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.