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League says there’s no truth to claim of threats against coaches

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees believes that coaches involved in the bounty scandal have remained silent because they fear further sanctions from the league.  The league’s response to those claims is now in.

“You should ask [Saints head coach] Sean Payton,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said via email.  “[Interim head coach] Joe Vitt has spoken quite openly.”

In a separate comment to The Dan Patrick Show, Aiello said there’s no truth to Brees’ claims.

As to Vitt, Aiello is right.  Vitt has pulled no punches, suggesting even that the NFL has relied on evidence that may have been “falsified or tampered with.”

But Payton likely won’t say something if Payton believes that saying anything will create complications when the time comes to be reinstated.

And to the extent that Payton wasn’t directly involved in the pay-for-performance/bounty program, the person who really should be talking if former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.  Among other things, the NFL claims Williams corroborated the contention that linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to anyone who knocks Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game.  Many have interpreted Williams’ silence as corroboration of the corroboration.

We’ll see whether or not Payton or Williams will have anything to say.

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35 Responses to “League says there’s no truth to claim of threats against coaches”
  1. marat28051988 says: Jun 27, 2012 9:47 AM

    Brees the real captain which endowing the reputation didn’t give out partners in team. Began to respect him even more

  2. jenniferxxx says: Jun 27, 2012 9:52 AM

    It’s hard to tell if Drew is stupid … malicious … or both. My guess is the word ‘ignoranus’ might be useful, and save bandwidth.

  3. giveseanpaytonhisjuicyfruit says: Jun 27, 2012 9:52 AM

    Don’t both Payton and Williams have to “reapply” to the league after their suspensions, whereas Joe Vitt can just show up for work the next day?

  4. tebowsafraud says: Jun 27, 2012 9:54 AM

    Brees continues to prove how clueless he is. Does Brees also believe Obama was born in Kenya? How about how 9/11 being an “inside job”? What say you Drew….?

    Get on a plane and go see Williams. Then–AND ONLY THEN-hold a presser and repeat these off the wall claims. Until I hear Brees say “I just spoke to Williams and Payton and they assure me none of this is true and they are keeping quiet because they fear NFL retaliation”

    My guess is you will see that happen about the same time one of the ‘Aint’s steps up and admits it was he (and not Hargrove) that uttered the infamous “Pay me my money”.

  5. matthewcarlson1 says: Jun 27, 2012 9:59 AM

    Brees said on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday that he thinks Goodell is holding something over Sean Payton. Something that if Payton talks Goodell will punish him further than one year. Now I’m no sports writer but If Goodell has MORE on Payton then its probably a good idea to stay quiet. Also I’m getting tired of their “we haven’t seen enough evidence” thing, There IS enough evidence to prove the existence of the bounty system. The Saints want absolute damning evidence like in the court system. Not gonna happen. No loopholes for you because nobody read you your rights.

  6. touchdowncolston says: Jun 27, 2012 10:14 AM

    Joe Vitt is out six weeks and can show up to work without questions. Payton had to be reevaluated by the dictator and can be kept out.

  7. acetw says: Jun 27, 2012 10:19 AM

    @matthewcarlson1 – Actually, there is literally NO evidence to prove the existence of a ‘bounty’ system. I think you’ve confused (just like the nfl) a standard, league wide used pay-for-performance system with the league’s manufactured ‘bounty’ program. Players and coaches alike have had no qualms about admitting to the PfP system, but nobody has admitted to anything ‘bounty’ related nor has the nfl produced any evidence beyond presumptive data regarding the same.

  8. randomguy9999 says: Jun 27, 2012 10:20 AM

    Brees has proven repeatedly that he will speak without thinking, why is anyone listening to this clown?

  9. calv23 says: Jun 27, 2012 10:33 AM

    When Scott Shanle made a good faith attempt to explain to the media the subtleties of the Saints’ pay-per-performance program, it was INCLUDED AS EVIDENCE against the players in their appeal hearing?

    You think that might be one reason the Saints’ coaches and gm are afraid to speak out? See any pattern of behavior there from the NFL?

  10. mitchdms says: Jun 27, 2012 10:37 AM

    tebowsafraud says:

    Get on a plane and go see Williams. Then–AND ONLY THEN-hold a presser and repeat these off the wall claims. Until I hear Brees say “I just spoke to Williams and Payton and they assure me none of this is true and they are keeping quiet because they fear NFL retaliation”
    ________________

    You’re right that it won’t happen, because Payton and Williams are both banned from the league and can’t communicate with him.

    However, Brees clearly spoke with Payton before the suspension took affect, so it’s doubtful that he is just a conspiracy theorist.

  11. calv23 says: Jun 27, 2012 10:37 AM

    Since Aiello is comparing Payton’s reaction to Vitt’s, it should also be noted that Vitt’s suspension is finite (6 games), while Payton’s is one year pending a review for reinstatement. Clearly that’s a factor, though Aiello’s insinuation is that Payton’s silence is an indicator of his guilt. Another indication of the league’s pattern of borderline sociopathic behavior in this matter.

  12. sg419 says: Jun 27, 2012 10:49 AM

    What do you expect the league to say?

