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Bounty hearings end abruptly, may resume this afternoon

Jonathan Vilma AP

As expected, the bounty hearings didn’t last long.  The only question is whether one or more of them will resume.

Not long after unnamed NFL sources told Jim Varney of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that “we could be here awhile,” the hearings ended “unexpectedly quickly,” as Varney explained it via an excellent stream of tweets.

Regardless of whether Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove return, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (pictured) won’t be back.

Per Varney, attorney Peter Ginsberg has hinted that additional legal proceedings could be pursued on Vilma’s behalf.  “It’s clear the Commissioner has withheld thousands of pages of documents from us,” Ginsberg said Monday.

Varney reports that the NFL said the players requested more time to review the evidence submitted by the league to the NFLPA on Friday, and that the hearings will resume at 1:45 p.m. ET.  Ginsberg claims the NFL not the players asked for more time, and Ginsberg said the “disarray” is further evidence that the process is a “sham.”

The proposed delay until 1:45 p.m. ET possibly was selected because the NFL delivered the evidence the league intends to introduce to the NFLPA at roughly 2:00 p.m. ET on Friday.  The labor deal requires that any evidence on which the league plans to rely must be disclosed at least three calendar days prior to the hearing.

Still, deeper questions exist regarding the quality of the evidence that the NFL plans to use, and the fundamental fairness (or lack thereof) of the procedures employed.  The league apparently plans to give the players a chance to explain themselves, without giving them a chance to properly confront the evidence that established their guilt.

Or, more importantly, without an opportunity to even know what that evidence is.

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57 Responses to “Bounty hearings end abruptly, may resume this afternoon”
  1. sfsaintsfan says: Jun 18, 2012 12:00 PM

    What a joke!!

    Goodell is such a tool.

    There is no fairness in the NFL. I know, I know, the CBA gives old Roger ALL of the power. But there is a limit as to how he uses the power he has and he does have to answer to the owners.

    To all those who love what is happening to the Saints, for a totally blown out of proportion poorly run “pay for performance” program, just wait, your team may be the next team to get railroaded by this monster.

  2. halen11 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:02 PM

    “It’s clear the Commissioner has withheld thousands of pages of documents from us,”

    Based on the fact that the NFL originally said they had 50,000 pages of evidence… I would say so.

    Let’s see the other 48,800 pages, Goodell.

  3. lolb23 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:05 PM

    Only takes 1 second to say “guilty.”

  4. dolphindad says: Jun 18, 2012 12:05 PM

    its pretty simple for Vilma and the others. if they don’t like it, get another job. go work at BK or for CBS. unless protected by law your employer can do whatever he wants. your union agreed to the CBA and now you have to live by it. even if it is arbitrary.

  5. lolb23 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:07 PM

    Or, more importantly, without an opportunity to even know what that evidence is.
    ________________________________

    What do you lawyers always say to clients? “If you’re innocent, you have nothing to worry about.” :-)

  6. sb44champs says: Jun 18, 2012 12:09 PM

    “Ginsberg claims the NFL not the players asked for more time, and Ginsberg said the “disarray” is further evidence that the process is a “sham.”
    ———————————————-
    Couldn’t have said it better myself! Now queue the Saints haters/GODell slurpers, lol!!

  7. frankiemontana says: Jun 18, 2012 12:10 PM

    I think the players should call on Jesse Jackson,Al Sharpton to try and find out what Comrade Goodall is up to.

  8. jason1980 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:10 PM

    Now, you can hate the Saints or their fans, that’s your objective right, but surely none of you are so retarded that you can’t seen that Goddell has stepped way over the line on this one. It’s put up or shut up time, and he knows it. Either create some evidence or show what you have, but God help you (Goddell) when this sham comes to light.

  9. tjigger says: Jun 18, 2012 12:12 PM

    The NFL is toying with them. Why call a meeting first thing in AM then when everybody is there move it to the afternoon?

  10. mdd913 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:12 PM

    Steve Wyche of NFL.com reporting that it was in fact the NFL and not the players who requested the continuance.

  11. skoobyfl says: Jun 18, 2012 12:16 PM

    It’s a little naive to think this doesn’t happen at some level with all the teams, motivation is money & glory.

