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League confirms Vitt wasn’t accused of contributing to bounty pool

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When imposing discipline on the coaches involved in the Saints’ alleged bounty program, the NFL didn’t privately accuse assistant head coach Joe Vitt of contributing money to the pay-for-injury effort.  More recently, however, the league publicly has claimed that Vitt pledged $5,000 to the Brett Favre bounty fund, via evidence produced in advance of the player appeal hearings and shown to the media on Monday.

NFL senior V.P. of labor law and policy Adolpho Birch recently confirmed to PFT that Vitt faced no specific claim of offering bounty money. “The short answer is no, we did not consider that as part of what formed the basis of his discipline,” Birch said on Tuesday’s PFT Live.  “As we have stated before, what we did from an investigation standpoint is to look for things that were corroborated, and with respect to that particular point, there was no additional corroboration that would lead us to have the same level of confidence as many of the other things that we found.”

In other words, the league concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to formally accuse Vitt of kicking in money for the Favre bounty for imposing discipline on Vitt, but that there was enough evidence to informally accuse Vitt of kicking in money for the Favre bounty for imposing discipline on others.

But if the handwritten notes created by someone whom the league still refuses to identify aren’t deemed sufficiently credible to show that Vitt was guilty of offering money for a bounty, why are they being used as to anyone?  And what precisely did the league do to try to corroborate the contents of the notes as to Vitt?

The obvious answer to the second question would be “confront Vitt with the notes and demand an explanation.”  But lawyer David Cornwell told PFT earlier this week that Vitt was never suspected or accused of offering money.  This means that the NFL never said to Vitt something like, “We have reliable evidence that suggests you offered a $5,000 bounty on Favre.  What do you have to say for yourself?”

Keep in mind that the league determined as part of the investigation that Vitt lied in 2010, the first time the league looked into the situation.  So Vitt isn’t someone to whom the league would be inclined to cut much slack or give the benefit of the doubt, especially as to evidence that he helped fund the bounty on Brett Favre.

While the handling of Vitt’s discipline has no direct bearing on the handling of player discipline, the disconnect suggests that the notes detailing the contributions made to the Brett Favre bounty — which perhaps constitute the only piece of clear written evidence pointing to the use of a bounty system — are for some reason not as reliable and credible as the NFL would have us all believe.  And the curious failure of the league to take aggressive action against Vitt for conduct that, if it occurred, should have triggered a suspension of at least one year or more illustrates why, regardless of guilt or innocence, real questions need to be asked regarding the key details of this case.

Hopefully at some point by someone other than me.

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55 Responses to “League confirms Vitt wasn’t accused of contributing to bounty pool”
  1. sj39 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:09 PM

    Ok, I give up. I admit it. The NFL just made all this stuff up for the fun of it.

  2. bigjdve says: Jun 20, 2012 3:16 PM

    The first thing that I would think about the notes is that there was a witness that confirmed all of the names on the note EXCEPT Vitt.

    Wouldn’t it be really interesting if Vitt was the witness that corroborated all of the other names?

  3. tv426 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:17 PM

    This entire thing stinks to high heaven. The league obviously based their “case” on a bunch of hearsay and didn’t bother to check ANYTHING! Yet from this they have imposed bans and fines on a few individuals that is in the tens of millions of dollars!

    I’ve been saying from the start that the league is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill and all the so called “evidence” supports just that notion.

    Their best move at this point would be to rescind the ludicrous bans, fines, and suspensions and admit that they were duped by an angry, disgruntled ex-Saint employee.

  4. lbrad413 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:18 PM

    sj39.. Not for fun but to cover their a$$es for the lawsuits coming their way from all the ex players..

  5. darkhornet79 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:23 PM

    Kind of funny how every time Roger says “so and so told us this”, that person comes out and refutes it. Who do you have left to point your finger at, Roger?

  6. stoney18 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:23 PM

    Oy vey!

    Something is very wrong here. Maybe there was some $$ for good hits, so OK. For injury, not OK. And there doesn’t seem to be much to prove the latter. The NFL is going to get “Roger Clemens’d”
    on this. Maybe they’ve gone to far to turn back??

    Drop it, kiss and make-up. Give the defamed parties the huge amount of money the lawyers would have sucked up and let’s move on.

    Enough already!!

  7. blondebombr says: Jun 20, 2012 3:26 PM

    Guys, listen. Yes, I lied to you last time you asked about the bounties. But this time, I’m being honest. You believe me, right?

    Why would I lie?

