID admit it! Thats why he’s gone, and should be for life. He tried to denied other men their livelyhoods, so screw him. You must be braindamaged to think Goodell just one day said “let’s go mess up the Saints franchize, ok?” I got a clue, several in fact, and the evidence points toward you being the clueless one. Buzzards like you are destroying the brand of the Saints. You sound like the same nitwits who said OJ was innnocent. PS, now I really hope Brees sits the season out. You deserve it. Time you faced the music and put on bigboy pants.

  79. sojumaster says: Jun 3, 2012 3:49 AM

    meccaho says: Jun 2, 2012 3:32 PM

    Talk about misdirection. Goodell claimed that Vilma was dirty and trying to injure players, everyone on the Saints has denied it. What they have admitted to is a pay for performance system.

    ————————–

    That is still illegal. Any money that is given for performance outside of their contract is illegal pay and is circumventing the cap system.

  80. JaminJake says: Jun 3, 2012 3:55 AM

    catquick says:
    Jun 2, 2012 3:42 PM
    What all the fans don’t realize is YOu are not entitled to see the evidence. This isn’t show and tell. You already know its true anyway. Williams ADMITTED IT!!!!!! what part of that don’t you understand? He would never have admitted it after his multiple denials unless Goodell had the goods on him. Vilma IS guilty! Otherwise, why would only 4 players get suspended? Why him, and not all the others? Because there’s proof he did it. Its an NFL interal matter. WE aren’t entitled to see it. I hope Vilma gets banned for life after this. he’s using emotional manipulation to create hatred against Goodell when he’s the culprit. I hope Goodell sues him for defamation of character also. You Saints fans aren’t doing yourselves any favors either. I used to root for the Saints, as I did in the Superbowl, but now, I hope you never win another game. You’re destroying your own teams reputation. a sign of the times I guess. No one takes responsibility for their actions anymore.

    ______________

    Goodell created this himself. He needs to find something called “consistency.” You know, that thing NFL players have to have if they want to keep their job?

  81. jagsfanugh says: Jun 3, 2012 7:05 AM

    “qdog112 says:
    Jun 2, 2012 3:01 PM
    How many of you would challenge Goodell for $5 million dollars? Vilma would be crazy not to challenge.”

    I know right. No way Goodell has any incriminating evidence. He just made it up like a fairy tail and that is how he got that high profile job too. No way he worked hard …that doesn’t compute to your agenda.

  82. jedidev says: Jun 3, 2012 1:32 PM

    sojumaster says:Jun 3, 2012 3:49 AM

    meccaho says: Jun 2, 2012 3:32 PM

    Talk about misdirection. Goodell claimed that Vilma was dirty and trying to injure players, everyone on the Saints has denied it. What they have admitted to is a pay for performance system.

    ————————–

    That is still illegal. Any money that is given for performance outside of their contract is illegal pay and is circumventing the cap system.

    ———————

    Just curious:

    A) Does the amount of money that exchanged hands push the Saints above the salary cap for 2009?

    B) If the money received did not come directly from the Saints’ organization, how is this covered by salary cap rules?

    C) If the pool is funded by player monies (fines and such for mental errors), and players are getting paid out from this pool, is this not a zero-sum game?

    D) Finally, despite the high value of the pools, do we know if there was anything left at the end of the season?

  83. silentcount says: Jun 3, 2012 4:32 PM

    Bottom line: All of the public outrage was based on Goodell’s public accusation that the Saints were paying and receiving money in a bounty system to intentionally injure other players. He specifically accused Vilma as the ring leader and putting up 10 grand. Turns out that this is not true at all. Perhaps there was a pool verbally joked about for hard LEGAL hits. Goodell knew this was common in all teams, and was looking to pick one to penalize harshly as a message to all. That’s why he intentionally exaggerated and made it sound worse, by saying pay to injure. Goodell’s evil plan didn’t count on an innocent man taking him to court to clear his name. There’s no way Goodell survives as the leader of the NFL when a Louisiana judge and jury finds him guilty as charged.

  84. gingerkid2000 says: Jun 3, 2012 8:17 PM

    And to think, if the Saints had stopped when the NFL told them to stop, they wouldn’t be dealing with ANY of this. We all know other teams did this too, but none of them were punished. That’s because when they were given a warning they stopped!!! If you have the capability to prevent a bad situation then man up, show a sack & a spine and a little restraint! Don’t continue to defy the warning then act like an irresponsible wimp and blame the other guy. Saints could have prevented all of this. They all chose not too. None of them were strong enough to step up and say we should probably discontinue this before we jeopardize the reputation of the organization. They all let their selfishness and greed get the better of them. Given what Vilma was making, if he was stupid enough to squander his money so much that his punishment would financially “ruin” his life then he deserves to go broke. Sorry but these guys need to learn to take responsibility and grow up instead of listening to an attorney that’s pleading his weak case in order to make a quick buck. The media & public are not entitled to see any of the evidence. Problem is we have a society that thinks self-entitlement is a way of life. You’re not entitled! You never have been and you never will be. You just all think you are because you are egocentric and dumb. Just like Vilma.

  85. faithpower1017 says: Jun 3, 2012 11:51 PM

    Sounds fishy

  86. tweeter75 says: Jun 5, 2012 12:13 AM

    I love Ginsberg……..he’s given Vilma the shovel, and Vilma’s digging a hole that moron Vilma’s career will never climb out of.

  87. snakeman663 says: Jun 5, 2012 1:17 PM

    If my understanding of the law is correct they must prove beyond that shadow of a doubt that he is guilty he does not have to prove he is innocent. If the commish has evidence that he has done this then by LAW he must bring it out and prove it. This has nothing to do with contracts it has to do with the law.If I understand this right this is a law suit not a contract dispute. So I say to Mr. Goodall bring on the evidence and prove he has done all these thing then it will be over for good.

  88. snakeman663 says: Jun 5, 2012 1:32 PM

    gingerkid2000 Ok I understand what your saying here but what if they was not doing anything wrong then how could they stop when they was warned for something they was not doing in the first place. The whole NFL is mad because all these years the Saints was at the bottom now they got it together and are a threat to such teams as the crybabies in Ervine, Tx. All these years the calls have been against the Saints now it’s the Saints time to be on top, and ya’ll just can not stand it. I still say let the law prevail if they did it then prove it in a court of law. It the have evidence to back up what they say then show it to the court, not the whole world but the court. It has been said to many times don’t go to a gun fight with a knife, and if they are not bringing out anything to prove what they say then they are doing just that.

  89. jacksprat57 says: Jun 6, 2012 5:37 PM

    You missed one possibility which “that final paragraph” left out. Vilma may well have OFFERED such an incentive, as claimed, the terms of which were never met. (Or reneged upon, even.)

    That would STILL be a felony crime, I believe.

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