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Hargrove’s agent questions whether NFL has “concrete evidence”

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Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove is suspended for the first eight games of this season for participating in the Saints’ bounty program when he played in New Orleans. But Hargrove’s agent questions why, exactly, the NFL handed down that suspension.

Agent Phil Williams asked in a statement to the league office — and shared with the media — whether the 200 pages of evidence the NFL showed to the NFL Players’ Association are really enough to constitute real evidence of wrongdoing.

“[D]id you sincerely consider what you gave the NFLPA sufficient enough to tarnish men’s careers and reputations? If you believe the ‘evidence’ to be so substantial that you would espouse the 50,000-plus page file, why would most of those pages have zero to do with ‘bounties’ or even ‘pay-for-performance?’” Williams wrote, via ESPN.com. “Do you actually have any concrete evidence that any player from another team was injured as a result of a ‘bounty’ and that a player from the Saints was therefore paid accordingly? Can you honestly say that the Saints employed a 3-year ‘bounty program’ if no one was ever paid for a ‘bounty?’ Would that not constitute one of the worst followed programs ever witnessed?”

The NFL’s attitude, however, seems to be that it doesn’t need to produce concrete evidence. Hargrove and his suspended former teammates Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and Scott Fujita may never learn exactly what the evidence was that the NFL used in deciding to suspend them.

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58 Responses to “Hargrove’s agent questions whether NFL has “concrete evidence””
  1. west2south2east2north says: Jun 17, 2012 4:01 PM

    NFL please release whatever information you have linking player names to their contributions in the bounty scandal. Either you will make the accused players look stupid for trying to defend their horrible acts or you will look stupid for choosing to make examples of a select few when your basis fot their suspension has no defense. Either way, something has got to give. Show us!

  2. buzzardpointlookout says: Jun 17, 2012 4:24 PM

    This whole mess has been suspect from the jump. I hope the players who have been suspended win in court and the NFL is slammed in the process. There is nothing worse than ruining a guy’s good name. Even if he wins, Jonathan Vilma will always be seen by many as a guy who was a dirty player. That damage will never be undone. Way to go, Fraudger.

  3. kairn42 says: Jun 17, 2012 5:06 PM

    Not a Saint’s fan, nor a Goodell fan, so don’t really have a horse in this race, but I AM getting tired of the posts/fans/lawyers saying “No one was paid for it, therefore a program didn’t exist”. Last time I checked, ‘attempting’ to rob a bank is still a crime even if you don’t succeed.

  4. houndog50 says: Jun 17, 2012 5:16 PM

    Get This Over With!!! Show them the evidence and they would look like fools to appeal any further! If you have no evidence then reinstate them and back off! The only problem I have with this entire deal is; Hargrove was suspended for denying this ever happened (therefore “hindering” the investigation) when he was interviewed, doesn’t that make every Saint’s player (including Brees) equally as guilty? I haven’t heard anyone of the players admit it! So why 8 games for Hargrove and only 3 for Fujita who supposedly contributed money to the fund? The whole deal just seems like a farce, with no consistency to it.. Produce the evidence, let everyone see it, and end this thing! At this point everyone looks stupid.

  5. pandebailey says: Jun 17, 2012 5:59 PM

    I can’t believe everybody (Sports Media included) is just letting Roger and the NFL do whatever they want on bounties. Its clear that players “involved” were just talking about it and never paid anyone for anything. So how does that justify suspensions?

    Take the NFL to civil court……..damages for slandering someone’s professional skills is one of the oldest laws on the books.

  6. winner2277 says: Jun 17, 2012 6:22 PM

    kairn42

    So, you are sitting at home and you decide to rob a bank the next day, yet the next day you decide it to not be such a good idea. Should you still be arrested? I AM a Saints fan since their beginning and have endued more than you can imagine with my team. Now, do I think they had a pay for performance, YES I do. Do I think that was the norm in the NFL ever since it began, YES I do and if you do not, then you are merely clueless to reality. The NFL is accusing them of BOUNTIES, meaning they met behind closed doors and decided what players they were going to injure and how much that would be worth. I’m going to tell you something, this Saints team since Payton and Brees have taken it over, is one of the highest Character laden teams, if not the highest in the entire NFL. High character players do not do those things. The NFL has libeled all of these coaches and players. NOT ONE coach or player has admitted to bounties on the Saints team and if you are one of the ones who think differently, meaning they did, then kindly provide the link where they did. Trust me, if they did, then you should have no problem finding that link. How would you feel if this was your team and the NFL REFUSED to provide the so called evidence to back up their accusations? We were one of the least penalized teams in the NFL and one of the least fined teams for illegal hits in the NFL. With the size and speed of the players today, do you NOT think if they went out on the field with the mindset to hurt an individual player, that player would NOT get hurt? I have to give you a “Come On Man!!!” on that one. The FANS of the NFL should be extremely mad with the NFL for not providing the so called evidence they claim to have. Just think, all of this is said and done if they would have shown the players evidence that supports their accusations. All would have stopped their. As for the coaches and GM, they did all they could do when they appealed their suspensions. If they agreed with it, they would not have appealed. Try and think with some common sense instead of the way a kid would, like your reply would imply.