  8. genericuser8888 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:27 PM

    Per Adam Schefter’s twitter feed, Vitt called Goodell this morning and said that piece of paper was 100% false and offered to take a lie detector test to prove it, and sign a sworn affidavit. Said that if the part about him is false, how can anything else on that paper be trusted?

    And we still don’t know who “hand wrote” the paper. …perhaps that disgruntled employee of the Saints??

    Mike, those Schefter comments might make for a good post all on their own, or at least an update to this post.

  9. saints25 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:30 PM

    Super Forum Fanatic

    Join Date: Jun 2008
    Location: Mississippi
    Age: 48

    AdamSchefter Adam Schefter

    Part 1: Joe Vitt called Roger Goodell this morning to tell him he never offered any bounty money and the allegations against him are false

    AdamSchefter Adam Schefter
    2: Vitt told Goodell he will take a lie-detector test to prove innonce or sign sworn affadavit that he never participated in bounty program

    AdamSchefter Adam Schefter
    3: Vitt: “They’re lies. What is on that paper (shown to NFLPA and media) is false. How can anything else on that paper be considered?”
    8 minutes ago

    AdamSchefter Adam Schefter
    Joe Vitt is outraged at the accusations the league directed at him that he offered money and corrobated evidence. 100% Untrue, he insisted.
    5 minutes ago
    __________________

  10. truthfactory says: Jun 20, 2012 3:34 PM

    At this point, I dont really care. Any reasonable person understands there was a pay for performance/ bounty program goin on even after they had been warned…

    A couple guys probably got “over punished” and a couple probably got “under punished”, but its not an exact science. Everything wasnt video recorded… They did the best with what they had and got their mission accomplished. I guarantee there wont be any more of these programs this upcomming year. So can we please move on???

  11. goodolebaghead says: Jun 20, 2012 3:34 PM

    I don’t remember anyone saying it was all made up. All we’ve been saying is that the handling of this case, the evidence, and the punishments have been ridiculous. Goodell imposed punishments, and publicly assaulted the character of many people in the Saints organization, and without any evidence. About 99% of the evidence so far is stuff that has turned up since after he made his accusations based solely on heresay. Saints fans aren’t saying don’t punish the guys involved. We’re just saying, be just about it, be transparent about it, don’t put misinformation and spun-out-of-context facts out in the world and assume all of us are going to be dumb enough to accept it all.

    You all keep saying Goodell and the NFL are the richest most powerful lawyers out, and they wouldn’t be dumb enough to do all this without evidence. If they are so good at what they do, how did all this get so out of hand? Why didn’t they wait, make sure they have a slam dunk shut up case, and then impose penalties based on the evidence they can produce? Seems to me like you guys give Goodell too much credit. There is nothing arbitrary about this man.

  12. dublindemonszfl says: Jun 20, 2012 3:38 PM

    Line em all up and shoot em. With paint.

  13. jealst says: Jun 20, 2012 3:38 PM

    Joe Vitt called Roger Goodell and basically told him to quit lying. (Per Adam Schefter). This is getting awesome!

  14. insanelomein2 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:43 PM

    Um?????

    He was accused and suspended but now the NFL is saying that he never accused of anything.

    Is there something Im missing?

  15. bigjdve says: Jun 20, 2012 3:45 PM

    Hey, maybe the players should learn from Vitt, call and talk to Goodell, maybe that is why he got a lesser suspension.

  16. marzalmighty says: Jun 20, 2012 3:46 PM

    I feel like this was all an evil plot by Brett Favre to keep his name in the headlines.

  17. calv23 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:46 PM

    How many times is the league going to come out with false information before someone other than Saints fans (who are the only one with stake in the game to REALLY be paying attention) start noticing that there has been something fishy with EVERY piece of evidence, and every step of the process? Where’s Joe Hummel these days?

    Vilma & Ginsberg have it right–the real punishment isn’t the suspensions, it’s the big scarlet B these players have to wear for the rest of their lives thanks to the strategic leaks, falsehoods, semantic tricks with bounty/pay-per-performance, press releases, and the word directly from Goodell himself on ESPN, NFLN, CBS, etc. Those players’ life after football has been ruined–in earning capacity and reputation.

    If the NFL truly doesn’t want to call attention to themselves, then why are ALL the distortions working to maximize the players’ guilt? And why have the press releases that make the players look like savages sent out during noon, or 5, while the exculpatory info is always sent out during the Friday news dump? I agree, I hope someone else in the media starts asking the simple questions here–if anyone outside the Gang of 12 is allowed to the party.

