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Bounty coaches fear further sanctions from league office

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees apparently has been informed correctly.

In reference to men like Sean Payton and Gregg Williams, who have said nothing since players raised questions regarding the quality of the league’s bounty investigation, Brees told Dan Patrick on Tuesday that Brees has been “informed a lot of those coaches feel there are further sanctions being held over their head if they don’t cooperate with the investigation.”

Brees comments mesh with information that multiple sources have shared with PFT in recent days.  We’re told that Payton and Williams have been quiet because they are concerned about retribution from the league office, if they publicly undermine the league’s position regarding the player suspensions in any way.

As one source explained it, the scorched-earth investigation that the NFL conducted in late 2011, which included a review of the Saints’ computer system, may have yielded other information on which additional sanctions could be based, if the league is so inclined.

There’s currently no evidence that the fears are anything other than unfounded, and the league has said or done nothing to threaten the coaches with further sanctions.  Indeed, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said on Friday’s PFT Live that Williams can speak publicly about the bounty situation, if he wants.  Payton presumably can, too.

Interim head coach Joe Vitt, suspended six games by the NFL, already has expressed disagreement with the contents of the most important document in the bounty case — the notes of alleged contributions to the quarterback bounty pool before the 2009 NFC title game.  The notes claim Vitt kicked in $5,000, and Vitt vehemently disputed that information, suggesting at one point that the bounty evidence may have been “falsified or tampered with.”

The fact that Vitt spoke out doesn’t make it unreasonable for Payton and Williams to be concerned.  Still, we’ve heard from multiple sources that Williams wants to comment publicly, specifically regarding the league’s contention that Williams corroborated the claim that linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game.  But Williams to date has been muzzled by his lawyer, who apparently believes that any effort to dispute the notion that Williams threw a player under the bounty bus will be overcome by the impact of disputing the league’s evidence on Williams’ ability to be reinstated after the 2012 season.

So Brees’ sources are solid.  Payton and Williams want to coach again, and they believe that, for now, silence is the best way to make that happen.

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55 Responses to “Bounty coaches fear further sanctions from league office”
  1. wcoastsaintsfan says: Jun 26, 2012 10:29 PM

    What is this? China? Since when in America has this been ok with anyone?

  2. cdkreb says: Jun 26, 2012 10:29 PM

    Not news. If I would be suspended from my job I would have to be cooperative and couldn’t bad mouth my employer to the media. If I did I would be looking for another job.

  3. therealtrenches says: Jun 26, 2012 10:33 PM

    So…if some coaches who lied repeatedly to their authorities decide not to cooperate, they might receive further punishment?

    Gee….that’s shocking. I smell a conspiracy (not).

  4. blockforrg3 says: Jun 26, 2012 10:38 PM

    Whether the NFL is right or wrong, they are coming across like a cartel…kind of crazy.

  5. sdisme says: Jun 26, 2012 10:42 PM

    So the commissioner is holding the coaches hostage with other information found in emails.

    What is this pro wrestling?

    So much for league integrity. SMH

  6. kane337 says: Jun 26, 2012 10:43 PM

    Drew Brees requires further explanation.

  7. truthfactory says: Jun 26, 2012 10:45 PM

    By indirectly communicating to Brees, wouldn’t that be a violation of their 1 year suspensions???

    Also, everyone needs to pay attention to these players when they talk. I rarely hear denials that money was OFFERED to injure other players. They spend all their time trying to undermine the evidence, just like the defense lawyers do in cases like OJ Simpson, Roger Clemens, and Jerry Sandusky…

    In a court room, sometimes these attorneys can pull it off and get “not guilty” verdicts, but most people with common sense know they were all guilty. But Goodell doesn’t have to go to trial… because of the CBA he’s been given the ability to use common sense and not have to tip-toe through technicalities of the investigation.

    The bottom line is there is plenty of smoke in this case (audio directing players to go for the ACL, Slideshows showing Dog the Bounty Hunter with the caption “Lets go Hunting!!”, ledgers documenting payments for a variety of plays, a player saying “pay me my money!” when the defense was discussing the possiblity that Favres ankle was broken).

