Skip to content

“Explosive, compelling” bounty evidence is also irrelevant if not given to NFLPA on Friday

127274168_crop_650x440 Getty Images

When it seems that the bounty case can get no weirder, it somehow does.

After Commissioner Roger Goodell presided over the start-and-stop-and-start-again bounty hearings, the NFL invited a dozen reporters to the league office on Monday.  (I couldn’t have made it on short notice, but an invitation would have been nice.)  The league shared with them more information about the bounty case.  As Gantt pointed out earlier in the hour, Peter King of Sports Illustrated called the league’s case “explosive, compelling.”

And here’s perhaps the most important point.  If any of the evidence shown today to an Apostle-sized collection of scribes wasn’t given to the NFLPA and the four suspended players on Friday, Peter needs to add another word to his description.

“Irrelevant.”

The CBA requires the NFL to produce three days in advance any evidence the NFL will be using at the hearing.  If there is indeed “explosive, compelling” evidence, it apparently wasn’t among the information the league tendered to the NFLPA on Friday.  And so that evidence can’t be used by the NFL at the appeal hearing.

So either the NFL did a fantastic job of propping up items such as Sean Pamphilon’s ridiculously rambling 10,000-plus-word manifesto during the dog-and-pony show, or the NFL showed the reporters evidence that the NFL failed to give to the suspended players and their union.

If the latter is the truth, there’s something very wrong with this picture.

Permalink 51 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories
51 Responses to ““Explosive, compelling” bounty evidence is also irrelevant if not given to NFLPA on Friday”
  1. garrettmustgo says: Jun 18, 2012 6:49 PM

    BOOM, Roasted

  2. daybreaker2 says: Jun 18, 2012 6:52 PM

    Roger Goodell started out in the NFL’s PR department. He knows all he has to do is work the media, and the “truth” writes itself.

  3. panther17 says: Jun 18, 2012 6:54 PM

    Irrelevant for today’s appeals. If it somehow goes to outside counsel, they can use it since the 3 day rule is for today’s hearing only.

  4. tomtravis76 says: Jun 18, 2012 6:56 PM

    What is the big deal about showing this evidence? It will help others to see what is going on, it will educate everyone on what these players did, if anything, so hopefully it never happens again.

  5. jwayne111 says: Jun 18, 2012 6:58 PM

    What is so “very wrong” is – this is NFL, not U.S. justice system. Appeal evidence and media presentation…I’m sure theres plenty of evidence to go around.

    NFL follows the CBA not what you learned in law school…”evidence intended to be presented at appeal” was released – perhaps further evidence was presented to media?

    Guilty.

  6. sb50 says: Jun 18, 2012 6:59 PM

    If it was so “explosive, compelling” then why wasn’t it given to the NFLPA on Friday? And if they have over 15, 000 pages of evidence and only gave 200 pages to the NFLPA (or whatever amount it was) whats the point in that?

    Something is totally wrong in this whole situation.

  7. TeamBalco says: Jun 18, 2012 7:01 PM

    Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!

  8. jimmysee says: Jun 18, 2012 7:01 PM

    Getting off on a technicality!

    Jeez.

    What is this — criminal court?!

  9. mdcdave says: Jun 18, 2012 7:01 PM

    I dont think the NFL wants the full detail released for fear of Impending Criminal Lawsuits on players and coaches and owners. If bounties for Injuries really happend that is a criminal offense. The players should be careful of how they tread as they could do jail time.

  10. whoisthatteam says: Jun 18, 2012 7:01 PM

    That’s the funny part. He showed them the same thing the NFLPA released earlier today. A whole lot of nothing.

  11. cwalker4205 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:02 PM

    Or GASP, the NFLPA only gave you what they wanted you to see, perhaps both sides know how to play the media.

  12. truthfactory says: Jun 18, 2012 7:05 PM

    As if there is anything the players or Saints fans will see or hear to make them believe its “proof”.

    They can show video of players passing out money and Saints fans will claim it was money they owed for someones birthday pitch-in…

  13. kpow55 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:06 PM

    The NFL could be doing 1 of 2 things.

    Holding back and letting Vilma go so far his denial that he can’t retract and then nailing him with damping evidence and make him look a fool… Bye bye defamation case.

    Or

    The evidence is so heinous/bad it could kill one of their star franchises. Leak just enough to punish but hold back the overkill

  14. youafool says: Jun 18, 2012 7:07 PM

    agree with jasonvining

    If there is indeed “explosive, compelling” evidence, it apparently wasn’t among the information the league tendered to the NFLPA on Friday. And so that evidence can’t be used by the NFL at the appeal hearing.