    Is there any other reason to physically harm yourself or others but for money & glory ?

  12. santolonius says: Jun 18, 2012 12:19 PM

    goodell clearly doesn’t have a smoking gun. he should propose a “suspended sentence” for all players. the players would take it to have it over with, and the league could still maintain they were guilty.

  13. realdealsteel says: Jun 18, 2012 12:20 PM

    Because the NFL (specifically Hitler Goodall) is in trouble! They have no “on the field” evidence of opposing players being hurt!

    Roger is back pedeling big time!!

    And while this all goes on, somewhere in Pennsylvania, the whole Pittsburgh Steeler team is smiling and enjoying how Hitler Goodall is squarming like a worm on a fish hook!!

  14. usmutts says: Jun 18, 2012 12:26 PM

    Pro football is a uniquely American sport played by Americans for Americans. It’s very disburbing to me to read comments by Americans who seem to hate the Americans who play the game and who revel in denying those players simple fairness and justice.

    This country was founded on simple prinicples of fairness and justice. Why do so many of you not wish to grant those principles to these players? Why do you not want the NFL to prove it’s case?

  15. canetic says: Jun 18, 2012 12:30 PM

    Don’t forget, this is the process the NFL and NFLPA bargained for. It’s only a “sham” if the process isn’t being followed. And once again the players are finding out their representatives were only concerned about money in the CBA and looked the other way when it came to other important issues.

  16. tilafoo says: Jun 18, 2012 12:32 PM

    How did things get so f-ed with due process? The legal system is a joke where people are now guilty until proven innocent.

  17. mornelithe says: Jun 18, 2012 12:34 PM

    @USMutts: Um, regular ‘Americans’, have absolutely no control over how a private company does business. None at all.

    If this were the American court of law, that’d be one thing, but a private company, reprimanding it’s own employees is outside the purview of American’s.

  18. CKL says: Jun 18, 2012 12:34 PM

    I think one of Goodell’s tasks is to manage the PC nation feelings about/PR of the league. His powers were granted by owners AND players in the CBA. I am not usually a fan of his decisions, but the players DID have a say..they chose not to fight for it at the appropriate time LESS THAN ONE YEAR AGO.

    As to his making a big deal of this…that is what he does.
    He makes examples of people/teams to drive his point across. The Saints aren’t hated by him, the negative PR for the league from this story is hated…regardless of the ACTUAL impact of what the Saints did. Hence, he gives enormous punishments as a deterrent to other teams. And he also comes down hard on those he feels lie to him, which it seems he feels the powers that be in NO did when he told them to stop the pay for performance program and they didn’t. I am absolutely positive that had my team’s HC failed to stop taping from a forbidden location after the Jets turned him in AND was caught by Goodell again, he, like Payton, would have gone bye bye for a year. I’m guessing Goodell may have what he feels is evidence that the players were finally told to stop the pay for performance program (which is ALSO illegal, regardless of intent to injure, etc terms thrown around) by their FO and he feels he has evidence that they did not stop, hence the large punishments for the guys he considered the leaders and/or egregious participants.

    My team was made an example by him, the Saints are, Roethlisberger was, etc etc. No one should either be shocked by this MO anymore or act like it’s some vendetta against their team.

  19. sj39 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:38 PM

    Look, I think what the Saints did was wrong and I think the punishment is way too stiff compared to what the Pats got for real cheating but this is not a court of law so quit expecting it to be handled as such.

  20. puppylovenyc says: Jun 18, 2012 12:47 PM

    So, he schedules the appeal hearings at 10 am on a Monday morning, meaning the players have to travel on Father’s day to get there in time. Then, he is supposed to give them the evidence he is using 3 days prior (which, any reasonable person would assume is by 10 am on Friday). He gives it to them late afternoon, on Father’s Day weekend, and is somehow not prepared for the meeting, postponing it until Monday afternoon? Am I the only one saying WTF? And I’m even getting started on what the “evidence” supposedly is. What a sham.

