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Ornstein denies telling NFL that Vilma offered money

Screen-shot-2012-03-21-at-7.29.01-PM2

And the craziness continues.

On Monday, NFL outside counsel Mary Jo White said at the bounty appeal hearing that Mike Ornstein corroborated the claim that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game, and that Vilma offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner out of the 2009 NFC divisional-round playoff game.

The only problem with that?  Ornstein tells PFT that he never said what the NFL now claims he said.

“I never corroborated $10,000,” Ornstein said.  “The only thing that I told them was that we had the [pregame] meeting, we jumped around, we screamed around, and I never saw [Vilma] offer one dime.  And I never heard him say it.”

Ornstein admits that the Saints had a pay-for-performance program in 2009, but he repeatedly denied that he told the NFL that Vilma offered any money knocking any player out of any game.

“Did I say to the league that I saw Jonathan Vilma offer $10,000?” Ornstein said.  “Absolutely not.”

I asked Ornstein the question several different ways, to ensure there was no ambiguity.  He consistently and repeatedly (and at times profanely) denied ever telling the NFL that Vilma offered money to anyone who knocked Favre and/or Warner out of the 2009 playoff games.

It’s unclear what, if any, impact this has on the broader bounty case, other than to call into serious question the validity of the league’s reliance on Ornstein as proof that Vilma offered money to anyone, for anything.  Though there’s a chance Ornstein is lying now, there’s also a chance he was lying then, and given his history of legal entanglements, the league may have badly erred by using him to support any aspect of the bounty case.

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44 Responses to “Ornstein denies telling NFL that Vilma offered money”
  1. mavajo says: Jun 19, 2012 3:24 PM

    It’s starting to feel that this story should be less about the bounties, and more about the NFL’s corruption. This is starting to paint a picture of the NFL that sounds like the conspiracy theory of a crazy Raider or Steeler fan.

  2. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 19, 2012 3:24 PM

    Do they have a taped confession of this?
    A handwritten explanation? Videotape?
    Or is it just what was “typed up by the league”?

    I encourage everyone to go to espnradio.com and listen to the podcast of Mike & Mike from this morning on June 19, 2012 and listen to what Adam Schefter said about the supposed “bounty evidence”.

  3. thcnote says: Jun 19, 2012 3:26 PM

    Let’s just get this thing in court so we can get the real story.

  4. jasonvining says: Jun 19, 2012 3:26 PM

    Finally, proof of innocence! All players’ suspensions should be rescinded, Sean Payton reinstated, and a bronze statue of Tom Benson’s ass put in front of NFL HQ.

  5. sgt50 says: Jun 19, 2012 3:27 PM

    Well,Well,Well, if the NFL does not have a handwritten statement, audio or video of this guy making those statements, they will have some explaining to do.

  6. jeremymartini says: Jun 19, 2012 3:29 PM

    “I never thought my name would come out! I better deny deny deny as I don’t want to upset any players, clients, or possible college players as that would cost me money.” The NFL wouldn’t open another he said he said if they didn’t have it. Again Ornstein is seeing the bigger picture (his wallet) being effected & claiming foul.

  7. northeastkiller says: Jun 19, 2012 3:29 PM

    Anyone else remember the movie Quiz Show, about the game show scandals in the 50s? The prosecutor relies on the show’s producer to roll on the network involvement, and despite others warning him that he’ll be allowed back after a period of time if he doesn’t roll on them, the guy testifies and denies any network involvement. Sure enough, the guy’s let back in the door a few years later.

    Ornstein is free to deny it, Cerullo (the unnamed source) can be shown as a disgruntled former employee, but GW is the NFL’s ace in the hole. If he thinks that he can walk through the door again if he just keeps his mouth shut, he’ll do it.

  8. silvercutlery says: Jun 19, 2012 3:29 PM

    Hold on.

    So a Saints supporting crook has come out and said something that supports the Saints.

    I trust him.

    The league probably made this whole thing up.

    Tomorrow they’ll probably suspend Jerry Hughes, saying he run bounties for the Colts, and suspend half the Colts for the year.

    I think they do it because Goodell is undemocratic and likes to show everyone all the power he was given under the CBA.

