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Goodell disregarded Vitt, Ornstein post-June 18 comments

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[Editor’s note:  The eight-page, single-spaced letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell affirming the suspensions of the four players accused of involvement in the Saints’ bounty program raises several intriguing points, arguments, and circumstances.  We’re breaking them up into separate posts in order to ensure that no one will fall asleep at their desks.]

After the June 18 hearing in the bounty case, two of the key witnesses publicly disputed portions of the evidence on which the NFL relied in making its case.  Interim head coach Joe Vitt reacted aggressively to transcribed typewritten notes attributing to him a $5,000 pledge to the Brett Favre bounty pool prior to the 2009 NFC title game, and Mike Ornstein disputed in an interview with PFT that he “corroborated” Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s pledge of $10,000 to the Favre bounty.

Thereafter, NFLPA lawyer Jeffrey Kessler submitted a letter to the league office regarding the comments from Vitt and Ornstein.

In the July 3 letter upholding the suspensions, Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed — and ultimately dismissed — the comments from Vitt and Ornstein.

Vitt’s comments regarding the contents of the notes of the Favre bounty pledge amounts called into question the overall credibility of the notes, which also document the alleged $10,000 offer from Vilma.  Goodell says that the “exhibit reflects the handwritten notes of an eyewitness to the meeting at which Mr. Vilma made the pledge regarding Favre; it is fully consistent with what three witnesses told NFL Security about Mr. Vilma’s statements at the meeting.”

In other words, Goodell is taking the position that because three people corroborated the contents of the notes as to Vilma, the presence of a major flaw in the notes gave the NFL no concern whatsoever about the overall reliability of the notes.

The three witnesses to whom Goodell’s letter refers were former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, an unnamed witness (possibly the person who made the notes), and Ornstein, who has since said he never said Vilma pledged any money to the Favre bounty.  In response to Ornstein’s remarks, Goodell explains that “at least two other credible witnesses confirmed that Vilma made such an offer.”

That’s fine, but before Ornstein told PFT — unequivocally and repeatedly and at times profanely — that he didn’t tell the NFL that Vilma pledged money to a bounty on Favre, the NFL considered Ornstein to be a credible witness.

With Williams not talking publicly (rumors continue to persist that he nearly did, but that he was blocked by his lawyer) and with the other witness still unknown, it’s impossible to determine whether the league’s representations regarding the versions supplied by these other two “credible witnesses” contain a flaw similar to the one that Ornstein’s version now contains.

In short, Vitt’s comments were disregarded because three witnesses confirmed Vilma’s pledge of $10,000 to the Favre bounty, and the comments from one of those three witnesses were disregarded because, well, there are still two other witnesses.  And, based on the tone and content of the July 3 letter, no apparent effort has been made by the league office to re-confirm that Williams and the unnamed witness will continue to stick by their guns, even after Ornstein publicly has said that the league has gotten it all wrong.

And that’s why it’s critical to get to the truth, no matter what the truth may be.

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45 Responses to “Goodell disregarded Vitt, Ornstein post-June 18 comments”
  1. akhhorus says: Jul 6, 2012 7:55 AM

    Williams and Peyton(and the Saints) admit to the bounty program and are free to leak(if not speak publicly) to the media that they were forced into “false” confessions over this scandal. Until they do, all this is just moving around deckchairs on the Saints’ titanic to try and obfuscate the issue in the press which some blogs are pushing, probably for hits.

  2. tomnickle says: Jul 6, 2012 8:01 AM

    Still reserving judgement on the entire bounty case until all of this evidence comes out, but with each passing day the league looks less credible and the Saints less guilty.

  3. adlent says: Jul 6, 2012 8:05 AM

    While I think the bounty investigation is largely a sham and was poorly orchestrated and that Goodell showed very little foresight in being the end of the appeals process, I, at the same time, do not find it that credible when witnesses vehemently contradict evidence once their name leaks out. How many times have we watched people accused of taking steroids, or some other issue, stringently defend themselves only to have the accusations proven.

