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Early thoughts on the evidence NFL presented

images AP

We’re currently plowing through the evidence the NFL presented to the players involved in the Saints bounty case, and much of it is inspirational material or game-plan specific. Much of it is, frankly, meaningless.

But there are several pieces of information among the 16 exhibits presented that could easily be considered damning.

Again, this is after a quick read, and we’re going to get deeper into it later in the day. (Florio promises.)

But among the slides the league presented, three pieces in particular stand out.

As part of Exhibit 5, the league handed over a slide which shows a series of payments made to players which could reasonably be considered a simple “pay for performance” system. Those included “whacks,” “sack” and “impact play.”

But the first entry on that sheet reads: “Harper = Cart-off 1000.”

That could reasonably be read as paying safety Roman Harper for knocking a player out of the game.

Exhibit 9 includes the “Dog the Bounty Hunter” photo we referred to earlier. That slide includes “Now its time to do our job…collect bounty$$$!” along with “No apologies! Let’s go Hunting!”

Even the NFLPA concedes that image was “a poorly chosen and ironic example to use.”

Exhibit 10 might be the the closest thing to a smoking gun among the nearly 200 pages presented, showing a ledger from the “Minny game” which shows Jonathan Vilma and Charles Grant apparently collecting $10,000 each, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt apparently contributing $5,000 to the “QB out pool.”

That last one is a transcribed handwritten note, and the NFLPA has taken issue with some of the evidence, including who transcribed notes such as that one, where they were obtained or whether players had seen them.

Again, this is an early look. Stay tuned for more throughout the day.

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25 Responses to “Early thoughts on the evidence NFL presented”
  1. insidej0b says: Jun 18, 2012 3:50 PM

    I want to see the original notes. Not these “transcriptions.” Sorry, the Hargrove statement was originally their smoking gun and that wasn’t even included in the evidence after it was leaked and the NFL was outed for making it out to say something that it didn’t.

    And, oh by the way, who did Harper knock out and get carted off in that ’09 Giants game that he was paid $1000 for? Don’t bother looking it up. The answer is: NOBODY.

  2. abr173rd says: Jun 18, 2012 3:50 PM

    This should be fairly simple, go back to the game or date annotated in the Ledger and watch the game tape to see if Roman Harper indeed knocked a player out or at least took a cheap shot. Something tells me these ledgers and slides will only contain dates that would plus up the leagues claims and nothing that would lead people to believe that “cart off” or “whack” hit could have a different meaning than would the name would imply.

  3. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 18, 2012 3:59 PM

    All I want is for Goodell to be honest with the fans.

    If he has evidence that Vilma acted so heinously that a yea long (!!!) suspension is merited, he needs to share it with US.

    If he’s really suspending Vilma for not being cooperative (as I suspect is really the case) then he needs to be honest and say so.

    Am I asking too much?

  4. dryzzt23 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:02 PM

    I side with the NFL, the Saints players are dirty and the NFL does not have to answer to the NFLPA or the players

  5. northeastkiller says: Jun 18, 2012 4:03 PM

    Yeah, it could be reasonably read as Harper getting paid for getting someone carted off the field. Then a REASONABLE person would look at the game in question – the Giants – and look to see if Harper hurt anyone. That REASONABLE person would then see that Harper did nothing of the sort, and his highlight of the game was stripping the QB, forcing a fumble.

    A REASONABLE person might then conclude that “cart-off” did not mean having someone carted off, and was a dumb term for big plays.

    Furthermore, the handwritten notes – who wrote it? When did they write it? I could write you a ledger for the Giants win over the Pats in the Super Bowl this year, it doesn’t mean it’s worth anything.

  6. brenenostler says: Jun 18, 2012 4:03 PM

    Seems pretty obvious to me. But I’m sure Vilma will say anything possible as to why the evidence is invalid. “Oh I forgot to mention the charity that I run. But yeah, they were just giving me money for that.”

  7. mikevan68 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:08 PM

    Lol !!! Charles Grant was on IR for the 2009 playoffs, how did he collect $10,000. Explain that………

  8. reaser2 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:12 PM

    I read the 16 exhibits about an hour ago. I wouldn’t say it “shows Jonathan Vilma and Charles Grant apparently collecting $10,000 each”…Since Ornstein is listed under them with $10,000 next to his name also, and obviously he wouldn’t be collecting, so I don’t think it’s fair to assume they were collecting, could have been putting that amount in the pool.

    Though of course, I’de much rather see the raw evidence, as opposed to something the NFL – allegedly – transcribed.

    Really all we see is “Vilma — $10,000 QB”

    Raises more questions than it gives any answers. Did he collect 10k or did he put 10k in the pool? Where is this alleged handwritten note? Who wrote the note? Who transcribed it? Was the money actually paid out and was the money actually put in the pool? Etc and etc…

  9. godofwine330 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:14 PM

    I swear, what idiot still keeps a ledger? Have they not seen ANY mob movies or heist movies? I was watching The Bank Job the other day and when they began speaking of a ledger I immediately thought of this case and laughed so hard I nearly fell off of my elliptical.