  21. ijahru says: Jun 18, 2012 12:51 PM

    Goodell has too much power over discipline. There should be a committee of ex players, league officials, nd current players to review discipline cases. One man should not have the power to unilaterally impose punishment. And they need to get rid of the fine system for hard hits. Let a committee review each questionable hit and if it is determined that a player acted outside of the rules of the game then suspend them. A 5k fine for a player making millions does nothing but let the PC league office act like it is doing something.

  22. bigjdve says: Jun 18, 2012 12:52 PM

    I would just love for all of this to be over with. The players negotiated to have more money rather than due process. That is on them.

    Goodell is making an example out of these players to show that the league is coming down on people that could be causing concussions, something the league is getting sued for.

    The Saints players can do all of the posturing they want, they still will have no say in what happens and these suspensions will still be there.

    Instead of playing the cards they are, they should’ve gone the Rothelisburger route and appealed just for a reduced sentence. They probably would’ve gotten it. Now if he reduces them it will look like he didn’t really have them so he will most likely stick to his guns.

    More examples of the players not how to negotiate for themselves. Goodell is waging a PR war regarding the view of the NFL with fans, the players should work with that instead of against it. It would go better that way.

  23. mdd913 says: Jun 18, 2012 12:58 PM

    mornelithe says: Jun 18, 2012 12:34 PM

    @USMutts: Um, regular ‘Americans’, have absolutely no control over how a private company does business. None at all.

    If this were the American court of law, that’d be one thing, but a private company, reprimanding it’s own employees is outside the purview of American’s.

    ————————————————————–

    That analogy is disingenuous and you know it.

    You act like this is some yokel gas station firing an employee for stealing packs of cigarettes. It’s not. It’s one of the largest corporations in the world with a significant public stake and the visibility that comes with it.

    People like Goodell have to answer to the public for their actions all the time. Ask James Dimon or Akiuo Toyoda if they have a right to do whatever they want.

  24. wtfru2 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:00 PM

    This is not a court of law, nor a democracy, this is the CBA that the players agreed to. What do they expect? Idiots…..

  25. darthhitman77 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:01 PM

    The author of this column has suggested for weeks now that the NFL has nothing in regards to information, evidence and ultimately a case in some cases even suggesting the league is fabricating things. Goodell has been slammed for some time now for ‘changing” the way the game is played and with the known motive being to protect the league from legal issues down the road, correct? His #1 job as commissioner is to protect “the shield”, correct? OKAY, based on those two things alone I have to ask “Why in the blue H3LL would Goodell make this stuff up?” This no doubt gives the league itself a black eye so, the individuals he has come down on I must ask now “If this is all made up and there’s nothing here, what did Payton, Williams, Vilma etc. do to him exactly?” Did they run a train on his wife or something? Knock up his 18 year old daughter? What is the motivation here?

  26. bigjdve says: Jun 18, 2012 1:01 PM

    ijahru: he does have too much power over discipline. He should be the appeal while other people should be the initial discipline such as Shell and Cottrell. However the players chose to let the power stay with Goodell. 31 teams voted yes to allow this.

    They can’t come back now and complain. They should have read the fine print last year.

  27. infectorman says: Jun 18, 2012 1:05 PM

    “Ginsberg claims the NFL not the players asked for more time, and Ginsberg said the “disarray” is further evidence that the process is a “sham.”

    Huh. Lawyers….
    Take anything they can to flip the perception into whatever suits their argument. Is it any wonder they are the most hated “professionals” on the planet?

    “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit!!!!”
    Right.

    As much as I believe the NFL is a monarchy, it’s unbearable to see comments like this from a blood-sucking, ambulance chasing lawyer.

    FYI, Goodell bashers, Goodell and the NFL owe you all Nothing!
    This is not a case being heard in an actual court of law!!!! SMH

  28. thejuddstir says: Jun 18, 2012 1:05 PM

    Some of these posters are as big of tools as the Stains players when it comes to this entire procedure. This is NOT a court of law, the players ratified the new CBA which gives the NFL and Goodell to operate exactly as they have been. Enough of this b.s. about fairness, evidence, jurisprudence, guilty to proven innocent…..save it for the t.v. drama queens. These players don’t understand how much harm this Ginsburg idiot is causing them. His attempt to handle this case like a criminal case in a court of law is only him pandering to public opinion. and if I wanted some compassion from Goodell, I sure as hell wouldn’t sue him for defamation. It’s rather old listening to the innuendo and spin that Ginsberg, Stain’s fans etc. are perpetuating but I guess it’s good for the media.