    Maybe this is a case of a bunch of circumstantial evidence being overblown and the “pay for performance” incentives being recast as a bounty system. Or… maybe there really was a bounty system. At this point, it just feels like we will never actually know the truth and the general public can’t trust the Saints players or Roger Goodell.

  4. atwatercrushesokoye says: Jul 6, 2012 8:16 AM

    Make it stop! If everyone just agrees that these guys are being framed and that they just played hard and that the pay for performance scheme was nothing and that any and all evidence is null and void cause they dispute it all through the media and if we promise to use eaux instead of O and if promise to use nonsensical words together like “who dat” can it all just go away?

    Maybe just lift the suspensions and let the players police themselves by putting in a league wide “pay for performance” plan, $10k for whoever takes out Vilma’s knee, $5k for Hargrove getting carted off etc. the only problem is the Saints probably will do it themselves in training camp practices.

  5. duanethomas says: Jul 6, 2012 8:17 AM

    Hasnt Ornstein gone to prison twice for lying and thief? No wonder Goodell said “two other credible witnesses”. Vitt, Wiliams, Ornstein, Payton and The Saints organization are not credible.

  6. thedownwardspiral says: Jul 6, 2012 8:17 AM

    The best thing about this whole sham is when the tyrant Goodell has to pass the Lombardi trophy to the Saints after SB XLVI… in NOLA.

  7. zaggs says: Jul 6, 2012 8:19 AM

    Do judges take post testimony comments of guilty parties under advisement? No? Exactly.

  8. bigball1 says: Jul 6, 2012 8:23 AM

    Obviously I have no way of knowing why Roger Goodell decided to target these 4 players. It really now appears that no one including possibly him self does. I could only guess that he felt that somebody (players) had to be made example of and these were as good as any…..problem is, it is unfair. If not for the video they thought they had on Hargrove, what would single him out from other D linemen? If not for Fujita having caused friction regarding safety issues during the lockout, what would single him out from other LB’ers and safeties? He was there only 1 year of the stated 3. Except for this alledged $10K pledge, what would single Vilma out, and for an entire season? Please! And really on Smith, “I got nothing!” This was an organizational issue and the responsibility lies with the teachers, not the students.

  9. mdd913 says: Jul 6, 2012 8:24 AM

    How nice for Mr. Goodell that he can simply disregard any facts or testimony that don’t serve his purpose.

  10. qdog112 says: Jul 6, 2012 8:33 AM

    It’s pretty clear to anyone smarter than a 5th grader, that the conclusion was drawn, which required evidence that tends to support it. That so called evidence, no matter how flimsy, was leaked to influence public opinion. Now, the NFL is trying desperately to “backhoe”to fill in the holes and they look really stupid doing it.

  11. stew48 says: Jul 6, 2012 8:48 AM

    If this analysis is correct, and it seems to be, there is no doubt an injunction will be given. No judge in a sane mind would want someone severely punished based on such incomplete and questionable statements as the NFL has done.

  12. jsprunner says: Jul 6, 2012 9:09 AM

    Not a Saints fan, and I have no sympathy for the coaches and management who blew their opportunity to get out of this unscathed back in 2010 during the initial investigation. But it sure looks like the players are absolutely getting railroaded.

    Just my $0.02….

  13. ratedgap says: Jul 6, 2012 9:19 AM

    akhhorus says:
    Jul 6, 2012 7:55 AM
    Williams and Peyton(and the Saints) admit to the bounty program

    ————————————————

    Uh, at no point did this happen. Unlike the NFL, please stick to the facts.

  14. bearnmind says: Jul 6, 2012 9:24 AM

    I just don’t understand. Is the evidence that the NFL presented to the players the only evidence they have??? If it is it really doesn’t appear to be enough to support the allegations. If there is more then they need to end this and just show it. But if this is all there is….makes you wonder how credible the evidence was against the coaches who don’t have a CBA. And for the last time the coaches did not admit to a pay to injure program…Williams admitted to a pay for performance which seems to be backed up by the deductions for mental errors. Not to mention there doesn’t appear to be any evidence anyone ever took money. I’m no fan of Williams but as best as I recall he didn’t even write his statement …the NFL did. At this point I hope the players get this in court. I’m concerned about what Gooddell will do the next team or player when he feels the need to protect the owners from another lawsuit.

