Skip to content

League ties “give me my money” video to claim that Hargrove lied

Anthony Hargrove AP

Regardless of what anyone thinks the 2009 NFC title game sideline video shows (or doesn’t show), it doesn’t conclusively demonstrate the identity of the person who utters the key words “give me my money” after assistant head coach Joe Vitt tells member of the Saints defense that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre may have a broken leg.

Still, the league stridently believes, despite an inability to see the mouth, lips, face, or head of former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove when “give me my money” is uttered, that Hargrove defintely said the words.  It would make much more sense for the league to simply claim that someone from the Saints defense said it, which constitutes general proof that someone on the Saints defense knew about the existence of a bounty on Brett Favre.

That’s precisely what NFL general counsel Jeff Pash was expected to say during a Friday appearance on PFT Live.  And that seems to be what he started to say when explaining the league’s interpretation.  But then it subtly changed.

“What that video tape rather clearly demonstrates is two things,” Pash said.  “One, there was a program and it corroborates rather clearly that there was a program where a player could be rewarded for making a play that resulted in an injury to an opponent – you were basically making that point during the break.  Second, it demonstrates Mr. Hargrove’s awareness of the program and his understanding that it existed, and it demonstrates that his statements to our investigators in early 2010 denying the program and saying there was nothing like that  in existence were false.  That is the basis on which the Commissioner imposed discipline on Mr. Hargrove.”

Assuming that it was defensive tackle Remi Ayodele who said “give me my money” (and not, for example, some guy off camera who was trying to get his change from the hot dog vendor), Pash’s initial observation is correct.  His second point continues to depend, however, on a finding that Hargrove and no one else said, “Give me my money.”  And the video simply does not prove that.

The flaw could be fatal to the league’s case against Hargrove, if/when the NFLPA files litigation advancing theories that allow a judge to get to the merits of the case.  The 16 exhibits produced by the NFL (which Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com has graded, one by one) contain no mention or suggestion or hint of Hargrove paying money in, taking money out, or otherwise being aware of the bounty program.  The only way the league can prove that Hargrove knew about the bounty program and that he in turn lied to investigators is to prove that Hargrove and no one else said, “Give me my money.”

The declaration he submitted in April, contrary to the league’s interpretation of it, doesn’t contain an admission that Hargrove lied.  Instead, it shows that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and assistant head coach Joe Vitt told him to say that there was no bounty program, and that Hargrove complied — without commentary on whether what he was saying was the truth.  Pash’s comments strongly suggest that, if Hargrove didn’t say, “Give me my money,” there’s no proof that Hargrove’s story to investigators was untrue.

Regarding the question of whether the league believes Saints players deliberately intended to injure opponents, Pash explained that the NFL never tries to determine intent.  “We have always consistently, going back for decades, going back to when Pete Rozelle was Commissioner, not made intent a part of the disciplinary decision because you can’t read someone’s mind,” Pash said.  “You can only look at the objective evidence.”

That’s fine.  But it appears in this case that the NFL is trying to read Hargrove’s mind.  And, in turn, to put words in his mouth.

At a time when Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma already has filed a defamation claim regarding the things the league has publicly said about his involvement in the situation, it wouldn’t be a shock if Hargrove eventually does the same thing.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
28 Responses to “League ties “give me my money” video to claim that Hargrove lied”
  1. nyyjetsknicks says: Jun 24, 2012 7:40 AM

    Attention Saints: Your punishment will not change. There is nothing you can say or do at this point. You are free to find other employment outside of the NFL where you’ll not be suspended.

  2. SeenThisB4 says: Jun 24, 2012 7:49 AM

    Maybe, the guy who yelled out “Give me my money!” was Drew Brees practicing for his future negotiations with Mickey Loomis.

    Hargroove wasn’t on the field when Favre got viciously leveled by the Saints defenders. How does the NFL explain that?

  3. sandiegolion says: Jun 24, 2012 7:52 AM

    This is complete nonsense. “Give me my money” could refer to the money they were going to get for advancing in the playoffs. In fact, that would make a lot more sense if Hargrove HAD said it since he wasn’t the guy who made the hit in the first place. Why would he be getting paid the bounty?

  4. thelongstar says: Jun 24, 2012 8:03 AM

    Can this all go away now? We need Favre to come out of retirement again so there is something else to talk about.

  5. 6thsense79 says: Jun 24, 2012 8:08 AM

    Whoever said “give me my money” could have even been referring to a side bet two players had between themselves. Whether or not anyone thinks that’s likely any first year law student would bring that and all other possibitlities up and the league would have to battle that assertion. Seeing as how they can’t even prove that Hargrove was the one yelling “give me my money” I think the league would have a hard time proving their case in a neutral environment.

