Skip to content

Bounty rulings should come sooner rather than later

i9_PNxsfrUsQ Getty Images

The current chapter in the Book of Bounty should conclude very soon.

With appeal hearings conducted on Monday, June 18 and the league giving the suspended players and their lawyers until 5:00 p.m. ET Friday, June 22 to supplement the record with any written submissions, the matter has become ripe for a ruling from Commissioner Roger Goodell.

And it would be a major shock if Goodell does anything other than affirm the pending suspensions:  a full season for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, eight games for Packer defensive end Anthony Hargrove, four games for Saints defensive end Will Smith, and three games for Browns linebacker Scott Fujita.

It would be a major shock not because Goodell already made up his mind before the appeal process commenced, even if he did.  It would be a major shock because the players have submitted nothing in their own defense.  Instead, the players have raised jurisdictional and other legal arguments that are intended more for the court that inevitably will be considering this situation not long after Goodell bangs his gavel.

So with the league presenting its “mosaic” of evidence and the players countering by saying nothing, there’s no reason for Goodell to change his mind — and in turn there’s no legitimate reason to delay the ruling.

In all fairness to the players, Goodell should rule on Monday morning so that the players can commence the process of attacking the decision in court, which most likely will include a StarCaps-style effort to block the suspensions until the case is resolved.

Permalink 38 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
38 Responses to “Bounty rulings should come sooner rather than later”
  1. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 24, 2012 11:39 PM

    It would be a major shock because the players have submitted nothing in their own defense.

    How does one prove they didn’t do something?

  2. chickenneck says: Jun 24, 2012 11:51 PM

    I wonder if goodell still beats his wife.

  3. saintsfan26 says: Jun 24, 2012 11:52 PM

    No matter what happens, Goodell came out of this mess looking worse than the Saints did.

  4. jcbadger34 says: Jun 25, 2012 12:05 AM

    saintsfan26 says: Jun 24, 2012 11:52 PM

    No matter what happens, Goodell came out of this mess looking worse than the Saints did.
    ————–

    Only to the delusional residents of a city built on top of a swamp below sea level.

  5. chillyp says: Jun 25, 2012 12:06 AM

    butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 24, 2012 11:39 PM

    It would be a major shock because the players have submitted nothing in their own defense.

    How does one prove they didn’t do something?
    ———————————————————-
    Surely Vilma, Hargrove, Fujita, & Smith can produce bank statements around that time showing (10k) was remove during the time it occurred. I mean, if Vilma never threw down 10k, then his bank account during that alleged period, shouldn’t show any kind of withdraw.

  6. jwayne111 says: Jun 25, 2012 12:32 AM

    The disciplined players have received as much fairness as any other players that have violated league rules.

    Refer questions of fairness to DeSmith and the CBA that has not changed concerning player discipline process for decades.

  7. iamthorny says: Jun 25, 2012 12:37 AM

    Bruce Irvin wonders why everyone keeps talking about paper towels…

  8. wunsa says: Jun 25, 2012 1:08 AM

    The players don’t have to show evidence to Goodell because everything the league introduced Monday is now inadmissible…the league missed the 72 hour limit on providing the evidence to the players.

    This will now go to the arbitrator. Its a no brainer clear win for the players. No way the league can win…black-and-white issue.

  9. larryjames836 says: Jun 25, 2012 1:10 AM

    Like I said you can’t beat the mob, they have their own laws and rules. Only way to beat Goodell Saints win 2013 Super Bowl Championship this will set the record straight.

  10. twisteditoff says: Jun 25, 2012 3:10 AM

    yea and i am sure the used there bank accounts to pay ya uhhu…also if they were sure they did nothing wrong dont you think there would have been something submitted even if it was something from there lawyers

  11. samapoc says: Jun 25, 2012 6:29 AM

    How can the players do anything more than saying they didn’t commit the crimes?

    Doesn’t anyone think that Goodell can save face by admitting that he overreacted and provide less penalties to the players? The players are mostly innocent in my opinion. The coaches were warned and still behaved badly, and therefor deserved harsher penalties.