  15. tniceman says: Jul 6, 2012 9:27 AM

    I truly believe that Roger Goodell (RG1) has the best interests of the game at heart.

    However, it does appear that the public evidence does not support the charges, and more importantly, does not support why some players were punished while others were not.

    I think that RG1 has more evidence, that it is overwhelming, and if released publicly, will do harm to the game. It may show that everyone is doing pay-for-injury. They may even be concerned about “management’s” role in a pay-for-injury scheme in an era of concussion lawsuits.

    Regardless, I think RG1 is holding back because we cannot handle the truth. Release of the evidence would harm the game far more than the current “tainted” suspensions.

    RG1 is an attorney; not a flashy attorney, but a corporate type. That type is well-known for being able to keep their mouth shut to support a strategy. And I believe that strategy is to avoid public release of evidence that will harm the game.

  16. mulefunk says: Jul 6, 2012 9:35 AM

    This is just like Goodell’s investigation into Roethlisberger. The “NFL” supposedly interviewed Steelers who said that Roethlisberger was a horrible teammate but when the Steeler players read those comments they said no one interviewed a player.

    It’s a reason why the Steelers are the only team NOT to endorse the CBA. They have been making evidence out of thin air.

  17. asylumguido says: Jul 6, 2012 9:43 AM

    akhhorus says: Jul 6, 2012 7:55 AM

    Williams and Peyton(and the Saints) admit to the bounty program and are free to leak(if not speak publicly) to the media that they were forced into “false” confessions over this scandal. Until they do, all this is just moving around deckchairs on the Saints’ titanic to try and obfuscate the issue in the press which some blogs are pushing, probably for hits.

    ———————————————–

    Sorry, but you are absolutely wrong about this. No one has admitted anything of the kind. Williams admitted there was a pay for performance program going on. The is no doubt of that. Payton (note the correct spelling) and Loomis apologized for whatever was going on under their watch. Neither said anything about a “bounty” program. To date the only person that has stated that a bounty system existed is Roger Goodell.

  18. montsta says: Jul 6, 2012 9:54 AM

    What gets me is people say it wasn’t a bounty system, it was an overblown pay for performance system. They are both illegal, and suspensions are allowed for either. It’s like telling a traffic judge I didn’t run the red light, and I know that for a fact because I floored it to speed through the yellow one. Why am I the only one that is bothered by the constant nonchalance whenever the pay for performance system is mentioned?

  19. mdd913 says: Jul 6, 2012 9:57 AM

    zaggs says: Jul 6, 2012 8:19 AM

    Do judges take post testimony comments of guilty parties under advisement? No? Exactly.

    ——————————————————————-

    Do judges leak one-sided info to the media before the case is even decided? Do judges only produce evidence behind closed doors to hand-picked members of the media? Do judges admit that evidence does not prove a party is guilty, then say it doesn’t matter and punish that party anyway.

    C’mon, if you’re going to use this analogy you have to go the whole way.

  20. daknight93 says: Jul 6, 2012 10:02 AM

    Goodell will not change his mind cause he’s too blinded and closed minded to see that he has made huge mistakes and it’s obvious the players are getting screwed. Goodell’s image in the media/public would be shattered if he loses this case against players.