    Any reasonable person knows that Williams and Payton, especially Williams, needs to keep quiet to get back in the league.

    Greg Williams is suspended indefinitely, so it is up to Goodell to let him back in. I am sure that if Williams came out and claimed the league’s evidence is not valid, he would not be allowed to coach for a long time.

  13. saintsfaninfla says: Jun 27, 2012 10:55 AM

    Let’s see how that works Roger. Payton did make a brief statement at owner’s meeting indicating this bounty mess is much ado about nothing and alluding to concept that he was not involved as alleged by the NFL. Payton then appeals privately. You deny the appeal. Further, after the appeal, you appear to change the terms of the “sentence” to something much more harsh than originally announced. You also ban Payton from speaking to people, entering certain buildings, and even ban him from collage campuses. (Which I am still shaking my head as to how the NFL has the authority to restrict a person’s movements or associations). So Roger, how did that work out for Payton?

  14. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 27, 2012 10:58 AM

    jenniferxxx says:
    Jun 27, 2012 9:52 AM
    It’s hard to tell if Drew is stupid … malicious … or both. My guess is the word ‘ignoranus’ might be useful, and save bandwidth.
    _____
    Yeah, the all time NFL single season passing leader,
    superbowl mvp champion,
    2010 sportsman of the year recipient, Presidential appointee to be co-chair for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, + nutrition,
    spokesman for Advocare International, spokesman for anti bullying commercials, head of the Brees Dream Foundation that supports cancer victims,
    player representative for the NFLPA,
    is malicious and stupid.

    Good call on that one genius keep up the good work.
    What have you done with your life?

  15. franktherat96 says: Jun 27, 2012 10:59 AM

    The league, who has not be real truthful thus far says that there is no threats against the coaches….right. Like I am going to believe them. I will believe Drew before anyone with the NFL office.

  16. calv23 says: Jun 27, 2012 11:06 AM

    Anyone remember this nugget from the news on 4/9?

    “Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that he would “consider mitigating the financial penalties” on the various individuals involved “if they embrace the opportunity” to assist in those programs.

    Additionally, the league said it would consider “modifying the forfeiture” of the 2013 second-round pick that the Saints were initially docked by the league.

    It’s worth noting that the suspensions for Payton, Loomis and Vitt do not automatically just “end” — Goodell “will review the status” for all three and “determine their eligibility for reinstatement.”

  17. chatham10 says: Jun 27, 2012 11:20 AM

    The league must be telling a lie because Brees has spoken.

  18. xd2005 says: Jun 27, 2012 12:11 PM

    Actually, Mitch. Brees is currently not under contract, so I’m pretty sure he technically could talk to them if he wanted.

  19. Wisconsin77 says: Jun 27, 2012 12:14 PM

    NFL makes a great counterpoint. Vitt totally obliterates the player’s argument. Game, set, match.

  20. vtopa says: Jun 27, 2012 12:18 PM

    Won’t out be the juiciest read EVER 10 year from now when Goodell is not the Dictator-in-Cahrge of the NFL and Swan Payton and the rest of the coached write a tell-all book? Random House here we come…

  21. bubbasmithguy says: Jun 27, 2012 12:25 PM

    The coaches aren’t talking because they know the truth and have admitted the truth that the bounties were going on. Why don’t these Saints players accept their punishment? They know they are guilty but are acting like teenagers and not accepting responsibility. Maybe the suspensions should be doubled.

  22. tetsuyaryuji says: Jun 27, 2012 12:27 PM

    Wow guys, really..? If Roger was holding something over their head, and they spoke out, and their suspensions were made longer or they were banned what do you think that would do the NFL? They aren’t worried about being punished further, they know they did something wrong and keeping quiet about it, just like the players should. There was a bounty system in NO, yeah, there may have also been a pay for performance there as well but there is no question there was a bounty system in place and to deny that there was just shows how ignorant some of you are. There is clear audio evidence of a bounty system that we’ve all had access to.

  23. thejuddstir says: Jun 27, 2012 12:56 PM

    Stains fans are just as bad as Fajita, Taco Vilma and Burrito Hargrove when it comes to twisting words and playing semantics. Jesse Jackson could claim that he had a dream that the Stains were completely innocent and Stains fans would offer that up as proof. Because Brees “believes” he knows why Stains coaches haven’t spoke out (never mind that Vitt has never shut up), it makes it the gospel truth and Goodell should accept it as such. I believe that after the Vicodin deal, bountygate, continuing to lie about the existence and the covering up of evidence that Payton is realizing that while he may be the king of the Bayou and tell the local media when to jump, he has finally figured out that the NFL is slightly bigger and more powerful and that with everything else he has been a part of, that he may have been reminded that he isn’t so big that he can’t be bought down to size. I don’t recall any other NFL headcoach who has been involved in as many underhanded and illegal activities as Payton and he may have decided that it’s time to take his medicine like a man and to shape up.

  24. gingerkid2000 says: Jun 27, 2012 12:59 PM

    Well here ya go. If Williams and Payton speak out the NFL can’t do anything about it. They can’t stop them and they can’t punish them for it. Aiello is officially on the record as saying they are both free to speak to the press if they want to. Regardless of whether they need to be reinstated or not doesn’t matter. The only thing is stopping them is themselves.