  7. winner2277 says: Jun 17, 2012 6:28 PM

    THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HARGROVE’S AGENT SAID, WORD FOR WORD.

    Why is the NFL acting in a way that, to many of us, appears to be so “cloak and dagger”? Even though the CBA gave you the right to wait until Friday afternoon to hand over “evidence”, was it really necessary to do so? Why was it important to give them (the NFLPA and players) only a weekend to study what you considered to be the “evidence”? If these men have committed such grievous crimes that you have determined that their careers should be in danger and/or their names sullied, why be so secretive about the “evidence” that you use to condemn them? Do you care about NFL players enough to be above board with them? They are what makes the NFL the NFL, are they not? If there is a large “pool” of players that you could have made examples of from across the NFL (and there is!), why did you choose these men? And do you really think it fair to “make examples” out of them? What if you are the ones chosen to be “made examples of” in the future?

    Why must you demand your right to be judge, jury, and executioner? Even if you have the right, must you use it? Is there anything to be lost by allowing those who are impartial to have a say-so in whether these judged men are truly given a shot at justice? And did you sincerely consider what you gave the NFLPA sufficient enough to tarnish men’s careers and reputations? If you believe the “evidence” to be so substantial that you would espouse the 50,000-plus page file, why would most of those pages have zero to do with “bounties” or even “pay-for-performance”? Do you actually have any concrete evidence that any player from another team was injured as a result of a “bounty” and that a player from the Saints was therefore paid accordingly? Can you honestly say that the Saints employed a 3-year “bounty program” if no one was ever paid for a “bounty”? Would that not constitute one of the worst followed programs ever witnessed? Should there not have been dozens of rewards paid out, if in fact, “bounties for injuries” (which is what this was all about in the beginning, I think) paid out money? And why would your “independent” counsel be so highly paid for their counsel (by you) and also be so secretive? Again, if the facts are so obvious, why not allow someone truly impartial to make the final decision and therefore validate your judgments?

    Is honesty truly paramount to you? If so, why did you take Anthony Hargrove’s declaration and state that it said things that it did not say? Is that honest? Why did you state that Anthony “admitted to lying” when he has done no such thing? Do you hold yourself to the same standard as you hold others? Have you “admitted to lying”? To clarify, would you consider it lying to say someone “admitted to lying” when they did not do so? And why did you not consider the remarkably difficult situation that Anthony was put in by his coaches, who to him were “the NFL”? What would you have done if you had been back in the NFL for less than a year, having served a year-long suspension, with the threat of your career ending (again) hanging over your head? Would you have disobeyed your employer? Would you now? And is it possible that the interview was about semantics, anyway?

    Why did you state that the players declined to be interviewed? Did you not know that Anthony agreed to be interviewed in early April, even scheduled a meeting (Tuesday, April 3, 10A.M.) and was told he would be sent flight information, waited for it, and never even received a cancellation notice? If this is true, which it is, is it fair to state as fact that he simply declined, after which he again agreed to consider meeting if certain criteria were met, which you declined to do? Is that being totally truthful? And why do you say that he spoke to someone on another team about an alleged “bounty” program back during the time in question, when in fact he did not? And why was he the only player you chose to interview about the so-called “bounty” program at that time? Was it because of his difficult past? Was it possibly because he was an easy target?

    Do you not recognize that we sometimes utter words or phrases that have different meanings depending on their context? For example, have you as fathers ever told your children that you wanted to “tear them up” or “ring their neck” or “blister their hide” or some such other threat? Tough words, but have we not all spoken such rash things at times, though obviously not meaning the full extent of their definition? Do moments of “lost tempers” or “harsh words” for our children “when things get emotional” constitute “programs of terror” on them? Does clamoring for an 18-game schedule exhibit wanton disregard for the health and safety of the players you “lead”(or was that simply a motivational ploy as it related to the negotiation of the CBA)? Is it possible that some might construe that as a “bounty program” in its own right, i.e. extra revenues resulting in a probability of more injuries? In fact, is it possible that the overwhelming majority of this pressing dilemma is about semantics? And if so, is it possible to admit it? Or, has the genie escaped the bottle with no hope of return?