  21. blogspotsblog says: Jul 6, 2012 10:17 AM

    But the initial investigation was about BOUNTIES. If there were no bounties being placed on opposing players, then how did the coaches lie? They admitted to Pay for performance, not pay for injury. If you are told to stop something that is not going on, then how are you lying. Also, one of gregg williams associates who was present in the interview said that gregg never admitted to a bounty system and that he never mentioned anything about jonathin vilma. But under the terms of suspension, williams is not allowed to contact the media or anyone in the nfl about the investigation. Also, there were no notes from the interview presented as evidence. So we have to wonder did the league even record or take notes in the interview. if they didnt, then how is the nfl supposed to expect people to belive them, especially after the shoddy way that they have conducted the investigation, and after the fact that out of all the evidence that they presented, only 10% had any relevance. And none of it showed pay for injury, just pay for performance. And the note that they showed, contained major flaws in it that the nfl has admitted to. So one witness is not allowed to contact the media (or give any information contradicting the nfl) and the other is unknown, and is possibly a disgruntled employee with a huge grudge against the organization. And the allegation that the notes were created LONG after the nfccg. Not to mention, I stated above that one of gregg william’s associates who was present durin the interview said that commisionar intentiaonaly misreprestned the info that they were given and intentionaly shaped it to fit in their puzzle. And it seems like the league is throwing out anyone who does not agree with their side. And since gregg’s suspension can be extended if he violates the terms, he is not allowed to go to the media or contradict the nfl’s story. The nfl has taken half truths and hearsay as complete gospel. The have also prevented suspended coaches from speaking against the investigation and they have refused to provide notes from the interview or make witnesses available for cross examination, and has relied on the testimony of a disgrunteld emplyee who holds a grudge against the organization and has reason to lie and fabricate evidence. Think about it

  22. terrycarlsonii says: Jul 6, 2012 10:28 AM

    This whole discussion is really starting to become annoying. People are implying that the Saint’s are getting hosed by the NFL & Goddell. That raises the question, how does the NFL benefit by scr@wing New Orleans? The answer is , it doesn’t. This whole thing is a black eye on the league, and they are dealing with it. The only people who think the Saints are being wronged are die hard NO fans and people who live in trailers, have seen bigfoot, black helicopters, UFO’s, and love them a good conspiracy.

  23. foreverlsu says: Jul 6, 2012 10:30 AM

    @montsta

    There is a huge difference between a bounty system and pay for performance and if you can’t understand that you need to go back to fifth grade. Do you really think Sean Payton would be suspended for lying about the existence of a pay for performance system? Really?

    Show me quotes of a bounty system from anyone other than Roger Goodell.

    Show me the illegal hits on Brett Favre. Do any of you really think the Vikings weren’t trying to knock out Drew Brees in the same game? Obviously, the Saints line held up just a little bit better that night.

    Get over it Vikings fans, there will be no asterisk on that Super Bowl win for the Saints as they did nothing to gain an unfair advantage that game or in that season. You’re reaching and you know it.

  24. mulefunk says: Jul 6, 2012 10:44 AM

    blogspotsblog that’s the same thing that occured with Roethlisberger.

    The evidence exonerated Roethlisberger a week after the alleged incident yet NFL Network,TMZ,Sports Illustrated, continued to hold that some crime was committed. Then a sleezy DA has a press conference in an election year condemning “sin” the in the last of a 15 minute speech says that we won’t charge him with anything. That’s a SMEAR campaign. Then the NFLN and these other bootleg media outlets act like the NFL version of Pravda and the accused person cannot say anything in their defense.

  25. sdisme says: Jul 6, 2012 10:50 AM

    mulefunk says:Jul 6, 2012 9:35 AM

    This is just like Goodell’s investigation into Roethlisberger. The “NFL” supposedly interviewed Steelers who said that Roethlisberger was a horrible teammate but when the Steeler players read those comments they said no one interviewed a player.

    It’s a reason why the Steelers are the only team NOT to endorse the CBA. They have been making evidence out of thin air.

    —————————————————-

    6 months ago I would not have believed you.

  26. footballrealist says: Jul 6, 2012 10:50 AM

    People….it is not uncommon for people to lie to protect their names and reputations once light has been shone on something they thought was private.

    The Saints were investigated in 2009….why? Because something was happening. The GM sent a message to coaches to ‘stop’…why? Because something was going on!

    The NFL has a process which THE PLAYERS AGREED TO!!!! and it does not require the same standard of burden of proof, nor does it result in criminal charges.

    If the NFL has 100% proof that there was a pay for performance system AND they released it, there could severe consequences with respect to team salaries and salary CAP, income tax laws, and possibly criminal charges.