  6. sdisme says: Jun 24, 2012 8:12 AM

    The give me my money sounds like Vilma’s voice. I know he’s off camera, but didn’t he get an interception on that play whe Favre limped off the field?

  7. daaabears says: Jun 24, 2012 8:28 AM

    How can you deny there was a bounty program when Williams and Payton have already admitted it?

  8. roadbiscuit says: Jun 24, 2012 8:50 AM

    Wow. Hello, NFL? I’ve seen better lawyering from 20 something actresses on daytime TV.

  9. cwwgk says: Jun 24, 2012 9:01 AM

    I took Pash’s statement differently. It’s been my understanding that Hargrove’s primary transgression was allegedly lying to league investigators. He has acknowledged he complied with the request of Vitt and Williams to deny the existence of the program, even though Hargrove claims he somehow didn’t know what he was being told to lie about.

    Turning to the video, it shows Vitt informing certain defensive players that Favre was out of the game. Several players, including Hargrove, react. One of them says “give me my money.” Regardless of who says the words it establishes the program (however one wants to define it ) existed. Hargrove’s reaction and presence within the group all but proves he knew about the program. Even if he wasn’t an active participant.

    During its investigation, the league questions Hargrove about a bounty program. He denies knowing about it. Assuming there was a distinction between a pay for performance and pay to injure program, Hargrove doesn’t come clean about either. He certainly had the opportunity to explain that the Saints were operating a pay for performance, not a pay to injure, program but chose not to.

    Hargrove tried to play cat and mouse with the league and got caught. His coaches asked him to lie and he has admitted he complied. That alone warrants his suspension, as the NFL has identified, irrespective of whether he said “pay me my money.”

  10. taintedlombardis says: Jun 24, 2012 9:07 AM

    I see the NFL…I see straws…I see mucho grasping!

  11. ufullpj says: Jun 24, 2012 9:31 AM

    Wow. Pash & Goodell have become a combination of Jan Brewer, Donald Trump, Sherrif Joe, Eric Cantor, and Darrell Issa…a bunch of crazy, psychotic birther conspiracy idiots who don’t know when to just walk away.

  12. lionpride10 says: Jun 24, 2012 9:57 AM

    Maybe he was practicing for an off broadway rendition of Jerry McGuire and he needs to do a better job remembering his lines. It’s “show me the money!”

  13. packhawk04 says: Jun 24, 2012 9:58 AM

    Too bad the saints organization admitted they had bounties. Damn it.

  14. newguy925 says: Jun 24, 2012 9:59 AM

    If Hargrove wishes to exonerate himself why doesn’t he identify the player that yelled “give me my money”? He was clearly there, he should know. But it’s to late because he lied to mom and dad about it and he’s grounded regardless.

  15. Little Earthquake says: Jun 24, 2012 10:07 AM

    “Give me my money”? I believe that was Morrie of Morrie’s Wigs, 26 Queens Blvd., next to the Suite Nite Club. Case solved.

  16. akismet-b10add2fb457fef24ddc6cd2cbc3c80c says: Jun 24, 2012 10:15 AM

    “Give me my money”? I believe that was Morrie of Morrie’s Wigs, 26 Queens Blvd., next to the Suite Nite Club. Case solved.
    —-

    Hargrove was bashing him in the head with a the sideline phone? Sounds plausible to me.

  17. shzastl says: Jun 24, 2012 10:19 AM

    Agree with cwwgk. Even if Hargrove didn’t say it, he was clearly in the vicinity and heard “give me my money” when the coach mentioned favre’s injury. Therefore, Hargrove at least knew about the “pay for [whatever]” system, and his statements to the league denying such a system were false.

  18. jason1980 says: Jun 24, 2012 10:21 AM

    What Hargrove needs to do is file defamation suit against Goddell. Keep the commissioner knee high in litigation for the remainder of his tenure as head of the NFL. When will you people realize that you can’t accuse players of offenses where you don’t have the proof to back it up? I love the hole that the NFL is digging itself into, Goddell’s ego is gonna cost him and the league lots of money. If Hargrove is certain that the voice saying “give me my money” is not his, he should file a defamation NOW.

  19. musicman495 says: Jun 24, 2012 10:32 AM

    daaabears says: Jun 24, 2012 8:28 AM

    How can you deny there was a bounty program when Williams and Payton have already admitted it?
    ————————-
    Have you been asleep since March? Read what Mike Florio has been saying for months – no on has admitted to doing what the NFL is accusing them of, nor has the league provided evidence of it. All the coaches admitted to, and all the NFL has provided proof if, is pay for performance, which has been going on the in the NFL for 50 years, but violates the salary cap rules.

