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Bounty appeal decision not coming Monday

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A week after four suspended players showed up for the bounty appeal hearing but gave no evidence or argument to support their claims of innocence, the league office has yet to issue the inevitable decision that the suspensions have been upheld.

A decision isn’t coming Monday, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

There’s no reason for delay.  Former prosecutor Mary Jo White presented her “mosaic” of evidence seven days ago, and the players said nothing in response.  Based on the evidence presented by the league and the evidence not presented by the players, it’s a no-brainer.

So why hasn’t Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a ruling?  In theory, there’s a chance he has decided to take a fresh look at the case, given the various flaws that have been highlighted in recent days and weeks.  If, for example, Goodell agrees that the Anthony Hargrove video doesn’t show that Hargrove said “give me my money,” and if Goodell likewise concludes that, absent proof that Hargrove said it there’s no real case against him, maybe Goodell will rescind the suspension.

The problem is that, by changing his mind on his own, Goodell will have to acknowledge that the investigation that as recently as Friday the league’s top lawyer was defending on PFT Live actually contained significant flaws.  So it would be highly unlikely for Goodell to change his mind.

The more likely reality is that Goodell, with the help of Jeff Pash and perhaps Mary Jo White, is crafting letters aimed at persuading the players and/or the public that the penalties are justified, because there never can be a specific cash incentive to deliver a good, clean, legal hit in a way that causes an opponent to leave the game, even if there’s no corresponding intent to injure.

That’s really what the case is all about, but at some point the debate flew off the rails.  Now, it’s time for the NFL to reshape the message.  The letters resolving the appeals give Goodell the best chance to do just that.

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25 Responses to “Bounty appeal decision not coming Monday”
  1. numberoneinthehoodg says: Jun 25, 2012 3:47 PM

    Anyone with any common sense would realize that the NFL has more video\audio evidence for their case. Just because they released a singular clip shouldn’t cloud anyone’s judgement. There’s a saying at poker tables, ” If you don’t know who the bitch is, it’s you”.

  2. gumerk says: Jun 25, 2012 3:51 PM

    Well, if goodell is crafting a new angle in light of the very significant flaws that have pointed out, it should come with a new, lighter set of punishments since it potentially will be reduced to pay for performance vs. pay to injure which was their initial justification on the harsh punishments.

    If the suspensions, fines, and loss of draft picks are upheld at their current ruling for a pay for performance violation, that would be an attack on the integrity of the nfl and completely puts goodell’s judgement and ability to deal with so much unchecked power in question.

    When compared to other punishments dished out by the nfl for actually trying to stomp or hurt a player in the game with actual film as evidence, these current punishments for a pay for performance system would be over the top to say the least.

    Other nfl teams have admitted to having a pay for performance system in place. Even claiming the Saints lied about a pay for performance system as justification for the current punishments is simply absurd and discredits any claims by the nfl that they are doing this for the integrity of the league!

  3. eyeh8goodell says: Jun 25, 2012 3:53 PM

    If the NFL had anything concrete, we’d have seen it by now. The league wouldn’t allow “The Shield” to take such a public beating if they had the goods. THAT is pure common sense and logic. Anything else is just coming from fans of rival teams who stood up on their fake pedestals and ran their mouths and now don’t wish to admit they were wrong.

    And gee, I wonder what the ruling will be. LOL

  4. clickablecontent says: Jun 25, 2012 3:54 PM

    Whatever the outcome, if Goodell and his staff did, in fact, decide to re-review the case. How would that affect the NFLPA’s hard stance against the commissioner in both public and potential legal perception? My observation is that Goodell has already exhibited a willingness to eschew public opinion for what he perceives as his professional and legal obligations. In short, the guy is crazy like a fox. I see a re-review as a real possibility.

  5. rollerino1 says: Jun 25, 2012 3:56 PM

    For the love Pete! Just get it over with already!

  6. 4gone says: Jun 25, 2012 4:06 PM

    The NFL has said that there is no gag order on Williams and Payton. They are not fighting the suspensions. They are not saying anything. It is probably because they came clean and told the truth about the whole thing. If your Head Coach and DC both say this is what happened and this was your part in it, you probably can’t defend that.