    I love Anthony Hargrove. Plain and simple. I have watched him grow from a dysfunctional young man into a man that I admire and respect. Perfect? No. But who is? I have watched him reach “the bottom” and then mature in ways that almost defy what I could have possibly hoped for. He has learned to handle adversity in ways I believe we all could learn from, not the least of which is how I have watched him deal with his potential suspension and what has been said about him and his supposed role in what has been called Bountygate. Though a more appropriate name might be Semantics-gate.

  8. brenenostler says: Jun 17, 2012 6:29 PM

    Doesn’t matter if there’s no evidence. If there wasn’t a bounty system, Sean Payton and Gregg Williams would have denied it from the beginning.

  9. jcg23 says: Jun 17, 2012 6:44 PM

    I think this is a give them enough rope situation.

  10. sb44champs says: Jun 17, 2012 7:07 PM

    ” Last time I checked, ‘attempting’ to rob a bank is still a crime even if you don’t succeed.”
    ———————————————-
    And last time I checked, ‘attempting to rob a bank” and ‘attempting to motivate players’ are two different things… lol, loser!

  11. stellarperformance says: Jun 17, 2012 7:10 PM

    If this is an in-house effort by the NFL to curb a bounty “atmosphere” before anything like it actually broke out, that is their prerogative. Loose lips sink ships. Loudmouth braggarts have been causing grief for good teammates forever. Maybe this will help shut some of them up.

  12. musicman495 says: Jun 17, 2012 7:42 PM

    kairn42 says: Jun 17, 2012 5:06 PM

    …. Last time I checked, ‘attempting’ to rob a bank is still a crime even if you don’t succeed.
    ————————————-
    Last time I checked, conspiracy to rob a bank is not the same CHARGE, CRIME, or PENALTY if convicted, as robbing one. The players are not charged or being suspended for conspiring to establish a bounty system. They are being suspended for running a system to injure for money, without evidence being provided of anyone having attempted to injure for money, or anyone being paid for to injure for money, and with the players denying that it ever happened. If you cannot understand the problem with that in the USA, God bless you.

  13. fooath says: Jun 17, 2012 7:44 PM

    At least one commish has the balls to actually hold players and coaches responsible instead of allowing them to run the show!

  14. 32bigg says: Jun 17, 2012 7:48 PM

    At least part of the “concrete evidence” that the NFL has likely includes direct witness testimony, for example, the whistleblower, Greg Williams.

    Perhaps in exchange for full cooperation, the NFL offered to make every effort to keep either the whistleblower’s or Williams’ testimony free from the public.

    In the case of the whistleblower, this acts to avoid discouraging potential future whistleblowers. And for Williams, this avoids evidence of him “ratting” out players being on the public record, which would make it impossible for future players to trust him, thus, impossible for him to get another job.

    It makes sense for the NFL to not want the image of betrayal out there for public consumption. It’s not good for the brand.

    Maybe at the meeting tomorrow they tell the players they have witnesses that will testify, but they would prefer that they don’t have to. Then they cut the suspensions in half and agree not to talk about it anymore.

  15. gumerk says: Jun 17, 2012 7:56 PM

    I hope more and more people start piling the questions on_in my opinion, this is nothing but major manipulation from the very top of the so called nfl shield to stretch, bend, and blatantly lie about facts to control the end result.

    This is absolute corruption because it comes from the absolute top of the nfl. goodell is a hypocritical liar, and I hope the brightest light shines on his foulness.

  16. winner2277 says: Jun 17, 2012 8:24 PM

    32bigg

    Whistle blower Greg Williams? Really? Then show us the web site that supports your claim here or is just another by a child that hates it the Saints beats your teams brains in every time they play them.

  17. daknight93 says: Jun 17, 2012 9:03 PM

    Like the late Rodney King say, “Can we all get along” geez…bountygate will be over soon!

  18. kodakinvegas says: Jun 17, 2012 9:05 PM

    Not hard to distinguish Saints fans frim Ain’t fans. Wow

  19. booker1974 says: Jun 17, 2012 9:09 PM

    brenenostler says:Jun 17, 2012 6:29 PM

    Doesn’t matter if there’s no evidence. If there wasn’t a bounty system, Sean Payton and Gregg Williams would have denied it from the beginning.
    ________________________________

    They did deny it — Goodell said they were lying. They appealed — the appeal was denied. Their only choice, if they wanted to work in the league ever again, was to accept Goodell’s punishments and shut up.

  20. senky3 says: Jun 17, 2012 9:25 PM

    i hope that the saints fans that have been really out spoken about how everyone that commented against the saints, have been duped by goodell, feel really duped when it is proven that the bounty system was in place and the suspended players are quilty.