    If the NFL has 100% proof of a pay for injury system…AND they released it…the players involved would become vulnerable to law suits from the victims.

    The people who are guilty have painted themselves as victims….and the media is helping them.

    Watch the Packers Saints game….they were hitting Favre late, low, and often with a clear intent to knock him out of the game.

    I can see where Saints fans might be too myopic to see the truth…but it is clear as day that the Saints were continuing to something they denied was happening in 2009…and they got caught.

  27. swampdog4life says: Jul 6, 2012 11:38 AM

    @ footballrealist…..

    You are coo coo for coca puffs! And ignorant on the facts of this case as well as the reality of the situation the NFL is in. Absent a motive in a Utopian society, you might at least make since. But you are not focused on the facts and those like you are just as gullible in your trust of the NFL and RG that you would probably swallow anything given to you blind folded in a gutter without hesitation if RG, the NFL Network or ESPN was holding the spoon!

    This is really beyond me how stupid people can be!

    This issue goes beyond football at this point! If you talk to most Saints Fans, we’d say we aren’t overly concerned about the absence of JV for the year or even Will Smith for a few games. It would be nice to have them play, but our team is still going to be strong. The big problem comes from not having Peyton, but it seems he’s got his own issues to focus on so we’ll find a way to function absent him, too.

    The issue is about money! The league is fighting a Concussion lawsuit and needs to appear strong on the issue of player safety in light of the words of Greg Williams. Their was never a bounty system, and always a pay for performance system. However, there was also a rhetoric that GW spoke with that fired us up, made us laugh and encouraged extremely competitive play that included clean hard hits. Did it also include hits that could take a player out of the game mentally and or physically, “YES”. That’s what defensive players are paid to do! Football is a modern day gladiator sport. If you consider that cheating, you are mistaken. The only thing wrong was the money part, but that’s no different than a college team giving out helmet stickers for good performance, or an Offensive Line being taken to dinner by the QB and/or RB as a reward. All teams do it.

    Lets just say it was a “Bounty” system…..

    Would you believe the players are soo stupid to collect on a $200, $1500, or $10,000 bounty, if only to be fined $25,000 – $50,000 by RG if they are penalized by the league AND get a penalty on the field… all for taking your brother out (football players are like a Fraternity of sorts)? Does that make any freaking sense? Of course not! So the players must be stupid right?

    RG says he told them to stop for years… okay, stop what? PFP? or GW’s Comments against player safety…. not that can be documented. Peyton tried to silence GW on many occasions, he even gave him a jar of Peanut Butter before the SB Media day…

    However, If RG didn’t come down hard on the saints for the rhetoric and accusations from a disgruntled coach, this could have also played into the hands of the Concussion lawsuit as an example of the league not protecting players safety… lol.

    But the bottom line, is the evidence provided is weak and really not evidence at all. The only thing we know for sure is that there was a pay for performance system in place… the same one that GW has used at every team he coached on and one that is similarly ran on every team in the NFL and on College and HS teams to a lesser degree.

    Finally, as a Saints fan, and as a regular fan of the game, I agree that these players shouldn’t need any more monetary insensitive to perform their jobs. They’re already getting paid good money, even to sit on the bench. But I understand that men will be men and boys will be boys. Those young guys will always make side bets to encourage good play and this will never go away.

  28. jsotis76 says: Jul 6, 2012 11:38 AM

    montsta says: Jul 6, 2012 9:54 AM

    What gets me is people say it wasn’t a bounty system, it was an overblown pay for performance system. They are both illegal, and suspensions are allowed for either. It’s like telling a traffic judge I didn’t run the red light, and I know that for a fact because I floored it to speed through the yellow one. Why am I the only one that is bothered by the constant nonchalance whenever the pay for performance system is mentioned?

    —–

    if payton is being suspended for telling gooddell there was no pay-to-injure program, and there was no pay-to-injure program, then payton was suspended for telling the truth.