  12. whodatsaybaby says: Jun 25, 2012 6:35 AM

    I love how the naysayers keep wanting suspensions to be upheld on their denial of proof. Was anyone knocked out the whole game or carted off? Answer, No. Is their solid proof of a bounty? Answer, No. To fear a team and hate them is one thing, but to belive Roger Goddell for one more second, C’mon mannnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. eagleswin says: Jun 25, 2012 6:36 AM

    In all fairness to the players, Goodell should rule on Monday morning so that the players can commence the process of attacking the decision in court, which most likely will include a StarCaps-style effort to block the suspensions until the case is resolved.

    —————————————-

    Seriously? He needs to expedite the appeal to accomodate the players plans to sue the league? I doubt he’s losing sleep on whether the players may need to wait until Tuesday to file their lawsuit.

  14. 6thsense79 says: Jun 25, 2012 6:57 AM

    chillyp says:Jun 25, 2012 12:06 AM

    butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 24, 2012 11:39 PM

    It would be a major shock because the players have submitted nothing in their own defense.

    How does one prove they didn’t do something?
    ———————————————————-
    Surely Vilma, Hargrove, Fujita, & Smith can produce bank statements around that time showing (10k) was remove during the time it occurred. I mean, if Vilma never threw down 10k, then his bank account during that alleged period, shouldn’t show any kind of withdraw.
    —————————————-
    Really? Again you can’t prove a negative. The only thing a bank statement would show is that 10k dollars wasn’t with drawn from his account. It doesn’t prove that 10k dollars was paid in any pool. Because all Goodell has to say is that the money didn’t come from a bank account. And with players getting paid 100′s of thousands of dollars per week all the commish has to say is that 10k came from poker winnings amongst the players that week. Again….you can not prove a negative.

  15. somatg3 says: Jun 25, 2012 7:02 AM

    cant wait for the IRS to come knocking on all these saints doors. and does anyone else think its interesting that greg williams already admitted to running the bounty mess and isnt talking? you would think he would come to the defense of his players if they deserved defending

  16. gingerkid2000 says: Jun 25, 2012 7:21 AM

    Goodell looks bad, but the players look much worse by turning down every opportunity to redeem themselves. If they want to play this out in a court of law, they may want to keep in mind that means witnessed will be called and more evidence will be shown. They will have to be able to disprove a lot more and the press (especially Florio) won’t be able to sway a jury by crying to the press. Never has the statement “be careful what you wish for, you may surely get it.” been more relevant.

  17. 49erstim says: Jun 25, 2012 7:36 AM

    If this goes to court we’ll get to see any and all anonymous tipsters. I believe that is why they chose to show the evidence they did to the players. This is an ugly situation all around. Ugh.

  18. musicman495 says: Jun 25, 2012 9:33 AM

    somatg3 says: Jun 25, 2012 7:02 AM

    cant wait for the IRS to come knocking on all these saints doors. and does anyone else think its interesting that greg williams already admitted to running the bounty mess and isnt talking? you would think he would come to the defense of his players if they deserved defending
    —————————————–
    You really cannot think of any other reason that Gregg Williams – who wants to be reinstated by the Commissioner to coach again in the NFL – has not made a public statement defending his players and refuting the NFL’s version of their “evidence”? Then God bless you.

  19. musicman495 says: Jun 25, 2012 9:37 AM

    49erstim says: Jun 25, 2012 7:36 AM

    If this goes to court we’ll get to see any and all anonymous tipsters. I believe that is why they chose to show the evidence they did to the players. This is an ugly situation all around. Ugh.
    ————————————-
    IMHO, this is the biggest bucket of hogwash that the NFL is peddling – that they will not show even the accused players the evidence because they want to protect whistle blowers. They just don’t want anyone to find out that the people making these claims of a pay-to-injure system have no credibility, or are contradicted by other witnesses.

  20. acetw says: Jun 25, 2012 9:44 AM

    somatg3 says: Jun 25, 2012 7:02 AM

    “cant wait for the IRS to come knocking on all these saints doors. and does anyone else think its interesting that greg williams already admitted to running the bounty mess and isnt talking?”