  21. outlawshark says: Jun 17, 2012 9:48 PM

    If the Saints coaches have already been punished, why don’t they go to Hargrove’s aid and say “Yes, we persuaded him.”? Either Hargrove actually is guilty or the New Orleans coaching staff is really full of jerks.

  22. gumerk says: Jun 17, 2012 10:01 PM

    goodell came out the gates swinging at the very start of this mess with a strong emphasis on bounty meaning pay to injure_He went public with it_pounded it over and over again_pay to injure_now here it is late June and all we have is bounty meaning pay for performance. Surely anyone can see the difference_The fines, suspensions, loss of draft pics, etc. DO NOT match the evidence or what has been presented by roger goodell so far.

    Now, if all of this that was pounded through him and the mainstream media would have been pay for performance from the very start, does anyone really think the punishments would have been this severe? goodell has absolute power and so far it looks like he has used his position to twist, stretch, and blatantly lie about evidence he claims to have_like the Hargrove statement.

    By goodell’s standards he should fire himself because he lied through the media and through his hired help to try and cover up the facts about the Hargrove statement. This is hypocrisy on his part and he is writing the script as he goes to try and control the end result.

    Where is the on the field evidence? Why is nfl locker room terminology being stretched to include it in pay to injure punishments? Green Bay admitted to having a pay for performance system, a New York Giants defensive player admitted that they targeted a player in the playoffs due to an injury, why haven’t they been raked over the coals? It’s inconsistent. So we are being punished for lying and trying to cover it up, is that the rationale for the others not being investigated or punished? Well, fire/fine/suspend yourself goodell because you have done the same thing.

  23. mitchdms says: Jun 17, 2012 10:27 PM

    If the Saints coaches have already been punished, why don’t they go to Hargrove’s aid and say “Yes, we persuaded him.”? Either Hargrove actually is guilty or the New Orleans coaching staff is really full of jerks.
    ____________

    The NFLPA asked the NFL to compel their attendance. They had refused to show because of concerns of retribution from the NFL. The NFL ignored the request. So there you go. Unlike the NFL, the players do not have access and authority to present a case, which is naturally by design. Fairness!

  24. cliffordc05 says: Jun 17, 2012 10:34 PM

    The best defense is to deny that a bounty system existed and that the evidence the league posses is not sufficient. The coaches will not testify against the players. Any witnesses would be completely stupid to testify.

    This is not a court of law and we all need to quit playing Perry Mason. I do not know exactly what rules apply but this is a mess. What are the rules in effect when an employer suspends an employee? What recourse do the employees have besides the ridiculous legal action already taken by Vilma….

  25. matthewcarlson1 says: Jun 17, 2012 10:42 PM

    Everyone knows you did it. Punishment has been handed out. Everyone is happy you got whats coming to you. Nothing you say will change anything. But I’d like to know why the referees from the 09 NFC champ game aren’t being investigated, clearly some shadiness went down.

  26. gumerk says: Jun 17, 2012 11:04 PM

    Vilma standing up for his basic rights isn’t ridiculous in my opinion. goodell went on a public platform and made claims against him that simply to this point are not true. Vilma’s name has been tarnished_associated with a pay to injure program that goodell claims he participated in, no evidence has been presented to support those claims.

    Again, huge difference in pay for performance and pay to injure program_which one you reckon holds the biggest punishments and supports an overall agenda by goodell? Which one you reckon is more damaging in the court of public opinion? goodell should be held accountable, just as the New Orleans Saints should for what the truth of the evidence presented has at its core, not what the nfl powers that be manipulate to justify dishing out unprecedented punishments at their will.

  27. daveman8403 says: Jun 17, 2012 11:16 PM

    matthewcarlson1 says:
    Jun 17, 2012 10:42 PM
    Everyone knows you did it. Punishment has been handed out. Everyone is happy you got whats coming to you. Nothing you say will change anything. But I’d like to know why the referees from the 09 NFC champ game aren’t being investigated, clearly some shadiness went down.
    ————————————————————————————————-

    “Everyone knows you did it”?! YOU are the worst kind of person. and you are a moron if you think there was a conspiracy with the refs for the 09 NFCG. sorry, but your team turned over the ball 5 times. Drew brees was getting hit just as bad as favre, but ddn’t get as much attention because he is not 40 years old and wasn’t crying on the field.

  28. winner2277 says: Jun 17, 2012 11:35 PM

    32bigg,

    Don’t worry, the so called evidence, ALL OF IT, will come out in Vilma’s defamation law suit against Goodell.