  29. thcnote says: Jun 18, 2012 1:18 PM

    I love it because Drew Brees is a Saint and he was part of the negotiations and he is a complete ass clown.

  30. theglap says: Jun 18, 2012 1:18 PM

    The real fun is going to be in Vilma’s defamation lawsuit against Goodell. Getting my popcorn ready.

  31. jakek2 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:30 PM

    wtfru2 says:
    Jun 18, 2012 1:00 PM
    This is not a court of law, nor a democracy, this is the CBA that the players agreed to. What do they expect? Idiots….
    ————
    They expect a real hearing, with real evidence and a real opportunity to vindicate their good names. If ruled against, they expect a real appeal, with real evidence and another real opportunity to vindicate their good names.

    The players agreed that Goodell would be the final arbiter. However, the players agreement implies that Goodell would actual “arbitrate” the players grievances and not flout the process. The players reasonably expected a FAIR process. This reasonable expectation is a valuable right inherent in all contracts.

  32. mctyboy35 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:38 PM

    I loathe Rodger Goodell for destroying a great sport. The NFL is crap now, and is no more than a reality show. Good going Rodger…you tool.

  33. tackledummy1505 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:39 PM

    Lol it’s like going to the principle and not knowing what evidence they have that u did wrong. This is so stupid and the NFL is fishing right now for a confession rather than proving it. Lol the league is going to look stupid after no doubt. No matter the outcome.

  34. jakek2 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:42 PM

    Let me resolve this for everybody without sounding like a know-it-all.

    Pro-owner posters have this mistaken belief that the players agreed in the CBA that Goodell would lord over every grievance and whatever he says is the be all to end all.

    Practically speaking, this is exactly what the players agreed to. However, contractually, (i.e. under the CBA), the players agreed that Goodell would be the final “arbiter”. The word “arbiter” is a legal term of art.

    Blacks’ Law Dictionary (used by lawyers) defines arbiter as: “A person chosen to decide a controversy; an arbitrator, referee. A person bound to decide according to the rules of law and equity, as distinguished from an arbitrator, who may proceed wholly at his own discretion, so that it be according to the judgment of a sound man.”

    Equity means fairness. Vilma’s argument is that Goodell is deviating from the CBA because he is acting unfair, and therefore, is breaching his duty to act as an “arbiter” within the meaning of the CBA.

    So, in conclusion, there is an understanding that the PLAYERS and OWNERS agreed in the CBA that Goodell would be FAIR and not some lord/tyrant, his way or the highway.

    Are we clear?

  35. totallyuselessme says: Jun 18, 2012 1:42 PM

    I started out thinking Gooddell was right, but the more time passes and no real evidence is seen, the more he keeps hiding things instead of putting them out in public and saying “Here it is”, the shadier he looks.

    And it’s reminded me of Spygate too, which isn’t a good thing. They obviously swept a lot of things under the rug there, and that they’re continuing to do so is a little alarming.

    But it won’t really affect their business either. America loves the NFL, God-dell or not.

  36. sb44champs says: Jun 18, 2012 1:43 PM

    “If this is all made up and there’s nothing here, what did Payton, Williams, Vilma etc. do to him exactly?” Did they run a train on his wife or something? Knock up his 18 year old daughter? What is the motivation here?”
    —————————————
    Duh… If you don’t get it by now, then you never ever will. But I will try to explain it in Kindergarten terms that you may or may not understand: GODell’s motivation is the HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS OF ‘CONCUSSION’ LAWSUITS that the NFL has to deal with in the near future. By exaggerating the implications and reprimanding the Saints, GODell thinks he is putting the NFL in a better position to fight against the concussion lawsuits by winning the court of public opinion with a positive perception that the NFL is serious about player health which is all a sham!!!!!!! Get it???

  37. dannyabramowitz says: Jun 18, 2012 1:44 PM

    To those who ask what is Goodell’s motivation, it’s this: he is grandstanding so, in response to the concussion lawsuits, he can maintain nothing is more important to the NFL than player safety, see what I did to the Saints players.