  18. daveman8403 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:46 PM

    truthfactory says:
    Jun 20, 2012 3:34 PM
    At this point, I dont really care. Any reasonable person understands there was a pay for performance/ bounty program goin on even after they had been warned…

    A couple guys probably got “over punished” and a couple probably got “under punished”, but its not an exact science. Everything wasnt video recorded… They did the best with what they had and got their mission accomplished. I guarantee there wont be any more of these programs this upcomming year. So can we please move on???

    ————————————————————————————————–

    I guess that is easy for you to say if it’s not your team, or better yet, not your lively hood/reputation. Since when is OK to unjustly throw people under the bus to “get their mission accomplished”?

  19. northeastkiller says: Jun 20, 2012 3:49 PM

    Something stinks here, and I really don’t think you have to be a Saints fan to see that this case is turning into a house of cards.

  20. theuglitruth says: Jun 20, 2012 3:50 PM

    The sidewalk press conferences make me laugh!

  21. dapros says: Jun 20, 2012 3:52 PM

    Commissioner Goodell owes the players he is disciplining a hearing that meets the standards of fundamental fairness. Particularly when Fujita denies contributing to any bounty pool, where Hargrove denies the voice on the sideline tape was his, and where Vilma vehemently denies offering money for the injury of Brett Favre. The players cannot challenge the strength of the evidence when it is recited from the mouth of Mary Jo White, without any attribution as to where the “evidence” came from. Greg Williams wants back into the NFL. Goodell is the only one who can decide to let him back in. Will he say what ever Goodell wants to hear in the hope that he will be reinstated? If this were a criminal trial, a jury would be cautioned that the evidence of someone in William’s position should be very carefully scrutinized, in light of his incentive to co-operate. The most damning piece of evidence seems to be this handwritten note. We do not know who wrote it or when it was written. Did this come from the disgruntled former employee turned whistle blower. Did he have a grievance with the players whose names appear on the piece of paper? Has it even been propertl transcribed? With any luck, this whole appeal process will go to federal court for judicial review of what appears to be a flawed decision making process in a procedure that lacks fundamental fairness.

  22. jealst says: Jun 20, 2012 3:57 PM

    truthfactory says:
    Jun 20, 2012 3:34 PM
    At this point, I dont really care. Any reasonable person understands there was a pay for performance/ bounty program goin on even after they had been warned…

    A couple guys probably got “over punished” and a couple probably got “under punished”, but its not an exact science. Everything wasnt video recorded… They did the best with what they had and got their mission accomplished. I guarantee there wont be any more of these programs this upcomming year. So can we please move on???

     _____________________________________

    Lol TruthFactory you’re one of the main ones leading the “I HATE the Saints crowd” and now look what your comments have been brought down too. March 2nd was like Christmas for you, but now… Welp, let’s just say it ain’t Christmas any more.

  23. t16rich says: Jun 20, 2012 3:58 PM

    This is all a huge joke. Greg Williams is the only one they truly have any evidence against.

  24. 6thsense79 says: Jun 20, 2012 4:03 PM

    truthfactory says:Jun 20, 2012 3:34 PM

    At this point, I dont really care. Any reasonable person understands there was a pay for performance/ bounty program goin on even after they had been warned…

    A couple guys probably got “over punished” and a couple probably got “under punished”, but its not an exact science. Everything wasnt video recorded… They did the best with what they had and got their mission accomplished. I guarantee there wont be any more of these programs this upcomming year. So can we please move on???
    —————————–

    Dude,

    You really need to change your screen name from “truthfactory” because at this point it’s plain to see you care nothing about the truth and only about the “appearance” of the truth. The way the NFL has handled this whole situation is with disgrace and arrogance. But that’s nothing new. This is the same league that came out and lead you all to believe the Cowboys and Redskins were getting penalized for breaking salaray cap rules until people started asking for evidence. Then they realized both teams were being penalized for how they handled their salary cap in an uncapped year. But when the NFL first announced this the lead everyone to believe that somehow both teams did something wrong. And the fact that they waited more than 2 years until after the new CBA was signed and nothing could be done by the teams punished or the NFLPA shows just how devious they can be. After that I don’t understand the blind trust in the NFL I’ve read so many times on here….

    Oh the NFL wouldn’t do that. Why would the NFL do something like that to the Saints? You know why? Because they can. It’s as simple as that. Maybe some type of performance based incentative program was going on but there has been nothing shown by the league to substantiate this nefarious bounty program the NFL said was going. Keep drinking the kool aid guys.