  29. winner2277 says: Jun 17, 2012 11:44 PM

    cliffordc05,

    Everywhere I’ve ever worked, if another employee or customer made and accusation towards an individual, that individual was told who it was and were able to defend themselves. Now I’m not sure where you’ve ever worked, or even if you ever worked, but to say this is being done correctly clearly shows your shallowness for the truth. Also, if an employer in the real world slanders or libels you, you have the right to pursue a civil suit against them. It’s just a lot easier with way less of a burden to prove. All that person has to show is it is false. If you want to act like Perry Mason, I would suggest you do some research first, because making statements like this, without doing so, really makes you look stupid. Who knows, that may have been your intention. By the way, you basically said it was stupid for Vilma to do this. How stupid will it be when Goodell has to provide ALL of his so called evidence and it ends up what they had was NONE to support what they have done and Vilma wins? What will you do when we not only are in the Super Bowl this year, but win it as well? I’ll tell you, you will hide behind your computer with your tail between your legs and never be seen again in here with this alt. That is a fact.

  30. binkystevens says: Jun 17, 2012 11:52 PM

    Winner2277:

    I take it you’re not a lawyer or employed in any other profession which requires the use of logic in crafting an argument. Few flaws in your case:

    Greg Williams did, in fact, admit to the bounty scheme and has publicly apologized for it.

    How are the Saints a high-character team? Brees is allegedly the class of the team, yet he acted like a complete tool during the recent CBA negotiations -remember when he called the retired players lazy and not worthy of a higher pension? Let’s not forget the fact he’s holding the team hostage now when they need him the most. And Payton may be one of the biggest a-holes in the league.

    What do low penalties have to do with the existence of a bounty program? I think I see where your argument comes from, but you make a very large assumption in arguing that a low penalty rate somehow means a team isn’t going out and trying to injure other players.

    The success of the program doesn’t matter- no one is accusing the Saints of having an “effective” bounty program, the NFL is simply saying they had one. And to listen to Greg Williams’ speech before the 9ers game in January, how can you in good faith say he was simply motivating the team when he spoke about snapping Alex Smith’s ACL while making the money gesture with his hands?

    I can’t believe people are actually arguing that there wasn’t a bounty program in NO. Whether they have the evidence to convict the players, I don’t care, but please god don’t argue that there wasnt a bounty program.

  31. planosteelerfan says: Jun 18, 2012 12:15 AM

    They want names so they can go after the whistleblower, plain and simple. They will attack their integrity and make them look like a fool. From then on, who will point out the truth when there will be no protection. I can answer that with no fingers…noone!

  32. thatboybaked says: Jun 18, 2012 1:57 AM

    The NFL should either release the evidence and publicly bring shame to the players that claimed they are innocent or they should admit they dont have concrete proof and lift the suspensions.

    Either way the NFL wins because most fans will just see it as them trying to keep the game safe and how committed they are for doing so, and the message has been made very clear to the players that you will be held accountable and they will not be taking any future infractions lightly. I’m sure the players are now crystal clear about what can and will happen if you violate the league rules. I believe the example has been set and the point has already been made regardless of the outcome.

  33. mwindle1973 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:05 AM

    They did not commit a crime (well actually they did technically, they just aren’t going to be charged with one) so they don’t have the rights they claim they do. See the problem is the union gave away the rights to file grievances on behalf of players over issues like this. That’s what was just ruled on by the mediator. They gave Goodell the right to hear all appeals in matters like this. He is not obligated to give them the evidence. Ever! But I’m sure once all these time wasting appeals are done with and the matter is over, the NFL will release enough evidence to show the public that they had proof. A good portion of the public has seen and heard enough already, to believe they had a bounty program. I don’t have to see proof of bounty payments. There is proof there was a bounty program..why would I need to see proof of the payments. Again this is not a court of law, someone isn’t facing a prison sentence. It’s not a proof beyond reasonable doubt situation. It’s a which side sounds more believable situation.

  34. mwindle1973 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:08 AM

    This is ridiculous! What does the NFL stand to gain by fabricating all this stuff anyway?

  35. truthserum4u says: Jun 18, 2012 3:12 AM

    winner2277 says:Jun 17, 2012 8:24 PM

    32bigg

    Whistle blower Greg Williams? Really? Then show us the web site that supports your claim here or is just another by a child that hates it the Saints beats your teams brains in every time they play them.

    ——————————————————

    Reading comprehension is required to understand the statement. The comma between whistle blower & Greg Williams means the writer is giving a list of examples; not that they are one in the same. Yikes!!

    Also, according to numerous lawyers making the rounds talking on this subject think this case may not even see the light of day. Even still, defamation is hard to prove with a public figure since it includes the element of “actual malice”. What wil hurt Vilma’s case even more is the article that states while at the University of Miami Vilma participated in a bounty program. The article has the guy who paid out and two other sources who corroborated the claim.

  36. benchwarmer69 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:29 AM

    The Saints did it.