    I think it’s far more interesting that Gregg Williams hasn’t admitted to running a bounty program.

  21. acetw says: Jun 25, 2012 9:46 AM

    gingerkid2000 says: Jun 25, 2012 7:21 AM

    “Goodell looks bad, but the players look much worse by turning down every opportunity to redeem themselves. If they want to play this out in a court of law, they may want to keep in mind that means witnessed will be called and more evidence will be shown. ”

    If the evidence shown in court is of the same quality shown to the apostles, the nfl will likely be laughed out of the courtroom.

  22. rayburns says: Jun 25, 2012 10:04 AM

    The bottom line is that the players, when they agreed to the CBA, also agreed to this method of disciplinary action. Goodell is under no obligation to provide one iota of information to the players or the NFLPA.

    Everything we’re seeing now is just posturing for the courts. Once its in the hands of the lawyers, then it will start hitting the fan.

    The question that no one is asking is if the courts decide that part of the CBA (specifically the part dealing with the commissioner’s power to levy discipline) is invalidated, does it invalidate the entire CBA? Could we, as a result of this, be seeing another lockout?

  23. flaccotoboldin says: Jun 25, 2012 10:05 AM

    @gingerkid2000

    You have it right. The players don’t want to totality of the evidence to come out, because I’m pretty sure its ugly.

    If the Saints were smart, they would do like the Pats did and basically let the league hide / destroy the evidence. Now, we NEVER will exactly know what the Pats were and weren’t doing to a T

    Saints players are going to take this to court and wish they wouldn’t have.

    And @Musicman495, yes they want to protect whistle blowers. The league doesn’t want players that talked and corroborated evidence getting blackballed by the league or in their own lockerrooms with their peers.

  24. rajbais says: Jun 25, 2012 10:39 AM

    Please come sooner because I too have “bounty fatigue”!!!!

  25. whodatsaybaby says: Jun 25, 2012 11:40 AM

    Im with the players on this one. Was there a bounty? The evidence doesn’t say there was. It says pay per performance. That’s only a cap violation and deserves just a fine. Fight on and burn Roger. He deserves the real punishment.

  26. acetw says: Jun 25, 2012 11:45 AM

    @flaccotoboldin – I think you’re wrong. If the Saints players get this to court, Goodell and the nfl will be in the worst spot possible. If the quality of the nfl’s evidence is the equivalent of what we’ve seen so far the nfl is in dire straits. 100% presumptive guilt on behalf of the nfl, 100% denial on behalf of the players as to what they’re charged with. It’s obvious now that there was no ‘bounty’ or ‘pay to injure’ or ‘intent to injure’ program in New Orleans, just the fantasy cooked up by the nfl to further their player safety agenda.

  27. thebiglabreeski says: Jun 25, 2012 11:46 AM

    somatg3 says:
    Jun 25, 2012 7:02 AM
    cant wait for the IRS to come knocking on all these saints doors. and does anyone else think its interesting that greg williams already admitted to running the bounty mess and isnt talking? you would think he would come to the defense of his players if they deserved defending.

    ———————————————————–
    It is funny how the idiots refuse to acknowledge that evidence cannot be produced to prove one didnt do something, because it does not exist; however, they are quick to use flawed logic to point to inaction on the part of some, such as GW, as the smoking gun. How does someone not speaking on their behalf provide evidence that they did what they are accused of doing? Lets all start convicting people on hunches. Great detective work, genius!

  28. goodolebaghead says: Jun 25, 2012 11:49 AM

    C’mon guys, there is no way it’s as complicated as some of you are making it. IF Goodell had any real evidence and not heresay, he would have shown it by now and shut this whole mess up. He overreacted to a system that wasn’t based on hurting people anymore than was legal in-game, and now he’s paying the price for not covering his arse with evidence. That’s what you get for trying to ruin anyone’s reputation without clear cut proof.

  29. sj39 says: Jun 25, 2012 12:14 PM

    The Saints are destined to go back to being our lovable losers. The Emperor has foreseen it.