    He did the exact same thing in the StarCaps case. The players who were suspended ACTUALLY CALLED THE NFL before they took StarCaps to make sure it was okay and the NFL told them that it was fine. Then the NFL suspended them so Goodell could grandstand on steroids.

    Same thing with Rothlisberger who, not only was not convicted of anything, he WASN’T EVEN CHARGED. Yet there was grandstanding Goodell suspending Rothlisberger for 6 games.

    Goodell is a grandstanding PR hack. It is extremely dangerous for such a person to have absolute power. He doesn’t do what’s fair, he does what he thinks makes him look good.

    To those who say that the players bargained for this in the CBA, are you saying that Goodell could suspend Aaron Rodgers for a year because Rodgers wore a green shirt and Goodell doesn’t like green shirts? If Goodell has absolute power over all off-the-field conduct like you say, then Goodell has this power, and there’s not a thing Rodgers could do about it.

    There has to be some court review of the NFL’s disciplinary process to ensure some fundamental fairness.

  38. shackdelrio says: Jun 18, 2012 1:48 PM

    “Not long after unnamed NFL sources told Jim Varney of the New Orleans Times-Picayune…”

    I’m just picturing a scene like the one in Office Space after the two Bob’s find out the guy’s name is Michael Bolton.

  39. londonbengal says: Jun 18, 2012 1:51 PM

    I just cannot believe some of the dumb-a$$ comments from some.

    Roger Goodell is appointed by the club owners to act on their behalf, and in the wider best interests of the whole NFL, he doesn’t act for himself. The guy is a lawyer by profession, and I for one would be amazed if he and his staff hadn’t done their homework on this one before pulling the trigger on the Saints.

    Roger will deliver his end of the deal agreed in the CBA, and idiot players like Vilma need to remember that they voted to keep Goodell and extend his ‘powers’ in certain areas.

    If they didn’t like the power that Goodell has they shouldn’t have signed the damn CBA.

  40. iknowurider72 says: Jun 18, 2012 1:51 PM

    This ended quickly because the players realized they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Wonder if the league is protecting these players by not releasing the rest of the information?

    Think about. The league wants these guys playing because it makes the level of competition better, which makes more money for the NFL. These guys are suspended because they broke one of the NFL’s golden rules. You don’t put incentives in place to harm other players.

    The Players union should be protecting the players and not these four idiots. NFLPA should throw them under the bus to make a point. This type of behavior will not be tolerated!

  41. dannyabramowitz says: Jun 18, 2012 1:57 PM

    To those complaining about the Saints players wanting some fairness in the hearings on their suspensions, consider this:

    Suppose your boss called you in to his office and told you that you were being suspended without pay for a year because you sexually harassed female co-employees. You insisted it wasn’t true and demanded to know who was making the accusations and what is the evidence. Your boss tells you don’t worry I have the evidence, but you can’t see it. You ask if you have the right to appeal and your boss says yes, but I will hear the appeal. You ask if you can see the evidence before the appeal so you know what you’re being accused of, and your boss says no you can’t.

    Then your boss calls a press conference where he identifies you to the world as a sexual harasser and let’s everyone know you’ve been suspended for a year without pay. He says this shows the company’s commitment to women’s rights, and that those lawsuits filed by former female employers against the company have no merit.

    You realize then that you will probably never be hired again.

    Would you be okay with that? Because that is exactly what is happening to Vilma.

  42. sfsaintsfan says: Jun 18, 2012 1:58 PM

    “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

    Benjamin Franklin

    The fans of the other 31 NFL teams should remember these words.

    If Goodell can basically destroy an NFL team (taking one of the best head coaches away for an entire year) with NO EVIDENCE, what will he do to your team?

    I think Cowboys fans and Redskins fans might agree. Who knows, some Pats fans may have seen the light? That would leave 28 teams to go……

    The CBA gives Goodell the “authority” to do what he has done, but it doesn’t make it “right”.