    However, I question the legal lines that they recorded them unknowingly, whom is said whistleblower, and how far down the rabbit hole this actually goes. Ownership even?

    Regardless, what has transpired already and what will transpire, will probably stain not only the Saint’s reputation, but Goodell as well. The Saints for commiting the act, and Goodell for being a general fuddyduddy.

  37. pleazenufalready says: Jun 18, 2012 7:28 AM

    Too many people watching too much CSI, particularly Hargrove’s agent. There isn’t going to be “concrete” evidence…..but there doesn’t need to be, the NFL gets to decide who gets to play and who doesn’t in THEIR league….no one has a “right” to play. The fact that Williams and Peyton have cooperated means they have admitted it, it’s not a huge stretch to rope in the players most involved after you’ve gone that far.

  38. GG Eden says: Jun 18, 2012 8:07 AM

    The late Al Davis abstained from voting Roger Goodell as commissioner. He knew he was a rotten apple way back then.

  39. spcoltrane says: Jun 18, 2012 8:59 AM

    I haven’t read the collective agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, so I don’t know the language used in the agreement concerning disciplinary hearings.
    It seems to me that in the employment context, the standard is the civil standard (that is, is it more likely than not that the players participated in a bounty program) rather than the criminal standard (proof beyond a reasonable doubt).

    Take away all the lights and flash of the NFL, and this boils down to a employer-employee disciplinary hearing. If my employer purported to suspend me without pay for the year or half the year on the basis of an unproven allegation, I would grieve that suspension up to the courts (my collective agreement has that provision). If the evidence of my alleged offence consisted of nothing but hearsay and innuendo, the courts would throw the suspension out in a heartbeat. Perhaps Mike Florio could comment on this.

    For example, say my employer suspends me for allegedly having a wild party with alcohol, drugs, and strippers in the office on a Saturday night. I may admit I was in the office on Saturday night, but I was just catching up on some reports. No booze, no drugs, no strippers. Look at the security logs and the CCTV cameras – no evidence.

    I don’t know what will happen with Hargrove and Fujita, I don’t know what deals (if any) Sean Payton and Gregg Williams cut with the NFL. I’m really going to follow the news on Vilma’s suit – that should be very very interesting. If I were DeSmith, I would put a big star on this whole debacle and bring it up with the next CBA negotiation in 9 years to draft a clause concerning reviews of the Commissioner’s disciplinary decisions – a three person committee with an NFLPA rep, an NFL rep, and an independent party as chair – perhaps a retired judge. Build in language about process – disclosure, standard of proof, evidence, etc.

  40. flaccotoboldin says: Jun 18, 2012 9:22 AM

    Here is the issue, and why I’m irritated at those that defend the Saints:

    If you understand Unions (and I’m pro union BTW), they are set up to Grieve and Grieve any issue, any percieved wrong against an employee, regardless of the merits

    However, the NFL isn’t a court. Its not the US justice system. Its its own entity with its own CBA and set of rules.

    The NFL gains nothing by releasing all 50,000 pages of evidence, because the Union will poke holes in it NO MATTER WHAT. No evidence that doesn’t involve DNA evidence or a smoking gun is going to be iron clad.

    Given that the NFL isn’t obligated to use all the evidence and release it, why should they?

    I’m only upset with the players because, if it isn’t true, then why did your HC and DC cop to it?

    No one is denying guilt, but instead is questioning if there is evidence. That right there, is EVERYTHING that is wrong with our justice system.

    At least pretend like you didn’t do it.

  41. winner2277 says: Jun 18, 2012 9:24 AM

    binkystevens,

    Wow, your comments were so childish and stupid, it’s hardly worth replying to. First of all son, if Williams admitted to a bounty program, then kindly provide the url that shows it. I mean, with an admission that big, it SURELY would be easy for you to find and provide. You and I BOTH know why you did not provide one. As for my education and field of work, to assume is very immature, but what did one expect from a kid who knows no better. I do not have to shoot down anything else in your comments, you do enough to show of your stupidity all by yourself. Furthermore, how clueless you really are is clearly visible to all who reads what you wrote.

  42. gumerk says: Jun 18, 2012 9:27 AM

    Pay for Performance vs. Pay to Injure

    THAT is where we are with all of this and I hope anyone familiar with this mess can distinguish between the two, because they are far different from each other.

    goodell came out heavy with Saints being involved in a pay to injure program, even claiming that they tried to cover up. There is no evidence to support those claims so far. There is however evidence to support a pay for performance program.

    from the top all the way down to the media outlets it’s been parroted that the Saints had a pay to injure program. Serious, harmful claims like that require concrete evidence, these are human beings first before football players and their whole life as well as their family’s have been affected negatively with these claims.