  20. jpspear says: Jun 24, 2012 10:36 AM

    Payton and Loomis admitted the Saints had a program that was against league rules. Somehow this has been transformed into them admitting to bounties against targeted players and Goodell getting carte blanche for handing out punishments.

  21. mjkelly77 says: Jun 24, 2012 10:42 AM

    It would be great if the NFL allows Anthony Hargrove to perjure himself in a court of law before they whip out the voice recognition technology results that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s lying.

  22. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Jun 24, 2012 10:51 AM

    When the league lays the voice signature analysis on the NFLPA there will be silence from the players.

  23. sdisme says: Jun 24, 2012 11:03 AM

    shzastl says:
    Jun 24, 2012 10:19 AM
    Agree with cwwgk. Even if Hargrove didn’t say it, he was clearly in the vicinity and heard “give me my money” when the coach mentioned favre’s injury. Therefore, Hargrove at least knew about the “pay for [whatever]” system, and his statements to the league denying such a system were false.

    _____________________________

    Even if you assume there was an additional bonus tied into the NFCCG game for knocking the QB out then you run into the same program as Rex Ryan’s dotting program or Jim Schwartz’s big hit program. But the evidence that ties that into the 2009 playoffs was already proven flawed since it showed Vitt offering $5000 and the NFL said that was a mistake.

    Hargrove’s statement talked about bounties on players. Not a pay for performance program. The NFL is tying the two closely together so it’s easy to make their case look stronger. They have to, too many others teams have already admitted to pay for performance.

    Commissioner accused the players of specifically targeting players to injure for 3 years. He also mentioned Warner, Rodgers and Newton. To quote his memo he said “At times, the bounties even targeted specific players by name.”

    and “When there is targeting of players for injury and cash rewards over a three-year period, the involvement of the coaching staff, and three years of denials and willful disrespect of the rules, a strong and lasting message must be sent that such conduct is totally unacceptable and has no place in the game.”

    Hargrove is accused of lying about a bounty program that offers incentives for players to injure other players. Not a pay for performance program even if it includes big hits.

    Don’t get me wrong the Saints were wrong. They deserved some punishment. But they were accused of and punished for First degree murder when their actual penalty seems to be simple battery. Now your starting to see the NFL trying to say the two crimes are the same, because they know they overplayed their cards.

  24. robf2010 says: Jun 24, 2012 11:07 AM

    “One of them says “give me my money.” Regardless of who says the words it establishes the program (however one wants to define it ) existed.”

    No, it doesn’t. There is no way you can even draw the conclusion that “give me my money” was a reaction to Joe Vitt informing the team of Brett Favre’s possible injury. The two could be totally unrelated. If you contend Hargrove said it, they are definitely unrelated because he’d have no expectation of a bounty payment based on what he did on that play, which was NOTHING. If you contend someone else said it, I think you have to determine who and ask him about it.

    The “mosaic” the NFL is trying to paint doesn’t look the same when you remove all of the pieces they have that don’t fit.

  25. thcnote says: Jun 24, 2012 11:17 AM

    taintedlombardis says:
    Jun 24, 2012 9:07 AM
    I see the NFL…I see straws…I see mucho grasping!
    ———–
    When I see the players I see suspensions that are not changing because the players were to stupid to go along with the appeals process they put in place.

  26. xtutx says: Jun 24, 2012 11:25 AM

    “Regardless of what anyone thinks the 2009 NFC title game sideline video shows (or doesn’t show), it doesn’t conclusively demonstrate the identity of the person who utters the key words “give me my money””

    Geeze, living and dying on this one. I mean if they have to, there is electonical equipment to identify the wave patterns of the voice and it would be Hargrove.

    I can see you would be the perfect jury member for the accused side. Pretty much have to have 5 hd camera angles of the crime with a written confession by the accused, because “hey there is a 1 in a million shot”, to me that would never be called “reasonable doubt”, that is 1 in a million, in Hardgrove’s case 1 in a billion and there are only 53 ‘players on a team.

  27. dhoier says: Jun 24, 2012 12:09 PM

    “There is no way you can even draw the conclusion that “give me my money” was a reaction to Joe Vitt informing the team of Brett Favre’s possible injury.”

    Except for the fact that, you know, it was right after Vitt advised the line of Favre’s injury.

  28. spiderpack says: Jun 24, 2012 11:54 PM

    The video doesn’t coroborate or prove ANYTHING. Pash & the NFL are SPECULATING. I’ve been involved in sports or any type of competition and “pay me my money” or a similar type phrase is common enough among friends or teammates when someone performs at a high level. I’ve heard and said things like this many times when there was absolutely no wager involved. It may suggest that they knew, but what the NFL is putting forth in this matter is atrocious and very irresponsible.

Leave a Reply

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