    The line above includes a huge assumption in that the evidence WAS NOT shown to the players.

    The part that is being missed is that the players at no point will ever think the evidence is enough.

    Let’em burn.

  15. gacoltfan says: Jun 18, 2012 7:14 PM

    After Commissioner Roger Goodell presided over the start-and-stop-and-start-again bounty hearings, the NFL invited a dozen reporters to the league office on Monday.  (I couldn’t have made it on short notice, but an invitation would have been nice

    ————————————-

    Maybe he wanted reporters and not gossip columnists.

  16. holdthemayo123 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:14 PM

    The NFLPA released the info today, and unlike what the players said Friday, there is some compelling evidence in there.

  17. sbdt says: Jun 18, 2012 7:15 PM

    It’s all part of the show.

  18. 49erstim says: Jun 18, 2012 7:16 PM

    Sooooooo guilty! See ya in 2013 Mr Vilma! You can bring the pill-popping Payton with ya!

  19. mwindle1973 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:17 PM

    Screw Drew Brees…I think Brett Favre deserves an explanation! That game disgusts me every time I see clips from it. I don’t think there will ever be an asterisk on the Saints ’09 championship. But there will probably forever be a majority fan held asterisk on the 09 champs. I know it makes me question it a lot. A lot more than Spygate ever did. It will be like Barry Bonds’ home run records. There in the books, but your basic fan doesn’t accept any of it. The average fan and historians still consider Roger Maris the single season champ.

  20. northeastkiller says: Jun 18, 2012 7:17 PM

    Closed door meetings on extra special evidence not shown to the NFLPA with 12 reporters to, ahem, “get their ducks in a row.” Absolutely pathetic this is going on, absolutely pathetic there’s enough bootlickers to think this SHOULD be going on.

  21. panther17 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:19 PM

    Reason to not show all the cards in todays hearing, since today’s hearing is the only thing it is irrelevant for.

    1. Vilma’s lawsuit against Goodell. Don’t want to give Vilma’s lawyers any info before trial.

    2. Goodell is judge, jury, excutioner in today’s hearing. He doesn’t need to show the supposed damning evidence when he is ruling on it.

  22. irishnativeson says: Jun 18, 2012 7:24 PM

    The Schadenfreude is always so delicious, especially at high powered attorney’s expense, or muckety mucks like Goodell. Seems like a pretty straight forward procedure got overlooked and now there will be some question as to whether those suspended got due process…. if it even applies. “No matter the rulings of courts, no matter the verdicts of jury’s”

  23. bucrightoff says: Jun 18, 2012 7:24 PM

    Jesus this is a mess. If Williams is retracting his story then obviously he’s banned for life. And if he is, then keep the rest of the punishments as a message. Since they’re all rats, eventually one of them (Payton?) would sell the others out for his get out of jail card.

  24. shzastl says: Jun 18, 2012 7:24 PM

    It’s irrelevant that the NFL didn’t give the evidence to the players; since Goodell has already decided what his decision will be he doesn’t NEED to show himself the “explosive, compelling” evidence.

  25. northeastkiller says: Jun 18, 2012 7:25 PM

    The “average fan” isn’t an purse-clutching outrage junkie and knows football is a rough sport, mwindle. As for Brett Favre?

    “It’s football. I don’t think any less of those guys.”

    Take note and stop crying.

  26. daybreaker2 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:27 PM

    @kpow55 says:
    The NFL could be doing 1 of 2 things.

    Holding back and letting Vilma go so far his denial that he can’t retract and then nailing him with damping evidence and make him look a fool… Bye bye defamation case.

    Or

    The evidence is so heinous/bad it could kill one of their star franchises. Leak just enough to punish but hold back the overkill

    ——

    Funny that you forget the 3rd scenario:

    Over-exaggerating the evidence they claim theyre still holding, because they know all it points to is a performance bonus program with no intent to pay for injuries, which means theyd have to retract suspensions for several players/coaches which would make them look quite silly.

    I mean, when do you start to doubt Goodell? He stated his strongest piece of evidence was that Hargrove had a signed confession admitting to everything about the bounty system. Then the letter leaked, and there was nothing in there saying that at all.

    The NFL said they had records of payments for injuries. Well, the ledger is out, and lists payments for “cart offs”… except in those games, NO PLAYER was injured and carted off.