    If there is no evidence of a pay to injure program, an apology should be given to those accused, as well as the punishments adjusted accordingly. You don’t abuse a position of power over human beings just because you can.

    Every media outlet should be on this as passionately, feverishly, and with the sense of urgency they had when goodell first made these pay to injure claims against the New Orleans Saints.

  43. winner2277 says: Jun 18, 2012 9:32 AM

    flaccotoboldin,

    (I’m only upset with the players because, if it isn’t true, then why did your HC and DC cop to it?

    No one is denying guilt, but instead is questioning if there is evidence. That right there, is EVERYTHING that is wrong with our justice system.)

    Ok genius, kindly point everyone to the url that clearly shows any coach, be it assistant, head coach or defensive coordinator or even general manager, as you put it, copping to it. I can’t wait to see this and you will NOT be able to do so, because that is only true in your own twisted, Saint hating, head son. As for “no one denying guilt”? After you provide us the url showing the previous mentioned, then kindly provide one that shows anyone admitting to anything other than a “PAY FOR PERFORMANCE” system that EVERY team in the NFL had going. Again, I can’t wait to see this, but know you will never provide something that does NOT exist, that is, except in your own twisted, Saint hating, pea brained head. I can only PRAY that Goodell finds something with your pitiful Vikings team, but who would be interested in busting up a team that is already pitiful?

  44. sb44champs says: Jun 18, 2012 9:34 AM

    “The fact that Williams and Peyton have cooperated means they have admitted it”
    —————————————–
    Yeah, in your own little world. Williams and Peyton cooperated because they HAD NO CHOICE!!!

  45. winner2277 says: Jun 18, 2012 9:39 AM

    pleazenufalready,

    Facts that Williams and Payton cooperated? Really? Then show us the link that supports these so called FACTS. The GM and all coaches have appealed. To a normal, even somewhat intelligent person, that would indicate they accepted NOTHING. Oops, my bad, you are obviously neither normal nor somewhat intelligent, which explains you saying something this stupid. You are praying the commish crippled the Saints so the falcant’s could have a chance this year. The Saints will STILL win the division and be in the Super Bowl, while your pitiful team will be lucky to finish 3rd in the division.

  46. hystoracle says: Jun 18, 2012 9:40 AM

    @mwindle1973 — Exactly correct. Not a court of law.

    I think if the players accused hadn’t started essentially calling ht e NFL Liars they may have seen a reduction in their sentences in the appeals process. Not happening now.

  47. winner2277 says: Jun 18, 2012 9:58 AM

    mwindle1973,

    (This is ridiculous! What does the NFL stand to gain by fabricating all this stuff anyway?)

    How about ammunition in the concussion law suit they are under as we speak. Trying to show where they are trying to make the league (safer), which contradicts them wanting a 18 game regular season. Also, no team in NFL history has ever hosted a Super Bowl, and they do not want to start this coming year.

    I personally don’t think the NFL thought they would have this blow up in their face like it has. The NFL’s credibility is clearly at question. As for will they lie? They are lying in their concussion law suit saying they knew nothing and they clearly lied about Hargrove and what they claim.

  48. gumerk says: Jun 18, 2012 10:00 AM

    goodell doesn’t need a court of law to do the right thing when the evidence doesn’t match a pay to injure program. As long as he is in charge of the nfl, every team and their fans should be on guard. The head of the nfl “goodell,” has lied as evidenced by his initial claims about Hargrove’s official statement_when it was leaked for all to see, it discredited goodell’s word_a man is only as good as his word.

    With that much power and a cba to wave around justifying it, any team could get targeted, made an example of, manipulated, railroaded, etc. Whatever the outcome, I hope a new CBA gets redone asap to spread goodell’s power around so when this happens again, we have much more fairness and equality with an emphasis on extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely

  49. spartan822 says: Jun 18, 2012 10:01 AM

    “Do you actually have any concrete evidence that any player from another team was injured as a result of a ‘bounty’ and that a player from the Saints was therefore paid accordingly? Can you honestly say that the Saints employed a 3-year ‘bounty program’ if no one was ever paid for a ‘bounty?’”
    ——————-
    It doesn’t matter if any opposing players were injured as a result of a bounty program. If a bounty program was in place then those involved deserve to be punished. This is like saying attempted robbery is not a crime if it’s not successful.

  50. flaccotoboldin says: Jun 18, 2012 10:03 AM

    y’all saints fans are hilarious. Denial ain’t just a River in Egypt, you know . . .

    Williams has admitted to it. Payton essentially admitted to it, then got the year suspension, and then started complaining because he was hoping for a slap on the wrist.

    Whatever makes you guys sleep at night, whatever.