  9. crabboil says: Jun 19, 2012 3:35 PM

    Of course Saints haters will rejoice in his testimony, but then call him a crooked liar when they read this story.

  10. truthfactory says: Jun 19, 2012 3:38 PM

    Im sure there will be a signed statement or audio that will follow that will totally discredit this guy… Cant wait to see/ hear it

  11. derfshambeaux says: Jun 19, 2012 3:38 PM

    Is Ornstein still locked up? What did he go to jail for? For all the times I’ve read his name over the last month, I can’t remember reading what he did to go to jail.

  12. jkaflagg says: Jun 19, 2012 3:39 PM

    As was just demonstrated in the Roger Clemens case, liars and cheats usually hang around with other liars and cheats; and when you attempt to build a case with liars as your key witnesses, there is always the chance they may renege or be torn apart by sharp defense attorneys…..if the NFL was truly counting on anything Ornstein said would stand up, they will continue to see their case crumble, and the Saints players will join Clemens and Ryan Braun as famous “guilty as hell but had good lawyers” liars who beat the rap……

  13. bangitfootball says: Jun 19, 2012 3:43 PM

    You have the suspended players and coaches and attorneys who want to see ALL the evidence and you have the witnesses (ie rats) who dont want any of their statements released to the public for obvious reasons. What a mess. Goodell is going to have to end up releasing it all.

  14. bullcharger says: Jun 19, 2012 3:44 PM

    The NFL should have a signed statement from Ornstein. If they do have a signed statement then it either proves Ornstein is a liar (or doesn’t want to seem like a whistle blower) or what he signed is ambiguous enough that he can still deny hearing Vilma directly.

  15. saintsfan26 says: Jun 19, 2012 3:45 PM

    If GW speaks up, Goodell will be done. Every single piece of evidence Goodell has for pay to injure has been shredded to pieces. Every single day that Goodell opens his pie hole, Vima’s defamation case grows stronger. Goodell your days are numbered you clown.

  16. spankymcwanky says: Jun 19, 2012 3:45 PM

    I can’t wait to hear what the NFL has to say about Ornstein denying he ratted out Vilma. Will they try to discredit him by saying he’s a criminal? That would be hilarious since they were using him as a source to bolster their story.

  17. momotaroskp says: Jun 19, 2012 3:46 PM

    Saints and thier fans got to be the biggest morons on the planet. Nobody is buying your denials. Take your punishment like men!

  18. pape27 says: Jun 19, 2012 3:47 PM

    Ornstein denies it. Huh.

    Next Gregg Williams will deny it. I bet he’s keep a sharp eye out on the Vilma case to see what happens – mayhaps he finds a road back to the NFL that doesnt go thru the Rog?

    Got to wonder though – the NFL’s evidence has been getting smacked around a bit. Will they roll out the unnamed coach to validate their claims?

    The NFL should never have turned the information over to the media. Either they have the information needed to substantiate their claims of a Bounty system or they dont. Its quite plain to see that the Saints did indeed have a pay for performance pool. Reading thru some of the evidence (The NFLPA website has links to it) it would be obtuse to argue that they didnt.

    The kicker for me in believing that there was in deed a Bounty System, spoken or not, related to the payouts that were detailed. Most plays were $100 or $200 per whack. There was one however that stood out. That was a Cart Off – $1,000.

    Boys and girls, that right there is incentive to go out and hurt someone. To try and take them out. Do I believe that players made huge cash bonuses available for certain players? I really dont care, to me its irrelevant. The team maintained and managed this system. Players paid into it and participated in it. They are guilty. They got hit hard by the league as a result.

    The suspensions are well deserved imo.

  19. xxwhodatxx says: Jun 19, 2012 3:52 PM

    The league already had predetermined what was going on when they had no evidence just accusations. So now they need to find or make up and twist words to fit their accusations.

  20. sgtr0c says: Jun 19, 2012 3:52 PM

    Ok, let us say the nfl is wrong and all the saints player and staff are innocent. As an exlawyer, what was their motivation to do all this, is it logical that they have something against the saints?
    It is still more logical that the accussed are saying anything right now to save themselves. If in all these pieces of proof, they are too weak for you, it still all makes more sense that the nfl isn’t running around randomly picking on the teams and trying to bring down coaching staffs.