  25. jagskebo says: Jun 20, 2012 4:04 PM

    Mike, maybe the real question is why you keep pressing this. This is not a court of law where each charge is it’s own separate entity and a technical or procedural detail can allow a person to walk. You are try to go for a solid procedural ‘not guilty’ and ignoring whether or not these guys are innocent in whether they were aware of a bouty and/or pay-for-performance program, if they participated and if they lied during the original investigation.

    If the answer to any of those questions was ‘yea’ then they will be disciplined. You’ll notice that Vitt doesn’t say “I’m innocent of any participation or knowledge of the programs” he says “I didn’t participate in this one instance”.

    Just like with Vilma. He’s not coming out saying, “I’m innocent of everything” he just says “You don’t have sufficient evidence for particular instances” “I didn’t do this thing or that thing” but is aware of his association with the overall expanse of the illegal program and it’s subsequent cover up and doesn’t try to lie about that.

    Stop focusing on trying to get these guys a ‘not guilty’ on technicalities and focus on what actually happened.

  26. ampking101 says: Jun 20, 2012 4:05 PM

    One thing that still baffles me is…was there a bounty program? I don’t know. Does evidence support it? Yes. Does evidence deny it? Yes. So in this case either one party really messed up or people are lying to save their butt/careers. So for the time being I won’t comment on the bounties.

    That said, we all know there was a pay-for-performance program which has been admitted. Everyone seems to forget that this is still illegal (even on a federal level). Do other teams do this? Probably. Did they get caught? No. Wete the Saints directly asked to stop? Yes. Did they? No.

    In the end bounties or not what the Saints were doing was still illegal (Just like everyone gives the Pats a hard time over spygate but they weren’t the only ones doing it, only the ones that got caught). So to say that the Saints are scapegoats is only half true (if the bounties turn out to be false) because all in all, they were still doing something illegal, were asked to stop, still continued, and got caught.

  27. spankymcwanky says: Jun 20, 2012 4:14 PM

    Do I have permission to take off my “tin foil” now? Maybe some of what I think is actually true and Goodell actually did fabricate evidence, lie, manipulate people and evidence, and/or stretch what he believed to be true all in an effort to make a point about player safety.

    Because it seems to me that when you unequivocally use a guy’s name as a source of information, even have a former prosecutor read the evidence at an appeal’s hearing where she says this particular guy told us about this particular evidence and we will use this evidence against the players, but then come out the next day and say “oh no, this particular guy couldn’t be fully connected with the action that we say he did so we will now officially say he wasn’t sanctioned because of the information we gave him, but we will definitely use what he said against the players even though it’s not strong enough to use against him,” that something defintely isn’t kosher. And that is not too mention every other piece of information that has recently come out that says what the NFL is saying or has said is blatantly wrong or a lie. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by nature but “Something is rotten in Denmark.”

  28. cssaint78 says: Jun 20, 2012 4:19 PM

    “real questions need to be asked regarding the key details of this case. Hopefully at some point by someone other than me.”

    Yes! Thank you! Even if you think the Saints players and coaches are dirt and did everything the NFL said, why are you still not outraged at just how SHOTTY, SHADY, and UNTRUTHFUL the NFL has been on this case?!? That should still upset people, regardless of their stance on the Saints specifically, and yet it doesn’t at all. The NFL has been proven incompetent and untruthful in several instances. Every time they leak “evidence” it either just backs up the players case or has major holes in it. How does this not concern people?!?

  29. ratedgap says: Jun 20, 2012 4:20 PM

    Some of the blame here can be placed on the media. Once they got wind of the bounty investigation and started reporting on it, and started getting quotes from other players former and current saying, “we had that and we did that and it’s no big deal,” coupled with the daily, concussion lawsuit news and player safety issues, the NFL was forced to act to appear to be in the corner of player safety. And they overdid it. They had some hearsay type evidence against the Saints, and someone had to take the fall to a) make those other players whom were commenting shetup(PR nightmare if more players from more teams kept admitting pay for performance was common), b) paint the NFL as being currently all about player safety in light of the lawsuits(while at the same time still holding out for an 18 game season, not increasing roster sizes, and not forcing players to wear better helmets with better concussion preventing technology). So they brought down the hammer on a team that had lied to them previously about a pay for performance system, and whom the media had already started reporting on being investigated. The NFL had to slam that door shut, because the more players spoke up about it, the more the NFL’s BS safety position comes to light. So they made the punishments extremely harsh. But that’s the problem with building your house on sand, eventually it topples into the ocean. The NFL stuck their foot in it in their rush to action, and it’s gonna bite ‘em.