    All of this isn’t a coincidence and Goodell can see what was going on and used the power that was agreed to in the CBA to impose a punishment he saw fit. If they didn’t like that system, they shouldn’t have agreed to it in the CBA.

    Hearing the players complain about Goodell reminds me of kids complaining about the “mean” or “strict” teacher that gave out too many detentions in junior high. Bottom line is, don’t break the rules, and you won’t have to worry about it…. Play the game the right way, earn your millions of dollars, and quit your complaining… no one wants to hear it.

  8. letmesetyoustraight says: Jun 26, 2012 10:45 PM

    “Brees comments mesh with information that multiple sources have shared with PFT in recent days. We’re told that Payton and Williams have been quiet because they are concerned about retribution from the league office, if they publicly undermine the league’s position regarding the player suspensions in any way.”

    Mike’s sources are usually pretty good. This mess just keeps getting more questionable the more we learn. Goodell has mishandled this since day 1. Rozelle and Tagliabue would never have made the mistakes he has.

  9. grumblenflgrumble says: Jun 26, 2012 10:50 PM

    If they were truly innocent, they wouldn’t fear further action from the league as there wouldn’t be anything to fear.

    Also, there’s nothing to ‘undermine’ the investigation if the claims are unfounded as the NFLPA is trying to say. If the bounty system is actually non-existent then you couldn’t undermine its investigation by speaking the truth.

  10. sdisme says: Jun 26, 2012 10:52 PM

    One more comment. If Goodell is extorting the coaches, the owners absolutely need to step in immediately.

    Corruption in the league office would be far worse than any concussion lawsuits.

  11. cash804 says: Jun 26, 2012 10:52 PM

    Drew Brees want as explanation.

  12. schmokes says: Jun 26, 2012 11:02 PM

    Sean Peyton is too busy touring with Jimmy Buffet to comment on the bounties.

  13. truthfactory says: Jun 26, 2012 11:02 PM

    Goodell just asked that they cooperate with the investigation… Cooperating means telling the TRUTH. They are absolutely free to tell the truth, as that would be cooperating.

    The ONLY thing that would potentially get them in even more trouble is to come out and spread lies, or encourage others to lie and deny the program. The reason they are probably not speaking out is because they know the truth, and they know money was offered to injure certain players… Speaking out against it and playing the victim card won’t get them anywhere if deep down they know there was an innapropriate bounty system going on…

  14. greenandgold1972 says: Jun 26, 2012 11:03 PM

    Oh, please!!!!!!!!!!! Like Joe Vitt had no problem shouting from the roof tops he didn’t do what he was accused of, the other coaches could’ve done the same thing. Is someone trying to say that Vitt’s suspension is worse than Williams’s suspension of “indefinitely” and Payton’s suspension of a year? There is no peep out of them because they know it’s true

  15. jpmelon says: Jun 26, 2012 11:03 PM

    All they have to do is come clean about the other rules that they’ve broken and they can come to the aid of their players. If they can prove that they are being blackmailed by Goodell, then that would probably put Goodell in his place pretty quick.

    I think this whole notion of “fear” is complete BS. The only person who has a legitimate reason to fear Goodell is Williams (his fate soleley depends on how Goodell feels next year). Payton has a suspension to endure, but when it’s over, it’s over…..if Goodell is holding out negative information; at this point, Payton would have the leverage. Could you imagine the PR nightmare for the NFL if it came to light that the commissioner was blackmailing associates into supporting false claims?

  16. moagecu says: Jun 26, 2012 11:04 PM

    You use no sources to prove this true. All your state is that “a source” believe this could be the case. You are getting very desperate now.

  17. musicman495 says: Jun 26, 2012 11:11 PM

    grumblenflgrumble says: Jun 26, 2012 10:50 PM

    If they were truly innocent, they wouldn’t fear further action from the league as there wouldn’t be anything to fear.

    Also, there’s nothing to ‘undermine’ the investigation if the claims are unfounded as the NFLPA is trying to say. If the bounty system is actually non-existent then you couldn’t undermine its investigation by speaking the truth.
    ———————————
    Get a clue. If they can suspend Hargrove for a videotape comment he did not say, you think it requires something truthful for the league to further sanction the coaches? If you like Goodell, you would love Castro.