  21. thejuddstir says: Jun 19, 2012 3:55 PM

    Wait until the Stains entire organization experiences the wrath of the NFL for not taking their medicine and tarnishing the NFL. If Stains fans are crying foul now…….it’s only going to get worse.

  22. thejuddstir says: Jun 19, 2012 3:58 PM

    saintsfan26 says:Jun 19, 2012 3:45 PM

    If GW speaks up, Goodell will be done. Every single piece of evidence Goodell has for pay to injure has been shredded to pieces. Every single day that Goodell opens his pie hole, Vima’s defamation case grows stronger. Goodell your days are numbered you clown.
    —————————————————-
    you are either onto something or on something and I would submit….the latter.

  23. pftcensorssuck says: Jun 19, 2012 4:04 PM

    So my comment calling Ornstein a convicted felon – which he IS – gets deleted, huh Mike?

    Not too hard to see where your bias is these days.

  24. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jun 19, 2012 4:05 PM

    Apparently you can’t say “He looks trustworthy to me.”

  25. FinFan68 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:06 PM

    Look, he loses nothing by denying his previous statement. He could possibly see a monetary gain by doing so. All this does is muddy the already murky waters concerning the “evidence” and that is exactly what the NFLPA/players are trying to do. Until he is on a witness stand with the threat of perjury charges, it is hard to take anything he says at face value. That being said, there are two other witnesses that corroborate what he originally said he witnessed as well as written documentation that would indicate Vilma likely made those statements about the bounties.

    What would you believe now?

    (a) A reversal of a statement by someone who has nothing to lose and potentially much to gain right now

    or,

    (b) the previous statement is likely correct since there are multiple witnesses to the same event as well as transcribed notes about the incident.

    If your answer was (a) you do not trust anything the NFL says or does and you need to adjust your tinfoil hat.

    Your kid can tell you that he didn’t break the lamp but that does not mean that you don’t know he did it. In this case there is other evidence that when looked at cumulatively should lead a reasonable person to believe that the events happened. The level of punishment is a separate issue but there is not a valid argument concerning the “evidence” or the negotiated process.

  26. pape27 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:07 PM

    xxwhodatxx says:Jun 19, 2012 3:52 PM

    The league already had predetermined what was going on when they had no evidence just accusations. So now they need to find or make up and twist words to fit their accusations.

    —————————————————

    Do you think the NFL wanted this to happen? That they had this whole thing planned out just to bag on the Saints and Vilma?

    The NFL started investigating rumors of a bounty system and were stonewalled by the Saints. They told the Saints to knock it off. If they had stopped it then, you never would have heard of “Bountygate”. But, they didnt stop it.

    They kept it going. Another allegation was made, and a new investigation opened. The sheer stupidity of the Saints’ coaches and players continuing this system after they knew the league was looking into it is mind boggling.

    They all deserve their suspensions for being just so stupid.

  27. cgarsmoker says: Jun 19, 2012 4:12 PM

    I guess the lesson here is to never trust the word of a two time felon convicted of fraud.

  28. gergie1957 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:14 PM

    First if The NFL has said that Ornstein told them about the Vilma Bounty, They have what he said taped and so they can verify it, If they are using it as evidence. Let the thing play out already.

  29. marat28051988 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:18 PM

    Goodell the liar and the deceiver hooted. Only this time in the lie it got confused. And fans of bucs, panthers and falcons only also need to pray on the stupid QB as their dreams broke. It is direct it is a pity them
    very strange why other fans don’t criticize league for lies? I remember here everything as women cried: saints liars also should be punished” and now the lIES league and all says lies why that are silent?
    As speak at us in Russia it is possible to trust only to God well still to Valera Karpin but not Goodell

  30. logic4sale says: Jun 19, 2012 4:21 PM

    Really? He denies it at what cost? Logic here folks. It cost him nothing to deny, or atleast he thinks it’ll cost him nothing, but if he confirms? Vilma gets egg on his face VIA Ornstein. He isn’t gonna let his name coincide with snitch in this case.

  31. cash804 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:22 PM

    The blatant ignorance of the Saints “fans” in this whole debacle is unprecedented.

    They’d be crying like a bunch of whiney B*s if they found out another team had a bounty against their precious Brees…who has yet to report to camp.