    The fact is, saying there isn’t evidence isn’t a claim of innocence. And AGAIN, this is the NFL, not the US Courts. The standard doesn’t have to be beyond a reasonable doubt, or EVEN by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Which is why Florio’s harping on this pissed me off even more. Because he’s a lawyer he wants to see this as a matter of the law, but ignores that this is something handled under the NFL CBA

  51. cornersss says: Jun 18, 2012 10:19 AM

    ““Do you actually have any concrete evidence that any player from another team was injured as a result of a ‘bounty’ and that a player from the Saints was therefore paid accordingly?”

    Pretty sure the act of even setting a bounty was illegal.

    If the lawyer really wants to get into it info that comes out could be used against his client in REAL court. Not the pretend one hes playing with

  52. cornersss says: Jun 18, 2012 10:22 AM

    “Its clear that players “involved” were just talking about it and never paid anyone for anything. So how does that justify suspensions? ”

    Where have you been? Just talking about it? Wow….

    Pretty sure regardless the Saints as a team tried to kill the investigation, and only when new information came out did the COACHES and some players come forward.

    Not sure where all the innocence talk about being completely innocent , as if they did nothing. Kind of amusing

  53. daveman8403 says: Jun 18, 2012 10:27 AM

    You also realize that half of the “evidence” the NFL handed over Friday was an essay written by Pamphilon, and an interview with Scott Shanle? Both of these weren’t even written when Goodell issued the punishments. so his evidence backing his decision didn’t exist when he made his decision. How does that not sound fishy to you?

    Furthermore, the Scott Shanle interview actually helps the saints, as Scott Shcanle says what we have been the whole time. It was a Pay-fro-performance program. NO ONE was targeting other players for injury. also, the Pamphilon essay doesn’t mention bounties either. please do your research.

  54. cornersss says: Jun 18, 2012 10:31 AM

    “They want names so they can go after the whistleblower, plain and simple. ”
    Exactly. The players know they are done, the coaches ALREADY ADMITTED TO IT ALL,after the fact and further investigation.

    People are delirious with all “employee rights” they think they have. Same reason freedom of speech doesnt work when telling off your boss. Its the workplace.

    If they really wanted to, any employee could call anything a boss said he did wrong as slander. Which why it wouldn’t hold water here.Pretty obvious the defense was guilty.

  55. gumerk says: Jun 18, 2012 10:33 AM

    @spartan822

    Please define bounty program in your own terms.

    Again “Bounty” was represented to the public by roger goodell as a pay to injure program. It’s now slowly and silently being represented as a pay for performance program.

    So yes, if a pay for performance program was in place and that is what is at the core of the true evidence, the Saints should be punished accordingly, BUT there is no evidence of a pay to injure program and that is what we were punished for as evidenced by roger goodell’s actions and spoken words.

    So by your words “This is like saying attempted robbery is not a crime if it’s not successful.” There was NO attempted robbery, only the accusation.

    This is like taking a traffic violation and elevating it to strong armed robbery without presenting any evidence to support the act.

    Can we not see the current and future potential abuse of power if this is allowed to go on? At what point does the cba stop justifying the abuse of power, inaccurate presentation to the public by the nfl, and negatively affecting players and their family’s life’s?

  56. gumerk says: Jun 18, 2012 10:41 AM

    @ flaccotoboldin

    Williams admitted to a pay for performance system, NOT a pay to injure system. It was also reported that the NFL wrote his statement for him.

    From Payton’s statement:

    “I am sorry for what has happened and as head coach take full responsibility.”

    That is not an admission of a pay to injure program that goodell’s has claimed was in place with no evidence of it. Also, Payton appealed his suspension and was shocked at its severity.

    goodell lies as evidenced by his claims of the Hargrove statement that was leaked and should by all account discredit his word.

    The Saints aren’t denying a pay for performance system, they ARE denying a pay to injure system_HUGE difference and the punishments should be adjusted accordingly as well as goodell being held accountable for presenting false claims concerning the New Orleans Saints to the public.

  57. winner2277 says: Jun 18, 2012 11:24 AM

    If Goodell had any integrity, he would appoint what was stated by another poster. A appeal board of one NFLPA, one NFL and one neutral to hear these kind of appeals. Even though he has the right, according to the CBA to hear them, for the integrity of the league and himself, it would be the only right thing to do. Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility. Him wanting to handle it all himself, clearly shows and ego problem and a complete lack of interest in how the NFL is portrayed to the very people that provides it’s ability to be successful, the PUBLIC or FANS of the league.

  58. drdrumlord says: Jun 18, 2012 2:30 PM

    Why are people so stupid ? When has the public EVER been given evidence before a case has been resolved ? The NFL owes nothing to anyone. Just let the process play its self out for God’s sake.

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