  29. blogspotsblog says: Jul 6, 2012 11:40 AM

    @sdisme
    Lol. you noticed that too. And in the saints -VIKINGS game, Favre was hit 16 times. and out of those 16 hits, the nfl itself and offiating cheif mike pereria after review of the game confirmed that ther were only two late ones. Even the announces said that “all of the hits that favre have taken, other than a couple, have been all clean”. and when he said “with intent to knock him out” I wanted to ask him “So everytime a quarterback gets hit hard and legally (which the league itself confirmed when they confirmed that only two of the hits were late), that means that they are trying to to take him out?” people are to close minded to realize what a sham this whole thing is. Go RAIDERS, Silver And Black 4ever

  30. neilnixon says: Jul 6, 2012 12:02 PM

    terrycarlsonii says:

    This whole discussion is really starting to become annoying. People are implying that the Saint’s are getting hosed by the NFL & Goddell. That raises the question, how does the NFL benefit by scr@wing New Orleans? The answer is , it doesn’t. This whole thing is a black eye on the league, and they are dealing with it. The only people who think the Saints are being wronged are die hard NO fans and people who live in trailers, have seen bigfoot, black helicopters, UFO’s, and love them a good conspiracy.

    ——————————————–
    You are aware that the NFL is being sued by thousands of former players for essentially not being sensitive to player safety issues, right???? Don’t you think there could be a tiny bit of a connection there???

    It’s funny that people always ask “why would the NFL do this?” but never contemplate the other side: Why would the players continue to insist they didn’t do it and demand evidence? If you’re guilty, why would you keep it in the public spotlight and demand that everyone see the proof that you are guilty? Got an answer to that one??? It a man is cheating on his wife he doesn’t say “hey honey check my cell phone records, my email accounts and credit card statements” does he??

    To me, another real indication of Goodell wanting to stick it to the Saints is taking away the draft picks. What do draft picks have to do with “Bounty Gate” anyway???? Williams supposedly set this up: he’s suspended. Payton, Loomis, Vitt let it go on: suspended. Smith, Williams, Fajita, Vilma…suspended!!!

    Why should the Commissioner hurt the on-field future of the team for past actions when he’s already penalized…very harshly…those who did the dirty deeds? There’s at least 35 other players on that team that weren’t involved, so why penalize them…or the fans (who still have to pay full price for their tickets) by taking away draft picks and potentially hurting the team’s future performance? Affecting the competitive balance of the league is WAY BEYOND what a Commissioner should be able to do.

    It’s like a high school suspending your kid for bad behavior and then trying to garnish the parent’s future wages.

    Other than vindictiveness and Goodell wanting to make sure the team’s future performance is impacted as much as possible, can somebody PLEASE somebody enlighten me with the rationale for taking away future draft picks for past actions when you’ve already harshly penalized those responsble?

  31. bushwoodcc says: Jul 6, 2012 12:26 PM

    To all of you claiming that Payton and Loomis never admitted to a bounty program….you are wrong. They did admit to it, they just did not use the word in the admission.

    From the ESPN story when Payton and Loomis apologized…’Payton and Loomis also said New Orleans owner Tom Benson “had nothing to do” with the bounty pool.
    “We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility,” they said.’

    “We acknowledge the violations disclosed by the NFL…We take full responsibility.” Translation: we admit that we did what the NFL said we did.

  32. eaglesfan290 says: Jul 6, 2012 12:30 PM

    When the Saints, it’s Management, and Coaching staff all have said the bounty system did exist the players don’t have a leg to stand on in this regard.

    Now to the point that they had to play in the system that existed I agree with that. I don’t see how as a player you have any choice but to buy into the system that coaches teach. I also agree with the selective prosecution argument, It’s logical to conclude that if the system existed everyone on the defense was part of the system. Now why only 4 players are being suspended this is a good question. I also question the punishment of players it seem very arbitrary. Punishment should be swift, firm, and fair. I don’t really see the process or punishment as fair this seem more about a position on player safety so the league creates some legal insulation in future cases.

    I think it might be time to set up an independent committee of former player and coaches that looks at cases like this and hands out punishment.