    The NFL said Gregg Williams was explicitly telling players to injure other players using phrases like “Kill the head”… except now the ledger is out showing Vilma with “62 Kill the Heads”… I can guarantee you Vilma did not injure 62 players over 3 years.

    Every time one of the NFL’s “core pieces of strong evidence” is released, it is shown to be NOTHING.

    So, scenario 3: The NFL has no evidence of pay for injury, and isnt releasing anything because it would show they over-reacted by calling it a pay for injury, when it was really just a pay for performance program, with no payments for injuries.

    Why else do you think they keep harping on the Vikings game? That was ONE GAME. It is ONE GAME with bounties, independent of the pay for performance program.

    And the evidence Goodell is holding back probably SHOWS that he accidentally equated “One bounty game + 3 years of pay for performance == 3 years of pay for injury” when that isnt the case at all.

    He’s trying to save his own face by not releasing more evidence. It has nothing to do with protecting the sources, or protecting the Saints from further damage.

  27. bucrightoff says: Jun 18, 2012 7:28 PM

    I also think mdcdave makes a great point. The NFL might have incredible evidence, but releasing it may bring about even worse consequences (additional lawsuits, criminal charges) and this story could get really out of hand.

  28. momsasaynt says: Jun 18, 2012 7:28 PM

    All I know is you seem to value Peter Kings opinion and from what he tweeted he seems to say there was alot of damning evidence. $35,000 for taking out Favre? Come On whether you despise him or love him you can’t have that kind of thing going on next it will be your favorite player this sux all around Vilma needs to shut it and take his suspension. Idiots.

  29. qdog112 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:28 PM

    Roger’s done. The NFL has become a circus and I don’t believe he makes it another year. First he destroyed the spygate evidence and now this. Throw in the numerous lawsuits from former players for benefits and the concussion cases.

    I’d say the owners are gonna want to cut ties, if nothing more to divert attention from how bad things really are. Since he is the face of the league, he’s gone.

  30. ctabb919 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:29 PM

    For those suggesting the NFL actually has real evidence that was submitted to the NFLPA and Ginsberg, you need to go read it. It is available online.

    Among other things, there was a writeup called “Inner Voice” about listening to your inner voice to be the most you can be. There were pages from Power Points that had things like how certain alignments meant a running play X percent of the time. At least 99% of it was pure garbage, which is why I have to wonder at Peter King’s intelligence now–something I’ve never done before.

  31. nflfan555 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:29 PM

    Clown circus – Peter King would not use Explosive and Compelling for no reason – Ban the whole frigging team and the skinny pencil neck lawyer….

  32. b1rdbath says: Jun 18, 2012 7:32 PM

    @panther17
    I am not a expert on law but I do believe that in a lawsuit any evidence admitted has to be suitted to the court for each side to review prior to the trial

  33. tobiasjodter says: Jun 18, 2012 7:37 PM

    Does anyone think it is a bit unseemly to invite a select group of media to review the “evidence”?

    What are the chances that these hand-picked media (who rely on the NFL for their livelihood) are not simply going to cast the NFL/Goodell spin on the “evidence”?

  34. daaabears says: Jun 18, 2012 7:38 PM

    mdcdave (above post)
    touched on the legal aspect of releasing ALL of the proof. I know that
    Cutler was kicked in the throat (could barely speak), and Bennett was speared in the chest (out 6 games) during the Saints/Bears game last year. If there is proof of all (or many) injuries, this thing could get really ugly criminal charge wise.

  35. jeremyroyce says: Jun 18, 2012 7:39 PM

    I just watched Adam Schefter on ESPN Sportscenter and he said that the evidence that had been given to 12 reporters today and took questions for about 75 or so minutes regardin the information is the same information given to the players.

  36. istateyourname says: Jun 18, 2012 7:39 PM

    I think MF’er should put a Thumbs Upper and and Thumbs Downer on the posts themselves. So you can say aw shut up already without having to roll out an explanation…

  37. thejuddstir says: Jun 18, 2012 7:43 PM

    I can’t believe Vilma and Ginsberg are so freaking dumb. Talk about the moth getting baited into the spiders web. I can understand Stain’s fans ignorance because for them perception is reality and even if Vilma admitted to what he did, the cajun faithful would claim that Goodell used the waterboard on him. Ginsberg and Vilma are only making the situation more and more difficult for the rest of the players in the NFL, for the Stains organization and the owner Benson and for the NFL as a whole but what does Ginsberg care, he’s a lawyer and they only care about the jingle and Vilma knows his career is over so he decides to go out in a blaze.