  18. sportswannabe says: Jun 26, 2012 11:12 PM

    I like how this is reported as if it’s a fact. Got to love it. The coaches have had the opportunity to speak. Obviously all the “anonymous sources” who are clearly tied to the Saints organizations are going to try to cast the silence in the most positive light for their case.

    Now we’re in the “make up reasons for them to be silent” phase. Now there are “other things” that could cause discipline? Obviously there would have to be, since it can’t be the “weak bounty evidence” holding them back. So, even if we assume it’s true, there is definitely something fishy going on in New Orleans.

  19. vikingamericann says: Jun 26, 2012 11:13 PM

    truthfactory | Jun 26, 2012, 8:45 PM MDT

    There is a simple fact you are missing which completely negates all points you weakly make about the CBA and the other blah blah blah stuff. It’s called good faith. Did the NFL act in good faith with the investigation? No. This was agenda drive. Proof of bad faith inflammatory language and the disproven allegation that the Saints were trying to injury people. No bounty existed when bounty is defined as money to injure a player. Lets hope the courts decide this I for one don’t care for the world as you describe it. Give some one cooperate power, and they get unlimited and unaccountable power.

  20. sdisme says: Jun 26, 2012 11:16 PM

    truthfactory says:
    Jun 26, 2012 10:45 PM
    By indirectly communicating to Brees, wouldn’t that be a violation of their 1 year suspensions???

    ——————————————

    Only Payton is suspended at this point. Plus he did have a few weeks with the team before the suspensions.

    And seriously you can’t actually condone the league blackmailing the coaches. If they have other charges they need to act on them or drop them. Not use them to blackmail.

  21. silentcount says: Jun 26, 2012 11:16 PM

    So many keep saying “the coaches admitted to it”. Admitted to what? Sean Payton was told to apologize, and Goodell added his words to what for. Why not let Sean speak freely and tell everyone that the players joked about pay for performance. Even coach Joe Vitt has said he never heard the word “bounty” until Goodell used it. “What do you mean? There’s no bounty system.” Goodell, “You lie, I’m suspending you.”

  22. mdd913 says: Jun 26, 2012 11:19 PM

    grumblenflgrumble says: Jun 26, 2012 10:50 PM

    If they were truly innocent, they wouldn’t fear further action from the league as there wouldn’t be anything to fear.

    —————————————————————–

    If a police car kept following you around for miels and miles, would you get a little nervous? Or would you just relax and be confident in the knowledge that you were “truly innocent?”

    They have everything to fear. The NFL has already shown its willingness to exaggerate and/or manufacture evidence. Unlike the players, these guys have no recoursea and no external protection.

  23. cwwgk says: Jun 26, 2012 11:32 PM

    With all due respect, why are these players voicing their concerns only to the media? The appeal hearing, the forum to present such concerns, was last week.

    In addition, and again with all due respect, if the NFL isn’t supposed to rely on unnamed sources why is it okay for Drew Brees and the media?

  24. rubberinnertube says: Jun 26, 2012 11:32 PM

    Communication with Brees is a non-issue…he’s not currently under contract.

  25. 88ibis says: Jun 26, 2012 11:37 PM

    “As one source explained it, the scorched-earth investigation that the NFL conducted in late 2011, which included a review of the Saints’ computer system, may have yielded other information on which additional sanctions could be based, if the league is so inclined.”

    The longer this drags out, the more I think the Saints coaches accepted a plea bargain: Plead guilty to the C-Felony and we won’t charge you with the A-Felony.

  26. whodatgirl1 says: Jun 26, 2012 11:39 PM

    I think the owners need to get together and look at the evidence themselves. I doubt that there’s any rule against that…

  27. cowboyscanada says: Jun 26, 2012 11:50 PM

    Would love to see the Saints go 2-14

  28. mdd913 says: Jun 27, 2012 12:05 AM

    moagecu says: Jun 26, 2012 11:04 PM

    You use no sources to prove this true. All your state is that “a source” believe this could be the case.

    ————————————————————

    So let me get this straight: you don’t think this is acceptable procedure for a blogger, but it’s perfectly fine if the commissioner of the NFL does it?