  33. mackie66 says: Jul 6, 2012 12:35 PM

    Are there no ex-FBI agents working in NFL security? Why isnt one of these ex-agents leading this investigation? One should investigate this case as tho it was a criminal case. Goodell has no P/C or probably cause to affect and arrest soooooo. If three witnessess give an exact same statement, and later that statement is deemed tainted, then all three witness statements should disregarded. Cant taint one with out tainting the other. There is simply no evidence to prosecute this case. I know the constitution isnt in play here, but the accused have a right to stand and face his accusers, which aint the NFL. Someone has ratted out the Saints coaching staff and players, and they should have the right to face whoever squealed. And I dont believe the “whistle blower” is in place either. The NFL owners need to give “dictator for life” Goodell a physic evaluation.

  34. hey804 says: Jul 6, 2012 12:49 PM

    @footballrealist

    “If the NFL has 100% proof of a pay for injury system…AND they released it…the players involved would become vulnerable to law suits from the victims.”

    What victims?

  35. blogspotsblog says: Jul 6, 2012 12:55 PM

    @jsotis76
    Exactly. and the “give me my money” quote could have been reffering to the HUGE check that they get for going to the super bowl. At that point, he felt like it was over and that they were going to win the game. So it was no different than saying “give me my check” or “write my check” or ” oh yeah, time to sign that check” or “oh yeah, time to get that money” or “Its time to get paid” or “oh yeah, we won time to give me my money or “its over give my money”. Just another of expressing his feelings that he is sure that they are going to win now. the reason that the nfl did not consider this is because it did not fit into their agenda. And unitl they know who said it, we can only assume why it was said. And in a case like this, their is NO room for assumption, their can only be facts, not opinion. Expressing that he really wants that check, and is looking foward to that $40,000.00 check for going to the super bowl. he is expressing that he really wants that bonus check and feels like they are going to get it.

  36. crubenst says: Jul 6, 2012 12:59 PM

    We already know the truth. The Saints had a system to pay players to injure other players. Now, if the players want to claim there was no system at all, they’re blatantly lying. If they want to claim the coaches were to blame and they should get off, then go meet with Goodell and tell him that to his face.

    Why is everyone so surprised that the players got suspended and the suspensions were upheld. The players never mounted a defense. Public outcry is NOT a defense. Meet with Goodell and defend yourself. You can’t rip the system if you didn’t participate in it. You were essentially convicted in abstentia.

  37. grogantomorgan says: Jul 6, 2012 1:06 PM

    …. an unnamed witness (possibly the person who made the notes), and Ornstein, who has since said he never said Vilma pledged any money to the Favre bounty

    _________________________________

    Well then it must be true ! j/k

    All of a sudden Ornstein is a “credible” source as to what did or didn’t happen. Please this is an insult to everyones intelligence. The mere fact that you set it to print in this articule, brings into question your credibility.

  38. swampdog4life says: Jul 6, 2012 1:06 PM

    @Bushwoodcc

    Man… here we go again…. quoting ESPN. SMH!

    People, ESPN and others that are doing sh!ttay reporting are all misguiding the public of the facts. True reporters don’t summarize quotes without () stating what they are implying. Nobody… absolutely nobody has admitted to a Bounty Program! Everyone will readily admit to a Pay for Performance System and a cash pool that was accrued by collecting money from players for in house fines for various infractions on and off the field. That money was then used to motivate players to perform and collect! The use of the Bounty Hunter rhetoric was only because of the nature of GW and his coaching mentality. Most defensive players would love to play for him because he allowed players to play aggressively and encouraged an old school tensity!

    SP and ML took full responsibility because… they “are” fully responsible. They hired him, they knew about his PFP system and I believe that if the players fund it and not the team, its 100% legal to do. They aren’t betting, they’re just encouraging good play!

    For those who think we targeted Farve or Warner or anybody else…. well, um HELL YEAH! Every Defense targets the best offensive player on the opposing team! Why do you have scouting reports! What do you think goes on during the week when the team is preparing for the next game! You people must not have ever played football outside of peewee or madden or 2k10. Get a clue and stop being a tool!