    When the Attorneys for these individuals file the case in federal court it is going to get interesting when the whole legal battle is player’s word against coaches. That should end up being a fun team to be on.

  7. bearskoolaid1985 says: Jun 25, 2012 4:20 PM

    Even if you can’t see his lips move isn’t there something call VOICE RECOGNITION!!!!!!!!!

  8. rayburns says: Jun 25, 2012 4:21 PM

    This is like a high stakes poker game. When the players agreed to the CBA and provisions allowing ultimate authority on discipline to Goodell, they lost this particular game. They folded. Now they’re complaining that they don’t get to see the cards that Goodell has in his hand.

    Goodell is under no particular pressure to show his cards when he’s already won the game.

  9. nispikers says: Jun 25, 2012 4:27 PM

    4gone says:Jun 25, 2012 4:06 PM

    The NFL has said that there is no gag order on Williams and Payton. They are not fighting the suspensions. They are not saying anything. It is probably because they came clean and told the truth about the whole thing. If your Head Coach and DC both say this is what happened and this was your part in it, you probably can’t defend that.
    ________________________________
    First off, I do not think that Payton is involved with defensive meetings. I have never heard a word that he attended any defensive meeting, therefore I can’t believe that Payton “came clean” about anything. He may have said pay for performance happened on his watch, but exactly what kind of evidence would he be able to deliver to Goodell if he did not personally attend meeting? He cannot verify payments, could not see anyone pledge or give back money. So I doubt that Payton came clean.
    As for Greg Williams, that one is hard to decifer. Maybe he did say some things to let the league know about pay for performance but I can bet you, he never said a word about him being the head of a pay to injure scheme. There would be no Greg Williams in football ever again. Not just an indefinate suspension with a possibility that he could come back. Goodell would be so stupid if Greg Williams did admit to a pay for injure plan and Goodell lets him back in the league.

  10. discosucs2005 says: Jun 25, 2012 4:30 PM

    The one punishment I want to see changed is Vilma’s year long suspension. I actually don’t care about the length, but I think it should be a different amount of time than Sean Payton. The head coach should be held more responsible for the actions of his team and coaches than any player.

  11. gumerk says: Jun 25, 2012 4:36 PM

    @ 4gone

    You do realize Payton appealed his suspension right? That defines “fighting the suspensions.”

    As for Williams_He can’t return to the NFL unless he cooperates with “further proceedings,” Williams’ indefinite suspension, also entails a review by Goodell after the 2012 season.

    The inherently subjective process was influenced by whether Williams pursued an appeal, “he did not,” and the decision not to appeal possibly could make Goodell more inclined to reinstate Williams after only one year.

    The fact that everyone else has appealed will serve only to make Williams look even better in comparison.

  12. purplegreenandgold says: Jun 25, 2012 4:36 PM

    Bounty appeal decision not coming Monday
    ===================================
    since when did mondays matter to the nfl in this case. my money is on friday say about 2pm… with all suspensions upheld. RG will be true to form since march 2nd(by the way a friday).

  13. cwwgk says: Jun 25, 2012 4:40 PM

    Well stated. The decisions have been made, the wording of the opinions are just being finalized. I would imagine the NFL is setting forth in great detail the ways in which it feels it complied with the appeal process that was required of the league under the CBA. Presumably, those actions will be revisited by an outside tribunal in the very near future.

    They are also probably making sure nothing contained in the letters to the suspended players in any way contradict what is about to be filed on behalf of Goodell in Vilma’s defamation suit.

  14. broncobrewer says: Jun 25, 2012 4:44 PM

    No matter what he does there’s gonna be a lawsuit. If he keeps the suspensions the way the are they’re going to court for lack of evidence. If he lowers the suspensions he probably has the deformation lawsuits and maybe the coaches.
    He’s got to be reviewing the CBA and covering all his bases.
    Sorry anyone with common sense will see there are many holes in the evidence that’s been put out. The NFL is trying to use the media for guilt not the evidence.

