Skip to content

Burbank boots Hargrove’s grievance, too

anthony-hargrove Getty Images

Last week’s ruling from Stephen Burbank in Bounty Grievance No. 2 gave Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove a glimmer of hope.  On Monday, Burbank snuffed it out completely.

Burbank has ruled, a week after retaining jurisdiction over Hargrove’s grievance, that the attempt to shift the case away from Commissioner Roger Goodell should be rejected because Hargrove’s eight-game suspension arose in no way from potential salary-cap violations.

The outcome should come as no surprise, given that Burbank’s initial decision supplied the league office with a road map for slamming the door on the argument that Goodell lacks jurisdiction to impose penalties for cap violations against Hargrove.  The league needed only to specify that Hargrove wasn’t being punished for receiving extra money for inflicting injury, and the league accomplished that fairly easy feat via a letter sent to Hargrove on June 8.

“This letter attributes the ‘vast majority of [Mr. Hargrove’s] eight-game suspension to [his] lying . . . and obstruction’ and the ‘balance . . . to [his] active participation in the program by pledging and contributing money to the pool,” Burbank writes.  “The June 8 letter goes on to state that Mr. Hargrove’s ‘suspension was not attributable to any agreement on your part to accept payments from the pool or to any moneys that you may have received from the pool.'”

Of course, there’s a chance that the discipline was at least in part based on Hargrove receiving money for inflicting injury, especially since Hargrove was believed to be one of the players who was in line to get paid for banging the bejeepers out of Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC title game.  Indeed, the original letter sent to Hargrove said nothing about the player being disciplined for pledging or contributing money to the bounty program, even though the substantially similar letters sent to the other three players use such language.

But with Burbank’s initial ruling making it clear that all the NFL needed to do was clearly state that Hargrove wasn’t being suspended for getting paid to injure Favre or anyone else, it was a quick and easy fix for the league office, which allowed Burbank to in turn make quick and easy work of Hargrove’s grievance.

The NFLPA previously has said that an appeal will be filed on behalf of Hargrove and the three other players whose grievances were dismissed by Burbank:  Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita.  That appeal most likely will not delay the appeal hearing on the bounty suspensions, which will be conducted by Goodell on Monday, June 18.

Permalink 21 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
21 Responses to “Burbank boots Hargrove’s grievance, too”
  1. deathtoromo says: Jun 11, 2012 6:30 PM

    Good. Freakin liars.

  2. sdisme says: Jun 11, 2012 6:35 PM

    And I guess we all now know the reason 22-27 players were not punished.

    Paying in money – Goodell’s jurisdiction

    Collecting money – Burbank’s jurisdiction

    As long as the evidence is provided to the players on the 15th – no issues. But if (when) some shenanigans happens with the evidence, we will know the NFL is moving in the direction of boxing.

  3. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Jun 11, 2012 6:48 PM

    Where are De Maurice and Kessler when the players need them?

  4. gtodriver says: Jun 11, 2012 7:21 PM

    Isn’t about time for the NFLPA to join with the NFL to see that these guys accept their punishment and just move on?

    These players conspired with their coaches and management in an attempt to promote the injury of fellow NFLPA members.

    The union should be assisting the NFL, not fighting them tooth and nail.

    There are several players around the league that are in favor of the suspensions that have been handed down already – and as a deterrent to anyone attempting to do this again in the future.

  5. worldwidebleater says: Jun 11, 2012 7:52 PM

    Goodell Is Boss Hogg and Burbank is Roscoe P Coltrane. The fix is in.

  6. kodakinvegas says: Jun 11, 2012 7:59 PM

    Saints fans seem to think that Roger Goodell and his staff, team of lawyers, owners and support staff are stupid. The NFLPA (DeMaurice Smith) and the involved players are in so far over their heads they will surely drown. That coupled with the news from YAHOO SPORTS (video) of black and white financial ledgers provided as EVIDENCE not only taints the aints, it makes them all liars, cheats, and low-lifes. At least the upper level managers and coaches have taken their medicine and shut their mouths. Commendable. Why? Because they knew Goodell had the “goods” on them and they didn’t want this blown this far out of proportion. But thanks to Smith and Vilma, the SAINTS WILL ALWAYS be known for BOUNTYGATE. such a great heritage for a group of cry babies that could dish it out but couldn’t take it. The ledger even makes Drew Brees a liar and everyone on the team that denied that it existed. ( Bounty Gate). Losers.

  7. PriorKnowledge says: Jun 11, 2012 8:58 PM

    I bet the ledger was the original piece of evidence that caused the league to look back into the bounty program in 2012. It may not have been a player whistle-blower, but an employee who came across the ledger.

  8. letmesetyoustraight says: Jun 11, 2012 9:45 PM

    “Goodell Is Boss Hogg and Burbank is Roscoe P Coltrane. The fix is in.”

    ======

    LMAO. One hand washing the other.

  9. houndog50 says: Jun 12, 2012 1:52 AM

    As a Packer fan I have no problem with Hargrove’s (or any of the others) suspension.
    However;
    1.) Why are 4 out of 27 guys being singled out?
    2.) If Hargrove is being suspended for lying to Goodell about having any knowledge of a bounty system, why is Drew Brees (who repeats that same lie on a daily basis) allowed to play in 2012? The dude sat at the CBA bargaining table last summer talkin’ and negotiating player safety with full knowledge of what was going on in New Orleans, he is the epitome of a hypocrite, and a scum bag!