  43. sb44champs says: Jun 18, 2012 1:59 PM

    Which one is it GODell? Health and safety or the almighty Dollar? I suspect the latter since just a couple of months ago, GODell was trying to shove an ‘impossible to remain healthy’ 18 game schedule down the players throats and for what? The safety of the game? Of course not, that makes absolutely no since… Come on GODell, if you’re going to claim the NFL is serious about safety, then you might not want to desperately try in vain to implement an 18 game schedule when not a one NFL player would agree to it BECAUSE OF THE HEALTH CONCERNS… It’s obviously all about the money and that’s why everyone is starting to hate this dictator!!!

  44. trubroncfan07 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:29 PM

    Regardless of who is right or wrong here, Goodell has way to much power.

  45. sb44champs says: Jun 18, 2012 2:31 PM

    thcnote says:
    Jun 18, 2012 1:18 PM
    I love it because Drew Brees is a Saint and he was part of the negotiations and he is a complete ass clown.
    ———————————————–
    Hey, you want a little wine with that jealousy, lol!
    (BOO-HOO, my team don’t have a franchise QB so, therefore, I hate Drew Brees and the Saints)

  46. discosucs2005 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:39 PM

    There is no reason to not put the evidence out there, and Pats fans should know why.

    After Spygate Goodell burned the tapes and the general fan population was never allowed to see them. As a result several fans, perhaps even the majority have made assumptions about how beneficial the tapes were. This has lead to the “cheater” posts that occupy so many Pats threads in this board and others.

    If Goodell never releases the evidence for this case, most fans will assume the worst of the presumed guilty parties.

    So I guess if you’re not going to be skeptical of the league you just better hope your team isn’t next.

    And everyone should remember, this isn’t like the Pentagon or the former KGB, this is the game of football. No one’s lives are in danger if the evidence is released, there is no threat to national security, there is no tangible reason not to release every scrap of evidence.

  47. swampdog4life says: Jun 18, 2012 2:47 PM

    To those who don’t seem to understand what the guys are fighting for…

    At this point I don’t see Vilma fighting for playing time this year. I see him fighting for big time money in his defamation case. And from everything we’ve heard so far… he’s going to win! In fact, he has nothing to loose! Is there any argument about that? Lets agree and move on… the Saints already have and as a Saints fan… I’m comfortable with our new additions at LB’er to where his absence will be tolerable.

    The other players are actually doing the same thing… but building a civil suit in a different way. They have more to loose than Vilma.

    The bottom line usually always comes to money. CBA or not, the Federal Court system is going to be involved and this will be about the money. And, by all counts… the players are leading this battle and will get their game checks from the NFL one way or another.

    The NFL will not be able to hide behind the CBA once this goes to court. Although Godell has all power under the CBA, the law requires there to be an appearance of fairness. What’s even more interesting is the possibility of the Court system ruling that the CBA is an unlawful contract!

    Believe it or not, the NFL is in serious trouble on this one. I love football, and don’t think for a moment that our beloved sport is going to end. However, I wouldn’t rule out another work stoppage or the possible resignation of Godell.

    And for the record… there IS a difference between Pay-for-Performance and Bounty system! Get a clue.

  48. jakek2 says: Jun 18, 2012 2:53 PM

    Pro-owners are missing the boat and its maddening.

    The CBA does NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT give Goodell full authority to rule anyway he pleases and in any manner whatsoever. The CBA empowers him to be the final “ARBITER”. That means he has to be FAIR. If he is not running the process “fairly”, then he/owners are in breach of the CBA and the court will, at a minimum, postpone the suspensions until the issue of “fairness” is resolved. Why is this so hard to understand?????

    Now, if Goodell proves he was acting fairly (which shouldn’t be a difficult burden as long as he can prove that he is following the rules set forth in the CBA…[giving less than 3 calendar days is not a good start nor it is good if he is using documents to determine guilt without providing them to the players]), then, yes…these suspensions will be upheld.

    Its a very black and white issue. What you are seeing now is a dog and pony show. Vilma is laying the groundwork to prove Goodell is being “unfair” and Goodell is laying the groundwork for the opposite. There is no “appeal” actually being pursued because both sides know that it is a waste of time.

  49. ernie ernie says: Jun 18, 2012 3:20 PM

    How stupid are people? Goodall has the goods. The league would not have given out the serious suspensions it did without hard evidence. Evidence that they are also smart enough not to release. You don’t give the farm away to people getting ready to seek suits and injunctions.