  15. whodatsaybaby says: Jun 25, 2012 4:50 PM

    Lets remind ourselves of the punishments.

    1.Sean Payton- 1 yr suspension.
    2.Joe Vitt- 6 game suspension.
    3.Mickey Loomis- 8 game suspension.
    4.Vilma- 1 yr banned suspension.
    5.Fujita- 3 game suspension.
    6. Hardgrove- 4 game suspension.
    7.Smith- 3 game suspension.
    8. 2nd round draft picks- 2012 and 2013.

    And now the NFL is saying, that’s right ”SAYING”, this was for a ”PAY FOR PERFORMANCE” issue. Seems to me and the laws of the CBA this results in a cap violation. Punishments justified? I think not. For the record, neither Sean Payton nor Greg Williams have ever admitted to a ”BOUNTY”……. Use the facts people…….. Not the MEDIA for your conclusions! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  16. qoojo says: Jun 25, 2012 4:56 PM

    Did this so called bounty program ever claim one victim? I don’t remember reading about one, which leads me to believe that it was more about making plays than injuring players, as the NFL and ESPN would have you believe.

  17. musicman495 says: Jun 25, 2012 4:58 PM

    numberoneinthehoodg says: Jun 25, 2012 3:47 PM

    Anyone with any common sense would realize that the NFL has more video\audio evidence for their case. Just because they released a singular clip shouldn’t cloud anyone’s judgement.
    —————————
    Right, because the best way to convince people of the strength of your case is to show your weakest evidence, and keep your strongest evidence hidden from everyone.

  18. vtopa says: Jun 25, 2012 4:58 PM

    In other “news” pigs still not flying, monkeys not flying out of my butt, Hell still hot…

    this is news?

  19. musicman495 says: Jun 25, 2012 5:00 PM

    rayburns says: Jun 25, 2012 4:21 PM

    This is like a high stakes poker game. When the players agreed to the CBA and provisions allowing ultimate authority on discipline to Goodell, they lost this particular game. They folded. Now they’re complaining that they don’t get to see the cards that Goodell has in his hand.

    Goodell is under no particular pressure to show his cards when he’s already won the game.
    —————————–
    We will see if you and Roger think the same way if he is compelled by a federal judge to show the players the evidence that justifies their suspensions.

  20. geauxjay says: Jun 25, 2012 5:00 PM

    Seriously. You people think that the NFL released the BAD and INCORRECT evidence to the media, but they’re saving the real stuff for later? How much do you hate the Saints to believe that garbage? Do you see what you’re writing before you post it?

  21. macbull says: Jun 25, 2012 5:06 PM

    So, just what did Coach Vitt spend his $5000 on?

    Pay for performance?

    OR

    a bounty?

    I want to hear Roger comment on the most recent claims from Coach Vitt, that the NFL evidence is “questionable”

    Talking about the “ledger” the NFL used as evidence, Vitt said, “if that piece of paper was inaccurate or falsified, then it should call into question the authenticity of other pieces of the league’s supposed evidence as well.”

    It is not just the players who are questioning Roger Goodell…it’s the coaches, NFL players and the fans.

  22. robf2010 says: Jun 25, 2012 6:42 PM

    “The NFL has said that there is no gag order on Williams and Payton.”

    There may as well be. Both of them, and Mickey Loomis as well, have to apply for reinstatement to Goodell when their suspensions are up. It would be stupid to anger the hanging judge any more than you must.

  23. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Jun 25, 2012 8:30 PM

    robf2010 says: Jun 25, 2012 6:42 PM
    “It would be stupid to anger the hanging judge any more than you must.”
    ~~~~

    Someone should tell Vilma and Fujita!

  24. northshoresaint9 says: Jun 25, 2012 8:37 PM

    …R.G. is a little boy in a Man’s clothing. Pathetic.

  25. jimw81 says: Jun 25, 2012 9:17 PM

    dont worry one more month until training camp starts…..

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