  29. greenandgold1972 says: Jun 27, 2012 12:08 AM

    I might be wrong here, but I think the NFL and the commissioner got most pissed at being ignored. I am a GB fan and I know they had a warning. They stopped what they were doing and they are OK. The Saints said “OK, we understand” and they kept doing it. Just because they were inept at dealing the injuries the bounty called for, does not mean the said bounty was not in effect. In all walks of life, you admit you did wrong and move on, you are OK, you keep doing the same thing, you pay for it

  30. ascensionparish says: Jun 27, 2012 12:11 AM

    @truthfactaory
    Vilma, fujita, and vitt have all denied offering money for targeting any player for injury. Will smith has not spoken publicly on the matter.

    As for those of you who think brees can communicate with payton…he cannot. Goodell has specifically stated that the nfl views brees as part of the saints organization due to his (albeit unsigned) exclusive franchise designation. And therefor communication between brees and payton is prohibited.

  31. letmesetyoustraight says: Jun 27, 2012 12:39 AM

    ======
    cwwgk says:Jun 26, 2012 11:32 PM

    With all due respect, why are these players voicing their concerns only to the media? The appeal hearing, the forum to present such concerns, was last week.

    In addition, and again with all due respect, if the NFL isn’t supposed to rely on unnamed sources why is it okay for Drew Brees and the media?
    ======

    With all due rspect, why did the NFL launch their findings only through the media? Behind closed doors should have been the approach from the beginning.

    In addition, and again with all due respect, if the NFL can rely on unnamed sources, why can’t Drew Brees and the media?

  32. 6thsense79 says: Jun 27, 2012 12:47 AM

    cdkreb says:Jun 26, 2012 10:29 PM

    Not news. If I would be suspended from my job I would have to be cooperative and couldn’t bad mouth my employer to the media. If I did I would be looking for another job.
    ——————————————-
    Since when is disputing claims you think are false or distorted that your employer releases bad mouthing your employer? This isn’t about trashing your employer. This is about holding them accountable for the information they put out.

  33. sfsaintsfan says: Jun 27, 2012 12:48 AM

    I have felt for a while that Sean Payton should come out and blast these charges and the flimsy “evidence” the NFL says it has, but now, I think this is the correct play. Sean Payton is sitting back like Minnesota Fats waiting for his opening and then he will run the table.

    Roger Goodell and the NFL League office have made themselves out to be Keystone Cops at best, maybe more along the lines of Barney Fife. If Sean Payton just waits long enough the flimsy “evidence” the NFL says it has will come out as the sham that it is and old Roger will be the one with egg on his face.

    Again, there is ZERO evidence of a pay for intentional injury program as alleged by the NFL. There is only evidence of a “pay for performance” program, just like the one several NFL teams have had in the past. And the 49′ers game was played with ZERO penalties by the Saints!

  34. 6thsense79 says: Jun 27, 2012 12:53 AM

    grumblenflgrumble says: Jun 26, 2012 10:50 PM

    If they were truly innocent, they wouldn’t fear further action from the league as there wouldn’t be anything to fear.

    Also, there’s nothing to ‘undermine’ the investigation if the claims are unfounded as the NFLPA is trying to say. If the bounty system is actually non-existent then you couldn’t undermine its investigation by speaking the truth.
    ——————————
    Really? Isn’t this the same league that penalized two teams for salary cap violations during an uncapped year? Even though they could site no league rules either teams broke?

    I don’t know where you guys get this pollyanna view of the NFL as some sort of protector of all that’s good and great. The NFL’s goal is their bottom line. Plain and simple. That’s what the lockout was about, that’s what these “bounty” suspensions are about, and that’s why they flirted with going from 16 games to 18. The NFL is good nor evil. It’s a corporation that will use any means at its disposal to protect its bottom line and if they have to sacrafice a few inidviduals or teams on the way then so be it.

  35. billzbubb says: Jun 27, 2012 1:10 AM

    Of course Williams is afraid to go against Goodell. He is on indefinite suspension and Goodell is the one who decides when it ends. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure that out.