  30. 6thsense79 says: Jun 20, 2012 4:22 PM

    jagskebo,

    below is Vilma’s unabridged statement without any interpretation and it seems to contradict what you posted about him:

    I am shocked and extremely disappointed by the NFL’s decision to suspend me for the 2012 season. Commissioner Roger Goodell has refused to share any of the supposed evidence he claims supports this unprecedented punishment. The reason is clear: I never paid, or intended to pay, $10,000, or any amount of money, to any player for knocking Kurt Warner, Brett Favre or any other player out of the 2009 Divisional playoff game, 2010 NFC Championship Game or any other game.

    I never set out to intentionally hurt any player and never enticed any teammate to intentionally hurt another player. I also never put any money into a bounty pool or helped to create a bounty pool intended to pay out money for injuring other players. I have always conducted myself in a professional and proud manner.

    I intend to fight this injustice, to defend my reputation, to stand up for my team and my profession, and to send a clear signal to the commissioner that the process has failed, to the detriment of me, my teammates, the New Orleans Saints and the game.

  31. shrike3000 says: Jun 20, 2012 4:38 PM

    @ampking101

    What you are saying is reasonable and fair. But the Pay for Performance is NOT what they have been punished for and not what their reputations are tarnished with. The Saints and all these men will forever be known for “Bounties” and “Pay to injure”. If they are going to be punished it should be for what they actually did. Everyone keeps saying the NFL is making a mountain out of a molehill. What that translates too is yes we had a PFP, punish us for that if you will, but do not say we were out to hurt people when we were not.

  32. gerttownmomo says: Jun 20, 2012 4:42 PM

    That said, we all know there was a pay-for-performance program which has been admitted. Everyone seems to forget that this is still illegal (even on a federal level).

    ===================

    pay for performance illegal? on a federal level? care to explain that? last time i checked people’s paychecks were based on ‘performance’.

  33. shrike3000 says: Jun 20, 2012 4:43 PM

    @jagskebo

    You said: “You’ll notice that Vitt doesn’t say “I’m innocent of any participation or knowledge of the programs” he says “I didn’t participate in this one instance”.

    Here is what Vitt said: “I did not pledge any money for any incentive, pay for performance, bounty or any other alleged program in connection with any game, including the 2010 NFC Championship.”

    So he does not say as you said “I didn’t participate in this one instance”, he actually does say he NEVER participated in any bounty system in this game or ANY OTHER GAME.

  34. gerttownmomo says: Jun 20, 2012 4:51 PM

    you know @ratedgap, you bring up a good point. after the media crucified the saints, all of these players come out of the woodwork screaming, ‘yeah, you can tell by the way they play, there had to be money involved’, yet the 9ers defense put more people out of games than the entire league combined in 2011 and that was ‘just hard hitting football’! i’m sure those guys put out of those games may think otherwise, but no one is questioning an ulterior motive.

  35. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 20, 2012 4:57 PM

    The NFL’s security office is worse than the NOPD when it comes to conducting investigations.

  36. kfrancissr says: Jun 20, 2012 5:05 PM

    Laughing Stock Of America

    The NFL and its labor/legal team, particularly Pas & Birch, are quickly becoming a public joke.

    Roger, you’re not far behind.

    Breaking news on Monday showing Saints coaches and players who contributed to “bounties”

    Now, two of the accused have publicly and vehemently denied the so-called NFL typed written evidence. Today a third with Joe Vitt.

    Then Tony Hargrove holds a press conference on the NFL’s lawn to call them a lie, and challenge his accusers to a lie detector test. The NFL’s response?

    They stand by their findings. Just take the lie detector test, NFL.

    …And you still believe there wasn’t a poorly investigated and media fueled rush to judgement?

    When there are problems in a company, always start at the top for answers…. NFL owners, it’s time for a change at the top.

    Goodell and his goons are destroying your product. Don’t think it can happen to you?

    Ask MLB.

    Some people might be misled, but the truth eventually comes out.

    Shame on you NFL, for destroying men’s lives and reputations so callously.

  37. renhoekk2 says: Jun 20, 2012 5:09 PM

    The “pay for performance” is not illegal. It’s not even a big deal. It’s a minor circumvention of the salary cap and that is only if coaches or other non player employees contributed to it. Players and coaches don’t get suspended for it. Organizations can be fined or lose draft picks over it. It’s nothing like a “Bounty”. It seems like it’s getting tossed around a lot and being implied it’s the same thing. So if someone participated in a “pay for performance pool” it’s now becoming considered the same as a bounty.