  39. mdd913 says: Jul 6, 2012 1:12 PM

    Are there no ex-FBI agents working in NFL security? Why isnt one of these ex-agents leading this investigation?

    ———————————————————

    There was an ex-FBI agent leading the investigation, except – get this – he resigned suddenly.

    Bet you’d like to know why, huh? I sure would.

  40. blogspotsblog says: Jul 6, 2012 1:15 PM

    @bushwoodcc
    He acknowleged later that he would keep a closer eye on things next time. And besides, he is the head coach, he says he takes responsibilty for not keeping a better eye on things. they said that they did not keep a close eye on things like they should have. No where does he say that “WE HAD A BOUNTY SYSTEM” Nowhere does he say that they had the program. And when he says that they acknowleged the violations, it just means that they are aware of what they have been accused of. They are just saying that they did not moniter williams like they knew that they should have when he started talking crazy. And that statement was released in the first week of march. Payton said at the appeals that he never lied to the investigators. And he was suspended for “not knowing what was going on” since he was the coach. In other words he said that they did not keep check on things or as goodell said “lack of institutional control”. It was not an admission of guilt. then he later says that he did not know that there was a boutnty system. and as it turns out THERE WAS NO BOUNTY SYTEM, JUST PAY FOR PERFORMANCE. Have you even seen the evidence when they released it. only 10% was even relevent and none of it showed pay for injury. And they were apoligizing to mr benson because they did not do their job and did not keep an eye on things like they should have and that he had nothing to do with anything that went on in the locker room. And im sure this will go right over your head but the coaches statements were written for them by the nfl. the nfl prepared a statement for them to read that was not their actual words. The NFL shaped their statements to what they wanted it to sound like and then told the coaches that if they cooparate then he might go easy on them. So they pretty much just had to go with it. The way that they “let it take place” is because they did not do their job and moniter things the way they should have. they allowed it to happen by not keeping an eye on things. Learn the facts before you post

  41. giantsfanlewis says: Jul 6, 2012 1:19 PM

    Everyone seems so tied up on this evidence that’s been leaked. Let me ask you this. If you had appeal hearings but knew those who were going were likely going to walk out or disregard the process and take the case to court, would you leak the best evidence for the appeals that mean nothing? No you would save it for the trial if it gets that far. I am not saying this is what the NFL is doing but they seem to be doing everything else right where as the players are making mistake after mistake. I’m betting the NFL does have a smoking gun but would rather not release it til I have to. So yes the NFL is looking bad by not giving out all the evidence but is being smart in the process

  42. mrpowers88 says: Jul 6, 2012 4:46 PM

    So these guys say one thing in private, and when there is a negative backlash to what they said, they start saying something different publicly?

    Peer Pressure exists in all walks of life I guess

  43. whodatgirl1 says: Jul 7, 2012 12:37 AM

    This is beyond sad…

    Goodell is saying that what these two men are saying–and, to me, is confirming–is the truth and it doesn’t matter because they have “other” witnesses. hmmm….let me guess who those two other witnesses are? Gregg and Blake Williams?

    Time to speak up…

    Oh, and another thing, the reason that the Saints were originally invesitigated was because Brad Childress went to the NFL after a player told him that another player told that player that Hargrove told him there was a bounty on Brett Favre.

    The supposed player who was told by Hargrove of any such bounty vehemently denies ever having any such conversation with Hargrove.

    Sounds to me like a little bit of hearsay…

  44. jacksprat57 says: Jul 7, 2012 1:44 AM

    “RG1 is an attorney; not a flashy attorney, but a corporate type. That type is well-known for being able to keep their mouth shut to support a strategy.” –tniceman

    No, he’s none of the above. He’s the son of a U.S. Senator from NY, with a bachelor’s in economics, who joined the NFL one year after graduation. First, this favorite son was an intern FOR Tagliabue, then a P.R. flack, who has since spent 31 years at the league’s HQ. He’s a career bureaucrat who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, for crying out loud.

  45. jacksprat57 says: Jul 7, 2012 2:12 AM

    crubenst: It is impossible to mount a defense without having access to the facts by which one was convicted.

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