  38. Loose Changeup says: Jun 18, 2012 7:45 PM

    Goodell is obviously not accustomed to following anyone else’s rules.

  39. lostsok says: Jun 18, 2012 7:46 PM

    Think Vilma and the Saints wish they’ve have taken this investigation seriously and not obfuscated and flat out lied for YEARS? It would have been a slap on the wrist and small fines.

    I’m sure berating the commissioner in a hearing is gonna help. How could that POSSIBLY backfire?

  40. dryzzt23 says: Jun 18, 2012 7:48 PM

    The PLAYERS need proof?

    Ok then it can go both ways. When the players complain about “concussions” and “lack of treatment/disclosure” then sign a lawsuit…..the PLAYERS NEED TO PROVIDE PROOF TO THE NFL

    I am so against the millionaire players on this

  41. stataddict says: Jun 18, 2012 7:48 PM

    You realize that this is a disciplinary appeal hearing?

    Management does not have to re-affirm it’s previous position when moving to a second level in disciplinary hearings, nor does it have to present any evidence at all.

    If the case is taken to an arbitrator for further review, then these rules would hold. Quite frankly, I think Goodell is setting Dee Smith to look like an idiot. He’s allowing all this posturing by his members and then Goodell will lower the boom if the Union takes this matter outside of Goodell’s jurisdiction. Not only will Goodell’s decision be upheld, but the credibility of Smith on others who have led this charge will be greatly diminished.

  42. eagleswin says: Jun 18, 2012 8:19 PM

    I guess Bree’s has his explanation. I’m still wondering why Brees participated in trying to blame the coaches (pamphillon diary that to date Bree’s has not refuted) when he knew nothing about it?

  43. shawnw16 says: Jun 18, 2012 10:07 PM

    Youafool sounds like one…when you say let me burn…is that what you really mean or was that a figure of speech?…much like the name for big hits called cart-offs or whacks…you kind of prove a point!

  44. raiderinva says: Jun 18, 2012 11:23 PM

    How ironic….

    “Explosive, compelling” and “Irrelevant”

    Also completely describes Mr. Peter King and Mr. Paul Zimmerman’s sports reporting career as they covered Mr. Al Davis and The Raiders.

  45. shzastl says: Jun 18, 2012 11:41 PM

    That’s a clown question, bro

  46. nerdyturdy says: Jun 19, 2012 2:18 AM

    “…the NFL invited a dozen reporters to the league office on Monday. (I couldn’t have made it on short notice, but an invitation would have been nice.) ”

    That’s because this blog is not a real news org. You regularly censor relevant comments (like this one) simply because you disagree. How can you expect to be treated like a professional reporter if you constantly censor?

  47. panther17 says: Jun 19, 2012 2:22 AM

    b1rdbath says: Jun 18, 2012 7:32 PM

    @panther17
    I am not a expert on law but I do believe that in a lawsuit any evidence admitted has to be suitted to the court for each side to review prior to the trial

    ____________________________________

    Why give him the evidence now when the trial date isn’t even set allowing the opposing lawyer to have even more time to go over said evidence? If it exists. If it does exist, why hand it over before you absolutely have to? Everyone knows this appeal didn’t mean much. Vilma probably had a better chance to get the sentence reduced before he decided to sue the commish. He definitely isn’t going to do anything to after the trial is over now.

  48. hedleykow says: Jun 19, 2012 4:03 AM

    At this point, the NFL legal dept is just toying with Vilma, letting him know that his character along with his defamation lawsuit will die of a thousand small cuts. And Goodell will enjoy inflicting every last cut. Looks like checkmate to me.

  49. insider7 says: Jun 19, 2012 5:27 AM

    It sounds as though the biggest thing “wrong” with this picture is that you, Mike, didn’t get an invitation to the party.

  50. bangitfootball says: Jun 19, 2012 7:20 AM

    Sorry NFLPA, it all dosent matter. Your irrelevent other than jacking up the price of tickets to football games. King Goodell made his decision.

  51. shzastl says: Jun 19, 2012 11:15 AM

    @panther17–if Goodell has clear evidence that his statements about Vilma are true, there’s no reason to hold it back until the defamation suit. If the evidence is that compelling, Vilma’s attorney would drop the suit rather than wasting legal fees and the court’s time with a frivolous defamation claim that he can’t win. So it’s in Goodell’s interest to put it out there if it exists.

Leave a Reply

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