  38. makbjkamk26 says: Jun 20, 2012 5:31 PM

    The insanity here is incredible. Since when does the NFL owe any of you there evidence? Do you really believe there was no bounty program and the GM, D Coordinator, and coach accepted suspensions for something that didn’t exist? All of you that believe some players “fierce” denials are in denial yourself. all of these suspended players are yelling as loud as they can because they DO NOT want to go to court. If it goes to court, their teammates will be called to testify. I bet they won’t perjure themselves to save Vilma, Fujita, and Hargrove. Lastly, where are the non suspended Saints yelling about there being no bounty program?

  39. the1vito says: Jun 20, 2012 5:49 PM

    It seems to me that Vitt could actually sue the NFL for defamation and have an easier time, if he can prove he didn’t pay the money, then Vilma will. He would have an easier time proving malice on the part of the NFL because the NFL just acknowledged the accuracy of its evidence against Vitt, yet published it anyway, which would seem to me to be reckless.

  40. kfrancissr says: Jun 20, 2012 6:02 PM

    the1vito says: Jun 20, 2012 5:49 PM

    It seems to me that Vitt could actually sue the NFL for defamation and have an easier time, if he can prove he didn’t pay the money, then Vilma will. He would have an easier time proving malice on the part of the NFL because the NFL just acknowledged the accuracy of its evidence against Vitt, yet published it anyway, which would seem to me to be reckless.

    ————————————

    The NFL is just continuing to give the players and the NFLPA for fuel for a Federal lawsuit because that’s where this is headed unless Roger and his goons man up, and admit that this was poorly investigated, and the punishments inappropriately handled.

    This never was about the Saints – It was about CYA from former player lawsuits on player safety.

    The Saints simply became an easy target because of GW’s arrogance.

    Pay for performance? Absolutely. No one denies that. Did Payton try to sweep it under the rug? I don’t know.

    Were there bounties to injure players? Just show the real damn proof. So far, there hasn’t been any.

  41. ampking101 says: Jun 20, 2012 6:13 PM

    That said, we all know there was a pay-for-performance program which has been admitted. Everyone seems to forget that this is still illegal (even on a federal level).

    ===================

    pay for performance illegal? on a federal level? care to explain that? last time i checked people’s paychecks were based on ‘performance’.

    ===================

    When it isn’t being counted towards the Saints cap (which they obviously weren’t which is what started this whole bounty mess) that means it isn’t being counted towards “earnings” and therefore not being counted towards taxes. Therefore it IS illegal on a federal level. Not to mention it also makes it very close to a gambling type setup when not stated in their contract.

    That can’t be disputed no matter who is doing so. Whether your opinion on this is that it isn’t a big deal it still makes it illegal. Do I think the taxes part is B.S.? Yes but it tarnishes the whole idea of the cap (which keeps track of how much money the players are earning to keep the league competition fair and balanced unlike the days when Dallas and San Fran could just buy players because their owners had more money than the other owners).

  42. ampking101 says: Jun 20, 2012 6:24 PM

    shrike3000 says: Jun 20, 2012 4:38 PM

    @ampking101

    What you are saying is reasonable and fair. But the Pay for Performance is NOT what they have been punished for and not what their reputations are tarnished with. The Saints and all these men will forever be known for “Bounties” and “Pay to injure”. If they are going to be punished it should be for what they actually did. Everyone keeps saying the NFL is making a mountain out of a molehill. What that translates too is yes we had a PFP, punish us for that if you will, but do not say we were out to hurt people when we were not.

    ===================

    Like I said I am not sold that there was or there wasn’t a bounty program. I do agree though that the accusation for the bounties (if not true) was wrong. They should have been punished for the pay-for-performance since that was going on without a doubt. So I completely agree with you on that part.

  43. arizonapetdoctor says: Jun 20, 2012 6:39 PM

    I am confused… The league states that they have no corroboration regarding Vitt’s allegations, and therefore did not include this instance in the punishment. How does that make the rest of the document false, that is assuming that they have corroboration of the other statements? When a court requires the corroboration, then they better have it certainly, but lack of detailing it for the public, coaches, or NFLPA certainly does not equal the nullification of the entire document. In fact, since they stated that they did not include this in their deliberation of Vitt’s punishment, it should actually bolster their claims when (or if) a court of law requires them too. This is a long way from being done, instead of insulting each other (both pro-NFL and pro-Saints fans) it might be better served to sit back and watch the process unfold. Right or wrong this is the process the CBA states, and if the CBA allows for this to proceed to a court of law then evidence will have to be presented. If it is ruled (by a court of law) that a court has no jurisdiction, then that is D. Smiths and the players fault. Fairness does not apply in this case (as unfortunate as that is). What was agreed upon and the remedies determined by the judicial system does count.