    The NFL looks very bad in this to those paying attention. If they had any real evidence, it would be available. Instead they’ve got a handful of nothing. Not one thing the league has shown proves any player paid or was paid to injure someone else. Goodell wanted to make a point so he and the league manufactured a nefarious “bounty system” out of a common practice in the league of paying players a little something extra in recognition of big plays and big hits. New Orleans was an easy target because of Williams’ bombastic style.

  36. benchwarmer69 says: Jun 27, 2012 1:34 AM

    RUUN chickens, ..RUUN!!

    ….Flee for your lives!

    (as a Bucs fan, this couldn’t get much better)

  37. nerdyturdy says: Jun 27, 2012 1:54 AM

    Obviously, Saints coaches and former coaches are not being bullied, there is substance somewhere and they are contrite. They shut up not just in fear, but because they *know* legal action will not pan out.

    Why isn’t Payton yelling that this is BS? Because it isn’t. Duh.

  38. stercuilus65 says: Jun 27, 2012 2:24 AM

    musicman495 says: Jun 26, 2012 11:11 PM
    “Get a clue. If they can suspend Hargrove for a videotape comment he did not say, you think it requires something truthful for the league to further sanction the coaches? If you like Goodell, you would love Castro.”
    —————-
    Castro eh? Talk about needing to get a clue. This ranks up there with the China whine.
    Really if the best argument you can make is over the top stupid comparisons you have already lost.

  39. sicko128 says: Jun 27, 2012 3:38 AM

    All of this is ridiculous, if Paul Tagliabue would still be commissioner, none of this would have happened, and if it did it would have been handled a hell of allot better than this……All of this bounty-gate is because of the concussion law suit against the NFL. I really don’t think any of this took place like Goodell would have you believe, he is a horrible commissioner and he needs to be removed!!!!!

  40. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 27, 2012 3:50 AM

    What do all men with power want?

    MORE POWER!!!

  41. wherezwaldo says: Jun 27, 2012 6:35 AM

    If the liars continue to lie, lifetime ban.

  42. robf2010 says: Jun 27, 2012 6:41 AM

    “In addition, and again with all due respect, if the NFL isn’t supposed to rely on unnamed sources why is it okay for Drew Brees and the media?”

    Legitimate question. Want another? Why isn’t it OK for Brees and the media? Fighting fire with fire.

  43. gingerkid2000 says: Jun 27, 2012 7:21 AM

    Brees’ sources are as solid as your skills as a reporter Florio. Just put in a resume w/ the National Enquire. At least they’re honest about writing unsubstantiated drivel. If you aren’t going to give up your sources than neither does Goodell ya slimeball hypocrite!

  44. rice4life says: Jun 27, 2012 7:37 AM

    Have they checked the bank accounts. You can go back a few years. That’s a lot of money. It would go unnoticed. Although, $5,000 and $10,000 in their bank accounts might be like $10 and $20 in mine. In other words, most transactions are of a common amount.

  45. wiley16350 says: Jun 27, 2012 8:04 AM

    You know what is funny is how weak people made Goodell out to be after spygate. Saying, he was hiding evidence and not so harsh on the Patriots so the league wouldn’t look too bad. Now people are claiming he is a tyrant and creating evidence just to make a point even though it’s making the league look bad. Complete opposite.

    I’ll clue you in on why his response to these cases are completely different. It’s really easy to solve. Belichick was honest and admitted fault when confronted by Goodell. The Patriots accepted the penalty without argument and let it go. The Saints lied for years to avoid punishment and didn’t quit when the league advised them to. The league tried to sweep it under the rug 3 years ago by advising the Saints to stop the whole thing, but the Saints wouldn’t let that happen. Now the coaches have learned and have accepted their penalties and are now being quiet. The players on the other hand haven’t learned. The league might be looking for more dirt so the players better not have more skeletons in the closet. Or it might get even worse than it already is for them.

  46. mdd913 says: Jun 27, 2012 8:09 AM

    wherezwaldo says: Jun 27, 2012 6:35 AM

    If the liars continue to lie, lifetime ban.

    ————————————————————

    Does that include Goodell? Because he lied to Congress about concussions, then lied to the media about Hargrove’s statement. My guess is there are at least another good handful of lies to go along with those.