    I guess he’s still waiting on his explanation…

  32. moagecu says: Jun 19, 2012 4:22 PM

    I will believe 100% of anything that Mary Jo White says compared to this guy.

  33. daaabears says: Jun 19, 2012 4:24 PM

    I understand his not wanting the players to know he spilled the beans. This guy must not have signed anything admitting any kind of guilt. Otherwise, he will look doubly stupid if the NFL has proof of his confession.

  34. mgavin78 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:28 PM

    This whole thing is going to back fire and the commissioner will be canned.

  35. rockthered1286 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:29 PM

    Saints trolls have been dead silent on every post about Vilma’s situation looking bleak now all of the sudden a jailbird disagrees with a statement he allegedly made and here they come in full force saying how Goddell is power tripping and needs removed and he randomly picked the Saints as a scapegoat for this witch hunt…

    Tell me this Saints fans: if evidence is a must, then can anybody provide me with some evidence as to WHY GD allegedly picked the Saints as the team he destroys and not any other city? He hates Baltimore why not them? Why not a team in turmoil like the Vikes or Jags? Guess it doesn’t matter because evidence is only a a requirement when it helps the case of your beloved team.

  36. mancave001 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:29 PM

    It’s starting to feel that this story should be less about the bounties, and more about the NFL’s corruption. This is starting to paint a picture of the NFL that sounds like the conspiracy theory of a crazy Raider or Steeler fan.

    49 41
    ilovefoolsball says:
    Jun 19, 2012 3:24 PM
    Do they have a taped confession of this?
    A handwritten explanation? Videotape?
    Or is it just what was “typed up by the league”?

    I encourage everyone to go to espnradio.com and listen to the podcast of Mike & Mike from this morning on June 19, 2012 and listen to what Adam Schefter said about the supposed “bounty evidence”.
    ——————————————————–

    No, it’s starting to sound like a lot of Saints fans and NFL haters are posting here. Some of you guys should listen to yourselves. As soon as the players started complaining about “lack of evidence,” the predictable screams of “I KNEEEWWW ITTT!” could be read here on PFT.

    Face it…they are guilty as sin and the NFL has exclusive jurisdiction to punish them as agreed under the duly negotiated CBA.

  37. crabboil says: Jun 19, 2012 4:30 PM

    why would Ornstein speak out against Vilma in the first place? as so many have pointed out, this is not a court of law. why would he say anything?

  38. drozman says: Jun 19, 2012 5:03 PM

    I can’t wait for the actual trial and perjury becomes an issue. The threat of prison seems to have a way of changing what someone says to PFT versus what ones says on a witness stand.

  39. juliusanonymous says: Jun 19, 2012 5:14 PM

    OK, now I don’t know who to believe:

    The NFL, with a vested multi-billion-dollar interest in promoting safety (and avoiding lawsuits)…

    OR…

    A convicted felon with a long history of cheating in pro and college athletics – including paying college players, trying to fix games, etc. Let’s not forget his fraud history.

    Hmmm… who to believe? I’ll take the word of a convicted fraudster. Oh yeah! He seems reliable.

  40. vikingamericann says: Jun 19, 2012 5:49 PM

    Once again Roger has proved Saints fans point. He has manipulated statements to fit what his version of the truth is. To all those with closed minds, I suggest Roger make Williams, Payton, and Vitt available for press conference, and any raw evidence he had on the people already named. After all if the Saints players are guilty Roger has nothing to hide, only the guilty want evidence withheld.

  41. genericuser8888 says: Jun 19, 2012 7:00 PM

    The NFL already lied about Hargrove’s statement. That was pretty clear as reported on PFT. You all seem to have short memories. The NFL lying again does not seem unreasonable.

  42. pmontague92 says: Jun 19, 2012 8:14 PM

    Anyone else find it odd that nobody has mentioned Vilma’s college in all this? I, for one, find it a bit unlikely that he happened to be involved in a similar bounty type situation at the U and this is just an unfortunate coincidence for him.

  43. monkeyboymotors says: Jun 19, 2012 9:58 PM

    Was that his one call from jail?

  44. walkingtalking1 says: Jun 19, 2012 11:23 PM

    Wasn’t this guy just in jail?
    Why the hell should anyone believe what he says?

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