    Which makes me wonder… either the NFL is withholding information about this whole thing that could only benefit the coaches if they keep quiet, in which case it might be a good idea for the players to keep quiet too. Or the coaches are angered at the fact that the players didn’t say or do much in their defense back in March so why should they?

    Or… The simplest answer is usually the right one. It happened. They did it. They tried to cover it up and still did it. They were warned to stop and continued to do it. They tried to appeal and after confronted with the evidence realized that it’s probably better to shut up and take their punishment like men.

  25. cowboycjn says: Jun 27, 2012 1:08 PM

    jenniferxxx says:
    Jun 27, 2012 9:52 AM
    It’s hard to tell if Drew is stupid … malicious … or both. My guess is the word ‘ignoranus’ might be useful, and save bandwidth.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Then this dude:
    tebowsafraud says:
    Jun 27, 2012 9:54 AM
    Brees continues to prove how clueless he is. Does Brees also believe Obama was born in Kenya? How about how 9/11 being an “inside job”? What say you Drew….?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Here you go – right out of another article:
    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.

    So in the real worl of reality – if you made remarks about your boss over a situation on your job (if you two have ever worked), do you think you would be his favorite due for the next big raise? Or on his S – – t list in the future? But then again it takes some common sense to figure this out so I would not be surprised if you can’t by the remarks both of you made.

  26. marcinhouston says: Jun 27, 2012 1:28 PM

    When Williams and Payton were suspended they were forced by Goodell to sign statements they had not read, or face a lifetime ban. If they speak out and happen to contradict anything in those statements that they have not read, Goodell will deny their reinstatement and convert their suspensions to lifetime bans. They are free to talk, but if they speak against the NFL they will just need to find a new career.

  27. pitch87mph says: Jun 27, 2012 1:34 PM

    The obvious difference between Vitt and Williams (and Payton to a certain degree) is that Williams is suspended indefinitely. Vitt knows his term. It’s unlikely the NFL is going to come down even harder on Vitt, due to the perception it’s punishment for speaking out. Williams, however, doesn’t have the same luxury. He NEEDS to the NFL to reinstate him. His suspension is indefinite. So proving the NFL is “punishing” him for speaking out (if he were to speak out) would be difficult–since he’d have to prove that absent speaking out, he would be reinstated. That would be pretty tough. So the reality is that Aiello comparing Vitt to Williams is a red herring. Not comparable situations.

  28. touchdowncolston says: Jun 27, 2012 1:39 PM

    They did it before. Payton was allowed to talk to the team then appeals and now he cant speak to his team or anyone in the nfl.

  29. goodolebaghead says: Jun 27, 2012 2:06 PM

    I’m picturing the hostage answering the door for the cops. Just on the other side of the door, the criminals are pointing a gun at the hostage. Of course the hostage is going to tell the police, “Nothing to see here, officer.” GW and Sean have open ended punishments. The rest don’t. Hence nothing to lose.

  30. daybreaker2 says: Jun 27, 2012 2:21 PM

    @tetsuyaryuji: “Wow guys, really..? If Roger was holding something over their head, and they spoke out, and their suspensions were made longer or they were banned what do you think that would do the NFL?”

    —————

    The NFL would just claim they found some new evidence of Payton breaking some rule, and claim thats why his suspension was increased and had absolutely NOTHING to do with speaking out against the supposed bounty program.

    And people like you would believe them because “Oh gee, hey guys, why would Roger Goodell ever tell a lie?” as if Roger Goodell is somehow a perfect angel, and not someone who got his start in the PR department, which literally figures out the best way to manipulate people into their way of thinking.

  31. bigwalt2990 says: Jun 27, 2012 3:14 PM

    …but then again, people will buy anything, so why give them something…

  32. genericuser8888 says: Jun 27, 2012 4:20 PM

    Goodell said in an interview that if Payton “cooperates” with the league, he stands a chance to make back a decent portion of his $8 million dollar salary.

    Coming out against the league would likely not be seen as cooperating.

  33. raqaiw says: Jun 27, 2012 6:06 PM

    marcinhouston says: Jun 27, 2012 1:28 PM

    When Williams and Payton were suspended they were forced by Goodell to sign statements they had not read, or face a lifetime ban. If they speak out and happen to contradict anything in those statements that they have not read, Goodell will deny their reinstatement and convert their suspensions to lifetime bans. They are free to talk, but if they speak against the NFL they will just need to find a new career.
    _____________________________________________________________

    Statements they haven’t read? Since when did you start working in the Saint’s front office and/or the NFL offices? Stop randomly making things up to suit your point,as you clearly feel the league has done.

  34. acetw says: Jun 27, 2012 7:47 PM

    And this is how we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there were threats involved to keep the coaches silent….

    Because the nfl said there wasn’t.

  35. mrlaloosh says: Jun 27, 2012 9:08 PM

    Jenifferxxx just proves how dumb Panther fans are. Go cook something for your husband/wife.

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