  30. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 25, 2012 12:44 PM

    “If the Saints were smart, they would do like the Pats did and basically let the league hide / destroy the evidence. Now, we NEVER will exactly know what the Pats were and weren’t doing to a T”

    You realize that part of that evidence that was destroyed was shots of other teams doing the same things that Pats were don’t you ? Goodell didn’t want it coming out that the Pats weren’t the only ones caught red handed.

  31. sfsaintsfan says: Jun 25, 2012 12:56 PM

    sj39 says:

    “The Saints are destined to go back to being our lovable losers. The Emperor has foreseen it.”

    *************

    Really?

    At the worst, even without their head coach, Saints figure to have the third best record in the NFC this year. Best bet would be a top two seed and a first round bye in the playoffs. They should be much better on Defense this year with the off-season acquisitions, and the record-setting Offense should be at least 95% of what it was last year. Would not surprise me to see several 30+ point blowouts early in the year when the Saints are just trying to prove a point…

  32. ommissioner says: Jun 25, 2012 12:58 PM

    @flaccotoboldin
    [i]And @Musicman495, yes they want to protect whistle blowers. The league doesn’t want players that talked and corroborated evidence getting blackballed by the league or in their own lockerrooms with their peers.[/i]

    ————————————–
    You do realize that in the same sentence, you accuse the league of both protecting whistleblowers and threatening to blackball them at the same time right?

    Here’s what most of your ilk fail to realize. If the players know that what the league is saying is blatantly false and that nothing that the league is alleging can be proven, then they (the players) would welcome the opportunity to force the league to produce the evidence that they say they (the league -the same league that wants to protect the whistleblowers from being blackballed by……wait for it……the league) have. You see, in a courtroom, one side is not allowed to make up evidence and just say “trust me”.

  33. ommissioner says: Jun 25, 2012 1:00 PM

    @flaccotoboldin
    And @Musicman495, yes they want to protect whistle blowers. The league doesn’t want players that talked and corroborated evidence getting blackballed by the league or in their own lockerrooms with their peers.

    ————————————–
    You do realize that in the same sentence, you accuse the league of both protecting whistleblowers and threatening to blackball them at the same time right?

    Here’s what most of your ilk fail to realize. If the players know that what the league is saying is blatantly false and that nothing that the league is alleging can be proven, then they (the players) would welcome the opportunity to force the league to produce the evidence that they say they (the league -the same league that wants to protect the whistleblowers from being blackballed by……wait for it……the league) have. You see, in a courtroom, one side is not allowed to make up evidence and just say “trust me”.

  34. FinFan68 says: Jun 25, 2012 1:32 PM

    OK, i think some of you guys are getting a bit too absolute in your declarations. To those touting “you can’t prove a negative”: That’s somewhat true but you can submit evidence that discredits or disproves or the accusation and no player or lawyer even bothered to try. (If accused of doing something at a specific time, you can prove that you weren’t there–if true–or provide something that shows the event was mischaracterized.) They simply complained about the power, procedure, timing, etc. Vilma was accused of standing before the team and proclaiming his $10K bounty on Favre and or Warner. How many of the 50+ people came forward and said that is not what he said? 0. Why not? Because Goodell has proven that lying during the investigation is enough to warrant a suspension. Hargrove said he did not make that statement. He was obviously there and involed in that conversation. Shouldn’t he be able to easily identify who actually said it. Did he? Nope. Why not? Why aren’t any of the other guys coming to his aid saying that _______ said it? Do you honestly believe that the tape was dubbed and nobody really said anything of the sort? C’mon on, really?

    To those saying “____ proves there was a bounty”, that is wrong too. No single piece of evidence/speculation will be enough to prove that a bounty program was in place.

    The problem is that “beyond a reasonable doubt” is not the standard that must be applied. When it eventually gets to court, that still will not be the standard applied. The courts will look at whether the league (Goodell) acted in accordance with the CBA. Nothing more. If it can’t be proven that he deviated from the CBA procedures/standards agreed upon then nothing will be changed. He will not be overruled and the suspension won’t be lessened or eliminated.