  10. kodakinvegas says: Jun 12, 2012 2:18 AM

    @Prior KNOWLEDGE Jun 11, 2012, 5:58 I bet the ledger was the original piece of evidence that caused the league to look back into the bounty program in 2012. It may not have been a player whistle-blower, but an employee who came across the ledger.

    You are most likely correct. As soon as Goodell showed them what he had they (upper level management ) shut up, took the punch and want their jobs back. But Vilma who is almost at the end of his ride has nothing to lose and here comes Smith on a white horse gonna save everybody and creates a mess for everyone. Goodell, Payton, Williams, Loomis and Benson, all of them shut up. Duh. They didn’t want it to be a forever tag for the Saints like Spygate was for The Pats. Goodell is NOT gonna hang his butt to dry unless he KNOWS what he has to start and finish with. To me, the villains in this thing are Vilma and DeMaurice Smith. Period because of them, the stink will never leave The New Orleans Saints. It will last forever. Smooth move ex-lax ! The guiltiest always scream wrong doing , bum rap, innocent the loudest. The ledger shows that the ENTIRE team had knowledge, even Drew Brees.

  11. kodakinvegas says: Jun 12, 2012 2:22 AM

    @”Letmesetustraight”
    It’s die hard, blinded Saints fans like you that give crap like Vilma and Smith life. Denial at its best. Even after confessions, apologies, and ledgers. FAN-atic. Losers

  12. daveman8403 says: Jun 12, 2012 10:07 AM

    How the hell does the ledger show the entire team had knowledge? where are you people getting your information?

  13. daveman8403 says: Jun 12, 2012 10:08 AM

    There has still been 0 proof. You realize this ruling has nothing to do with proving that there was any bounty in place, right?

  14. cwwgk says: Jun 12, 2012 10:45 AM

    @daveman8403: “there still has been 0 proof”? Um, apparently those who chose to confront and meet with their accuser (rather than stick their heads in the sand) came to far different conclusions. These persons include the owner of the Saints, the general manager of the Saints, the head coach of the Saints and the former defensive coordinator of the Saints. The leaders of the Saints organization saw enough to apologize for the teams transgressions and forfeit millions of dollars.

  15. daveman8403 says: Jun 12, 2012 11:38 AM

    cwwgk says:
    Jun 12, 2012 10:45 AM
    @daveman8403: “there still has been 0 proof”? Um, apparently those who chose to confront and meet with their accuser (rather than stick their heads in the sand) came to far different conclusions. These persons include the owner of the Saints, the general manager of the Saints, the head coach of the Saints and the former defensive coordinator of the Saints. The leaders of the Saints organization saw enough to apologize for the teams transgressions and forfeit millions of dollars.

    ————————————————————————

    You are incorrect. no coach or player has admitted/apologized for a pay-for-performance program. In fact, williams apology (that was written by the NFL) clearly states ‘pay-for-performance’. suspension letters to the coaches also stated that further attempts to dispute goodells ruling/findings could result in longer suspensions. What leader of the saints is forfeiting millions of dollars? the organization itself was fined 500,000. all other coaches have no recourse but to go along with the NFL.

    Please show me your proof.

  16. daveman8403 says: Jun 12, 2012 11:50 AM

    I meant “no coach or player has admitted/apologized for a pay-for-performance program”

  17. daveman8403 says: Jun 12, 2012 11:52 AM

    Crap I meant “no coach or player has admitted/apologized for a pay-for-INJURY program”

  18. cwwgk says: Jun 12, 2012 3:06 PM

    @daveman: with all due respect, the statement issued by Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton apologized for operating a bounty program. In response to the NFL’s bounty allegations they stated “We ACKNOWLEDGE that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club HAPPENED under our watch. We take FULL responsibility.”

    I agree that no player has made such an admission to date but, again, no player has yet to meet with Goodell.

  19. daveman8403 says: Jun 12, 2012 3:46 PM

    cwwgk says:
    Jun 12, 2012 3:06 PM
    @daveman: with all due respect, the statement issued by Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton apologized for operating a bounty program. In response to the NFL’s bounty allegations they stated “We ACKNOWLEDGE that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club HAPPENED under our watch. We take FULL responsibility.”

    I agree that no player has made such an admission to date but, again, no player has yet to meet with Goodell.

    ————————————————————————-

    Sorry, but no that is not an admission or apology to a pay-for-injury system. that is essentially what they are being scrutinized for. If you want o get technical, the new “Bounty Rule” includes pay-for-performance. if you ask me that is a pretty clever way for the NFL to further gray this area and “justify” the extreme punishments. My question to you is, why did the NFL explicitly say ‘pay-for-performance’ instead of ‘pay-to-injure’? why even leave that up for discussion, especially, for the “main villan” of this entire scandal?

    Yes, the saints are guilty of running a pay-for-performance system, but that is no what Goodell/the media/the general public bashing them for.

  20. cwwgk says: Jun 12, 2012 4:13 PM

    @daveman8403: ah yes, I guess it does matter what the definition of “is” is. But one cannot dispute that the owner of the Saints forked over half a million, as well as the GM and head coach seven figures in salary, without EVER DENYING the allegations that their players tried to purposely injure players.

  21. daveman8403 says: Jun 12, 2012 11:19 PM

    WHAT are you talking about?! Payton, Vitt, and Loomis denied it from the start. the only person who did not appeal to Goodell was Williams. they adamantly denied it, but have no recourse if they wish to be reinstated. THEY HAVE AND STILL DO (see Vitt’s recent press conferences) DENY IT. Where is your information coming from?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!