    And, if Charles Grant was indeed injured for the 2009 playoffs that is enough right there to call the entire findings into question.

  10. qball59 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:21 PM

    For whom the bell tolls?

    It tolls for thee, Roger…

  11. mazenblue says: Jun 18, 2012 4:24 PM

    Not sure why people are defending these saints players accused. So harper didn’t get a cart off hit. He certainly tried. He went in to that game looking to get a cart off for some money. How on earth can and why would someone defend that. I’m accountable for my every action. Time for these guys to be held accountable.

  12. thejuddstir says: Jun 18, 2012 4:27 PM

    This is just too freaking funny….but not unexpected from a bunch of rubes. It wouldn’t matter what evidence the league presented, Stains players and fans will forever use the Bill Clinton defense, “it depends what the meaning of is is”. This is not a court of law that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt….it’s only a “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…..it must be a duck” presumption of guilt and I am convinced with just the little the league has shared. Rubes also forget that Vilma was accused of this type of bounty for pay play when he was in college so it’s even easier to believe in his case.

  13. jealst says: Jun 18, 2012 4:28 PM

    Roman Harper name has come up more on actual “proof” than any other Saints player. And he wasn’t even suspended, let alone fined.

  14. benh999 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:32 PM

    Only the Saints and their fans seem to think that the evidence is still insufficient and that Goodell is a megalomaniacal dictator with some grudge against them.

  15. illwillthemick says: Jun 18, 2012 4:38 PM

    even if theres a pay for performence system that is illegal. If its not in the contract u cant pay them what so hard to understand and theres been people who admitted there was a bounty system. so whats really good!!

  16. realdealsteel says: Jun 18, 2012 4:40 PM

    benh999 says:
    Jun 18, 2012 4:32 PM
    Only the Saints and their fans seem to think that the evidence is still insufficient and that Goodell is a megalomaniacal dictator with some grudge against them.
    ————————————————–
    Dude, you clearly, are out of your mind. I’m not a Saints fan at all. I’m a free thinking individual who can see that Goodall is clearly out of control with the powers that were given him.

    Goodall has no evidence. The so called “ledgers” don’t match up to what happened on the field of play.

  17. jealst says: Jun 18, 2012 4:42 PM

    benh999 says:
    Jun 18, 2012 4:32 PM
    Only the Saints and their fans seem to think that the evidence is still insufficient and that Goodell is a megalomaniacal dictator with some grudge against them.

    _________________________

    No, lawyers and even the media is questioning the evidence. That’s why we’re at this point.

  18. discosucs2005 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:48 PM

    I’m unclear on the rules exactly but does anyone have to have been injured for the Saints to have broken the rule against bounties?

    The reason this is important is because a lot of the evidence seems to show, perhaps even prove that bounties were used. We all (myself included) seem to be waiting for something that proves a player was injured as a result of the bounty system, but does that even matter?

  19. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 18, 2012 4:49 PM

    benh999 says: Only the Saints and their fans seem to think that the evidence is still insufficient and that Goodell is a megalomaniacal dictator with some grudge against them.

    Funny, the same charge was leveled against Steelers fans when he suspended Roethlisberger. And against Raiders fans when he suspended Pryor. And, and, and…

    Roger Goodell is the Orwell novel Animal Farm of the NFL.

  20. jbl429 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:52 PM

    Exhibit 10 might be the the closest thing to a smoking gun among the nearly 200 pages presented, showing a ledger from the “Minny game” which shows Jonathan Vilma and Charles Grant apparently collecting $10,000 each, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt apparently contributing $5,000 to the “QB out pool.”

    —–

    So why is Vitt allowed to coach this year?

  21. mikevan68 says: Jun 18, 2012 4:55 PM

    One thing I noticed, if you got a penalty for a late or illegal hit you would be fined NOT
    rewarded by this system……

  22. jwayne111 says: Jun 18, 2012 5:00 PM

    Does anyone think Loomis and Payton would have issued apology and taken their punishments like men, if there was no Bounty Program.

    C’mon everybody; it happened and the players are acting like the steroid baseball players…deny, deny, deny.

  23. panther17 says: Jun 18, 2012 5:00 PM

    Without a doubt in my mind, Saints had a bounty program for pay for performance. I cant say the same for bounty program for pay to injure. I have doubts from the info I know so far.

  24. thejuddstir says: Jun 18, 2012 5:14 PM

    Next the Stains fans will want proof that Vilma actually spent the money he earned from the bounty system becuz just becuz he earned it, offered it etc. there needs to be proof he spent it. If this bounty system did not exist, then how come we don’t hear of appeals or lawsuits by Tom Benson, Vitt, Payton or Williams?????? If the NFL showed video of any of the Stains players accepting an envelope of money for bounties, Stains fans would claim it was doctored film.

  25. robf2010 says: Jun 18, 2012 5:38 PM

    “This should be fairly simple, go back to the game or date annotated in the Ledger and watch the game tape to see if Roman Harper indeed knocked a player out”

    If the NFL has evidence of Harper collecting a bounty, WHY WASN’T HE SUSPENDED?

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