  47. allbucdup says: Jun 27, 2012 8:16 AM

    Everyone acts like the NFL is the end all be all for these coaches. The can still coach in college and probably make just as much money. The facts are, the coaches have smart lawyers protecting them and the player are idiots for talking out before this is all done. They have handled this almost as terribly as the NFL.

  48. animal47 says: Jun 27, 2012 8:50 AM

    Im wondering if the players get toooo pissed off over this.. if they might want to strike just to get rid of Goodell?

  49. easyeddie says: Jun 27, 2012 8:58 AM

    No named sources from Brees and no named sources from the blogger. Makes this all hard to believe.

  50. gingerkid2000 says: Jun 27, 2012 9:17 AM

    robf2010 says:Jun 27, 2012 6:41 AM

    “In addition, and again with all due respect, if the NFL isn’t supposed to rely on unnamed sources why is it okay for Drew Brees and the media?”

    Legitimate question. Want another? Why isn’t it OK for Brees and the media? Fighting fire with fire.
    *****************************************

    Unless you’ve been complaining about the other guy doing 1st. Then you’re just being a hypocritical whiner.

  51. rexryansfork says: Jun 27, 2012 10:19 AM

    Drew Brees doesn’t want an explanation.

  52. dexterismyhero says: Jun 27, 2012 10:38 AM

    @sicko128 says:Jun 27, 2012 3:38 AM

    All of this is ridiculous, if Paul Tagliabue would still be commissioner, none of this would have happened, and if it did it would have been handled a hell of allot better than this……All of this bounty-gate is because of the concussion law suit against the NFL. I really don’t think any of this took place like Goodell would have you believe, he is a horrible commissioner and he needs to be removed!!!!!
    ==================================
    The first 5 words describes your whole post.

  53. darthsaint says: Jun 27, 2012 11:04 AM

    I really don’t understand how logic works in most of the minds of people who post on this site.

    There is a HUGE difference between Brees stating his opinion based on unnamed sources and Goodell suspending coaches/players for full seasons and taking away draft choices based on unnamed sources.

    The difference, if you didn’t read it in that last paragraph. Is that one is simply one persons opinion based on “hearsay”. The other however, is a binding punishment enforced by the exact same person providing the verdict…from “hearsay.”

    So while Brees makes his claim based on “sources.” It stays just his opinion, it NEVER can go beyond that, his personal opinion. People make personal opinions all day long, most from sound judgement while others not so much. But there is little to no harm from an opinion.

    However Goodell basing decisions within the role of commissioner that directly impact a person’s livelihood by taking money out of their pocket and potentially ruining their future earning potential and any credibility they had built over their career. Well common sense kind of shows the VAST difference between those two situations. Right?

    If I choose to believe witches exist and the strange lady at the edge of town must be one of them. Well I’m an idiot most likely. But hopefully most people laugh at me and roll their eyes.

    But if I choose believe witches exist and the strange lady at the edge of town must be one of them, and I happen to be mayor of this small 17th century town. And based on that opinion, which was based on hearsay from others and my personal opinions, I decide we should burn said witch. Well at that point…it becomes rather clear there is a big difference between the guy you can choose to believe or ignore and the guy who has the authority to charge, convict and punish you based on the same thought process.

  54. bayoubauer says: Jun 27, 2012 12:46 PM

    truthfactory says:
    Jun 26, 2012 10:45 PM
    By indirectly communicating to Brees, wouldn’t that be a violation of their 1 year suspensions???

    Brees is currently not under contract, so they can talk to him all they want.

    Try again.

  55. CKL says: Jun 27, 2012 12:50 PM

    6thsense79 says:
    Jun 27, 2012 12:47 AM
    cdkreb says:Jun 26, 2012 10:29 PM

    Not news. If I would be suspended from my job I would have to be cooperative and couldn’t bad mouth my employer to the media. If I did I would be looking for another job.
    ——————————————-
    Since when is disputing claims you think are false or distorted that your employer releases bad mouthing your employer? This isn’t about trashing your employer. This is about holding them accountable for the information they put out.
    ________________________________
    Whether it’s right or wrong, employers can and do require closed mouths on the topic of their business. At my previous employer, we were warned that we could face termination if we were ever caught even speaking about company business in a non business forum.

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