    For all the fans that state that the NFL has been ruined, etc., you are truly missing the big picture as it relates to RG and the NFL. RG is appointed at the behest of the owners (all 32), and they act/vote as a majority rules organization. If the majority agree with RG, he will stay as the commissioner. The NFL has steadily increased their revenue over the last decade, and are expected to continue to do so (I think it is supposed to double in the next several years with new TV contracts, etc). Pretty impressive with a recession. However, it is not the fan that blogs on an internet site that is causing the value of the NFL to increase, it is the advertisers that pay for the TV rights and stadium rights, etc that get into mom, and dads, and little Billy’s heads so the next time that they run to the supermarket or decide which company to buy a car from, they go with the advertisers product. RG and the owners know that the hardcore fans will complain and cry conspiracy/or anti-conspiracy (depending on what you believe) but still be there come September. Just like you have been there every year for decades. It is the new blood, the general fan that the NFL is looking to attract. And they do that by appearances (likely minus the facts that the Saints fans are clamoring for). And the other owners (as well as Benson) whom are raking in $$$ hand over fist will continue to keep RG as commissioner as long as that continues to happen. It is not fair, it is just economics and rich people getting richer. There is a reason that Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder did not fight the NFL in court over their loss of salary cap $. Tens of millions of dollars is a pittance compared to the potential losses and overall teams decrease in value if collusion is proven. Once again, nothing personal, just a business decision.

  44. winner2277 says: Jun 20, 2012 6:55 PM

    truthfactory,

    The TRUTH is every time something else comes out that makes the NFL look more like liars that fabricated their evidence, a Saints hater such as yourself come in here wanting to move on and forget about it. It’ s TOO late for that now. They have drawn the line and we have crossed it. The ONLY way you will be able to move on from this is if the NFL finally comes out and says outright that their evidence, after further review is not what they thought it was and they are dismissing all punishments handed out thus far with back pay for all. Leave the fine and lost 2nd round draft pick taken away this year and say that is the penalty for pay for performance and then take away every other teams 2nd round draft pick in next years draft. The Saints will be the ONLY team in the NFL allowed a 2nd round pick next year. A public apology for Vilma, Payton, Loomis, Williams, Vitt, Hargrove, Fajita and Smith. Let not these things happen and you can forget about quietly hiding in the shadows and this being forgotten. You sure did not care to forget about it when you were so sure the NFL did what was right and proved it, now did you? That’s what I am taking about.

  45. winner2277 says: Jun 20, 2012 7:00 PM

    arizonapetdoctor,

    If a person out right lies to your face about something that did not require them to do so and you know what they said was a lie and let them know it, then that person tells you something else, are you going to believe them outright the second time around? Will you now question whether what they are now telling you is the truth or not. They have NO corroboration on the other things they said as well. Every time they say that someone told them this or that or admitted to this or that, that person comes forward denying that calling the NFL liars. Now, tell us, what is a lie and what is not. You seem to be an expert on something being a lie or not by reading it or when the NFL says it or not.

  46. winner2277 says: Jun 20, 2012 7:09 PM

    ampking101,

    Well, it seems that the arbitrators have RULED that this is NOT a cap issue or they could have heard the appeals so that kills your federal crime theory. As for earned income not being reported goes, I don’t remember hearing about the Feds or IRS looking into this matter for any reason. Care to provide a web site that says they are? Care to provide a web site that confirms this was a cap issue?

  47. arizonapetdoctor says: Jun 20, 2012 7:14 PM

    @winner2277

    I never stated what was true or not, I am not sure where you got that from my post. What I did say is that when (and if) this goes to court, then they better have corroboration. The fact that they admitted that they did not have it against the Vitt Farve allegation, and they did not punish him for that instance does not negate the rest of the document on its face. You seem to be an expert on who has what corroboration, as well as reading into what I am thinking apparently… None of us know the truth, and it will only come out as this plays out in its finality.

  48. musicman495 says: Jun 20, 2012 7:15 PM

    I love it. I predicted months ago that Commissar Goodell would be stepping down after next year’s Super Bowl “to spend more time with his family” and I stand by that.

    What I want to know is, how long before someone realizes that if some of these players and coaches were actually telling the truth to investigators when they denied participating in a pay-to-injure system, they should not be punished for lying or impeding the investigation into it either?

    One last thing – I have used the term “Let’s get our ducks in a row” many times in business, and it was always about COMPLYING with the rules of the company, not about skirting them, or lying about it. Has anyone on Park Avenue or in the media ever bothered to ask Sean Payton what he meant?