  35. cwwgk says: Jun 25, 2012 2:02 PM

    I agree that Goodell should rule immediately. By not putting on any evidence to contradict the league’s allegations, the players have given Goodell no other option than to affirm the original suspensions. No legitimate reason to drag this on within the league any further.

    The players have the right to now avail themselves of the judicial system. However, what I find interesting is the notion held by many of those posting comments that this dispute is headed towards a full blown trial on the merits. That’s highly unlikely.

    As pointed out in the article, the NFLPA is challenging whether Goodell had the jurisdiction to hear the appeals and whether he followed proper procedures as set forth in the CBA. That’s what is left for a court to decide. Not whether the NFL had sufficient evidence to suspend the players or whether Goodell played nice while imposing the suspensions.

  36. NOLA in Focus says: Jun 25, 2012 2:05 PM

    jcbadger34 says:
    Jun 25, 2012 12:05 AM
    saintsfan26 says: Jun 24, 2012 11:52 PM

    No matter what happens, Goodell came out of this mess looking worse than the Saints did.
    ————–

    Only to the delusional residents of a city built on top of a swamp below sea level.

    ———

    spoken like a true moron jc. i suppose you think because of reality tv and movies that all 300,000 of us live in shacks on the bayou and don’t travel around in the city with automobiles but rather swamp motor boats.

    the fact of the matter is every piece of evidence that goddell has released, he or someone from the NFL has later had to recant or alter their statement or explanation of it. everything that the NFL has leaked to yahoo and the nfl network, has after further investigation, made no sense whatsoever to even a casual observer when facts are actual matched to games or incidents in question. witness testimony thats been used as evidence has on every occasion, been shot down by said witness as an exageration or down right lie by the NFL.

    it’s not a conspiracy; its obvious they are guilty of something, whether it’s a bounty system or just pay for performance like many other teams in the league. the problem lies in the fact that the NFL has now publicly accused the Saints for something, but the evidence that they are presenting does not support that accusation. the players, the owners, and the fans deserve better. but we won’t get it, because the toothpaste can’t be put back into the tube, and the evidence they have they are slowly finding out doesn’t fit the narrative they’d like us to buy into.

  37. flaccotoboldin says: Jun 25, 2012 2:30 PM

    The event that Bountygate parralels most is Spygate.

    During Spygate, was the league forthcoming with evidence?

    Did we, the fans, and Florio and cronies, the media, get copies of the pats tapes, etc for review?

    No.

    Roger’s job is to protect the brand. Those of you who think they would have produced evidence and trotted it around to the fans and media . . . go back to spygate. There was literally no physical evidence provided to anyone, as thats not the point here.

    The NFL is not a court of law. They have no responsibility to play their hand that way.

    Honestly, they already have smoking guns in the Williams Speech, the audio of someone saying “give me my money” after a sick Favre hit . . . they already have corroborating testimony from many sources.

    And thats the tip of the iceberg. But the players, they want this to go down like the titanic, because they don’t want to lose gamechecks, and they don’t like that their feeling are hurt.

    They don’t have their own personal good in mind, or whats good for the league. They players in this case just aren’t that smart, and they certainly aren’t moral authorities who’s word I would trust.

  38. thepftpaperchase says: Jun 25, 2012 3:57 PM

    acetw says:Jun 25, 2012 9:44 AM

    somatg3 says: Jun 25, 2012 7:02 AM

    “cant wait for the IRS to come knocking on all these saints doors. and does anyone else think its interesting that greg williams already admitted to running the bounty mess and isnt talking?”

    I think it’s far more interesting that Gregg Williams hasn’t admitted to running a bounty program.
    _________________________________

    It might be hard for Gregg Williams to refute the bounty program, since he used the phrase in one of the documents (#9) that was provided as evidence. It was a game handout for the players, and used “Dog The Bounty Hunter”. The statement read as follows: “Now it’s time to do our job…collect bounty$$$!”
    You could argue that it doesn’t prove that there was a “bounty” program in place, but it doesn’t look good, since it’s his own verbiage. And as defensive coordinator, Williams either actually wrote it, or certainly approved it. In all fairness to him, he usually uses the term “kitty pool” in several of the other documents (player handouts and/or game plans).

Leave a Reply

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