    Its the agents who are sprouting the ‘no evidence’ claims. Independent analyst have already examined the testimony and evidence and reported it was iron clad.

    Vilma is a dirt bag who wants to trash the NFL to save his own ass and is betting if he makes enough noise maybe some of his punishment goes away.

  50. jakek2 says: Jun 18, 2012 3:23 PM

    Serious question to those who believe the Saints’ punishments should stand.

    If “monopoly money” was used, would your opinion change?

  51. skinfangray says: Jun 18, 2012 3:26 PM

    I am not a Saints fan, but I have to say that their team is being hosed. And for the fans of other teams that are saying that the Saints deserve this treatment, get ready. It won’t be long before your team is railroaded by Goodell, and then when you hold out hope that a league puppet arbitrator will see what the rest of the sane world sees, you will get slapped with NFL reality. Goodell is acting so far out of his bounds that it has turned this league into a farce.

    Trust me, if you think your team is immune to his form of justice, think again.

  52. regulator01 says: Jun 18, 2012 3:49 PM

    the whole problem is the nflpa agreed to something they dont like now, its not goodells fault, its smith, he got the plyers to agree to this form of punishment, right or wrong. i personally think the saints are guilty as sin, but what i or anyone else thinks is irrelevent. the cba says only goodell is relevent and you players signed off. enjoy it boys

  53. cwwgk says: Jun 18, 2012 4:01 PM

    @jakek2: sorry you are mad. You’re right the CBA does not make Goodell omnipotent. Just the authority to impose sanctions on teams, coaches or players who fail to abide by league rules. The Saints organization, certain coaches and players were found to have violated league rules. Those rules that were violated by the Saints have been cited with specificity by Goodell.

    In regards to the most interesting conspiracy theory in which Roger Goodell has a personal vendetta against the Saints, how did he get Tom Benson in his back pocket? I’ve read how Goodell “forced” Loomis, Payton and Williams into authoring statements in which they accepted responsibility by threatening them with greater penalties if they didn’t assist with the Vendetta.

    But Tom Benson faces no such purported threat. Goodell answers to him, not the other way around. Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder wasted no time filing grievances over Goodell salary cap penalties.

    Benson, no such action in response to getting hit with a half million dollar fine and the loss of draft picks. When the NFLPA requested the Saints to support its players against the bounty allegations the organization declined.

    Instead, Benson hired a former federal judge and director of the CIA to investigate his OWN organization.

    Go figure.

  54. nflsecurity862 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:16 PM

    jakek2 says:
    Jun 18, 2012 3:23 PM
    Serious question to those who believe the Saints’ punishments should stand.

    If “monopoly money” was used, would your opinion change?

     
    I hope this isnt a serious question. No, nothing would change if they were offering monopoly money. Purposely trying to injure an opponent for any reason is illegal. Try spinning it anyway you would like, it’s still bush league.

  55. romosexualtendencies says: Jun 18, 2012 4:18 PM

    @dannyabramowitz

    all that you said is true, that would suck and be totally illegal. But the NFL players are a union…they signed a contract. Which supercedes regular labor laws.

    If the NFLPA does not like the ruling they can strike.

    IMO Dee Smith is the one who should be on the hotseat…not Godell!!

  56. jakek2 says: Jun 18, 2012 5:07 PM

    @nflsecurity –

    First off, purposely trying to injure is not “illegal”. At worst, purposely trying to injure on a cheap shot is a 15 yd penalty. Keep focus.

    Now, as far as the actual question goes, if Vilma gave out monopoly money for clean hits that resulted in injuries, would your opinion change?

    I’m being serious. Keep in mind, the monopoly money has no monetary value. The only value in being paid the monopoly money is that the player has bragging rights for having the most.

    Same question.

  57. raqaiw says: Jun 18, 2012 6:32 PM

    Q:Who does Goddell answer to?
    A:The 31 owners.

    If the 31 owners are pleased with his rulings, what you, or I, or anyone else thinks matters 1 iota. All indications are that the 31 owners(collectively) are quite pleased with how their employee is working.

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