  49. winner2277 says: Jun 20, 2012 9:35 PM

    Getting tired of replying to people in here and all of a sudden it disappears, even though it was not degrading or insulting to that person in any way, shape or form. Very sad.

  50. raidafan7 says: Jun 20, 2012 11:06 PM

    I’m thinking maybe the NFL should hire some people that don’t make the commish look like a fool. I mean really they retyped the handwritten notes, you think the person who typed them or the person overseeing the release of the ledger would omit the Vitt portion of the ledger. If you are really trying to trump up charges at least cover your tracks a little. At this point it looks like Payton, Vitt, Hargrove were suspended for lying and covering up the Pay for Performance but the NFL seems to be the side lying and covering things up.

  51. developermannola says: Jun 21, 2012 2:08 AM

    Didn’t the league present on it’s reproduction of the “ledger” an item that indicated that Vitt contributed $5000.00? So if the league is now admitting that this entry is in-accurate, isn’t the rest of it suspect? I’ll disclose that I am a Saint fan but I have to think that any of you looking at this stuff with an objective eye have to now have doubts. I believe something went on but not intent to injure. Because we did break league rules of some sort, some penalties are in order but the penalties in place now are way too harsh especially when you consider how the NFL has mis-charachterized so many vital pieces of evidence. Then when you think about the fact that coach Belichick only got a fine for his more serious transgression, you have to conclude that the penalties have to be re-thought. Just my opinion.

  52. ampking101 says: Jun 21, 2012 2:35 AM

    @winner2277

    Just because the IRS or the Feds aren’t currently looking into the matter (yet) doesn’t mean that it still wasn’t immoral. You can defend the bounty issue all you want because I’m not talking about the bounties but you can’t tell me the Saints didn’t do anything wrong. Feed me the same “everyone was doing it” line in the end the Saints were the ones that got caught.

    Were the punishments harsh? Yes but bounty or not you can’t tell me that they were completely clean. If we find out the bounties didn’t happen, yes there needs to be apologise and the suspensions need to be reduced but you can’t tell me they did nothing to bring this themselves. The nfl didn’t force them to keep using a pay-for-performance system. After they were asked to stop.

    Call me a Saints hater or whatever you will (I am a Falcon fan but I actually enjoy having a relevant rivalry with another great team and I would be disappointed if it came out the Falcons had been doing the same thing) the only point I’m trying to make is you can’t scream “We are innocent!”. Though a thief may not have committed murder they still committed theft.

  53. cowboycjn says: Jun 21, 2012 11:38 AM

    Got to fully agree with:
    calv23 says: Jun 20, 2012 3:46 PM

    This thing has gone way too long all because of the sissified way the NFL handled the whole thing. If you have something on a team (anyone of them), Call them in, present your information or evidence and go from there (punishments or sanctions) BEFORE it gets to be a media scandall like this has become.
    And YES I understand where Brees is coming from of his remarks how the MEDIA blows every thing up trying to sensualize the story for more readers on the poll. Remember if readers read their stories – thats job security for them. Between the media, lawyers, and law-suits – this country is fast going to hell.

  54. jerrycop says: Jun 22, 2012 12:16 PM

    “The most damning piece of evidence seems to be this handwritten note. We do not know who wrote it or when it was written.”
    —-
    It is my guess from the reading/watching the media that Greg Williams, former defensive coach of the Saints, was the person who crafted that handwritten note. One doesn’t need to go any further than him.

    Was it wrong? Yes. Do most teams (probably all teams) do it? Yes. Listening to his locker room talk, yes, he was talking about injuries to other players. ALL other teams look at their opponents’ injury list and plan their defense accordingly. So let’s not be holier than thou, crap.

    So what happened for their head coach to get a one year ban? I believe that it was not about bounties on the offenses. It was about the NFL telling the Saints to stop their bounty system because of the ex-players lawsuits. And, of course, the Saints didn’t stop, so the NFL came down hard on them.

    I believe it is as simple as that.

  55. alaster85 says: Jun 22, 2012 1:02 PM

    All these saints fans come off as such sheep. They claim to be searching for truth while they mindlessly recite the words of these idiot athletes who are clearly defending themselves from their own wrong doing.

    Seriously every time i hear these stains players in the news defending themselves, (esp brees or fujita or vilma) the same words they release to the media the Sheep saints fans repeat as if its their own words in forums like this. You moron saints fans dont know half of what you think you do. Shut up. All of your conviction and attitude will once again be brought to the light as mindless stupidity.

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