Skip to content

Brees submits affidavit in Vilma litigation

Drew+Brees+Jonathan+Vilma+Pl-Sj-t4LKxm Getty Images

After weeks of offering periodic commentary regarding the allegations of a bounty program maintained for three years by the Saints, quarterback Drew Brees has taken a direct, active role in the effort to block the suspension of his teammate, linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

In an affidavit submitted in connection with Vilma’s effort to overturn his suspension and, more immediately, to delay the suspension until the litigation concludes, Brees explains that Vilma should not be suspended.

Largely meaningless as to most of the legal issues that will determine whether the suspension is delayed and/or overturned, Brees’ affidavit has arguable relevance as to one of the specific factors for issuing an injunction against the suspension pending resolution of the lawsuit:  the public interest.

At paragraph 3 of the affidavit, a copy of which PFT has obtained, Brees says that the suspension prevents Vilma from “continuing to fulfill the leadership position he has assumed with our team since 2008, as one of the Defensive Team Captains since 2009, and off the field as mentor to young players and in the community.”  At paragraph 9, Brees says that Vilma “has also exhibited a dedication to helping the New Orleans community recover from Katrina and its economic struggles.”  At paragraph 10, Brees says that Vilma’s suspension “will have a significant impact on our team and within our community.”

It’s unknown whether the affidavit will help Vilma delay or ultimately avoid a suspension.  But it can’t hurt.

The affidavit also touches on the semantics-driven heart of the bounty dispute.  At paragraph 8, Brees says, “It is my understanding that Mr. Goodell has accused members of our defense, including Jonathan, of engaging in a pay to injure program that involved offering financial incentives to teammates to intentionally injure opposing players.”

While the league arguably has overstated the allegations from time to time for P.R. purposes, the suspensions flow from offering financial incentives to apply good, clean, legal hits in a way that result in injury.  There’s no specific intent to injure; the intent is to apply good, clean, legal hits.  If a good, clean, legal hit kept the person who absorbs the good, clean, legal hit from playing, then the player delivering the hit received extra money for a “cart-off” (if the player returned to the game later) or a “knockout” (if he didn’t return at all).

Brees is smart enough to know this.  He’s also smart enough to know that, unless and until the league is willing to embrace the debate that would result from a clear, unequivocal explanation that suspensions were imposed for a system that encouraged players simply to do the jobs they already were paid to do (i.e., apply good, clean, legal hits), Brees’ skewed explanation of the allegations won’t be challenged.

Permalink 43 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
43 Responses to “Brees submits affidavit in Vilma litigation”
  1. chatham10 says: Jul 21, 2012 3:05 PM

    Brees took care of himself first (team leader) and now is going full blast to help his team, what a guy.

  2. skoobyfl says: Jul 21, 2012 3:07 PM

    I wonder if the injured hit recepients share DB’s opinion.

  3. kodakinvegas says: Jul 21, 2012 3:09 PM

    Absolutely STUPID. Judge is gonna get pi$$3G at all the BS paperwork flying across his desk. Has NO bearing whatsoever upon the letter of the law

  4. joekain says: Jul 21, 2012 3:15 PM

    “Well said; “There’s no specific intent to injure; the intent is to apply good, clean, legal hits (within the rules of the game).”

    – if the league has a problem with coaches/players paying their guys some extra money for doing their job, they should just say so. But they can’t…

  5. geauxsaintsforever says: Jul 21, 2012 3:24 PM

    So the more this drags on, it’s becoming more and more apparent that this is really just a salary cap violation, which of course should result in players and coaches being suspended for an entire season (heavy sarcasm).

    Who Dat!

  6. pftstory says: Jul 21, 2012 3:25 PM

    So people are not going to recover from Katrina if Vilma is suspended?
    Let’s pretend the bounty issue didn’t happen. Does that mean the Saints could not trade Vilma if they wanted because it would hurt people recovering from Katrina?

    If the people of New Orleans continue to point to Katrina and the need to recover from it over EVERY perceived or real slight. they will never recover from Katrina.

  7. mojosmagic says: Jul 21, 2012 3:30 PM

    I will be submitting Affidavit that clearly states 99.9% of NHL fans don’t give a flying F*ck about this BS.

  8. thebarkexpress says: Jul 21, 2012 3:35 PM

    “Brees says that the suspension prevents Vilma from “continuing to fulfill the leadership position he has assumed with our team ….”

    I didn’t realize they changed the team name to the New Orleans Vilmas.

  9. larryjames836 says: Jul 21, 2012 3:38 PM

    Down in the BIG EASY the WHODAT’SNATION we helps one another our team is one of the best teams in the league as QB Drew Brees is doing what he suppose to do. Keep bring the pressure someone is going to listen sooner are later you stand for what is right don’t set down on a lie when you knows its a lie. Keep fighting until someone will want to know the truth the NFL want to pull the Saints down so they want focus on the Super Bowl. Drew Brees has a big job in front of him but he must keep the team focus on the game, I know Vilma is a part of the Saints team to but we can’t let the NFL commissioner pull us down.

  10. kwgator says: Jul 21, 2012 3:42 PM

    Brees you got paid …. Now please go away

  11. jarredhero says: Jul 21, 2012 3:43 PM

    What about other guys suspended that dont play for the saints anymore? Oh yeah, he doesn’t care. If Vilma were on a different team he would say the players deserved their punishment. I cannot stand this guy anymore.

  12. njsteelersfan says: Jul 21, 2012 3:47 PM

    larryjames836 says:Jul 21, 2012 3:38 PM

    Down in the BIG EASY the WHODAT’SNATION we helps one another our team is one of the best teams in the league as QB Drew Brees is doing what he suppose to do. Keep bring the pressure someone is going to listen sooner are later you stand for what is right don’t set down on a lie when you knows its a lie. Keep fighting until someone will want to know the truth the NFL want to pull the Saints down so they want focus on the Super Bowl. Drew Brees has a big job in front of him but he must keep the team focus on the game, I know Vilma is a part of the Saints team to but we can’t let the NFL commissioner pull us down.
    ——————————————–
    Well maybe Vilma can help out with the schooling down there with his time off God knows they need it .

  13. njsteelersfan says: Jul 21, 2012 3:51 PM

    Hey Brees He would have alot more time to help out the community if he’s not playing don’t ya think .

  14. be4bama says: Jul 21, 2012 3:51 PM

    What’s the NHL??? (wink wink)

  15. mrpowers88 says: Jul 21, 2012 3:56 PM

    “Brees says that the suspension prevents Vilma from ‘continuing to fulfill the leadership position he has assumed with our team since 2008…'”

    Funny- because the thought the signings of Lofton and Hawthorne did that

  16. 49erstim says: Jul 21, 2012 3:58 PM

    Drew just does not get it. Somebody should explain it to him again. Ugh.

    None of that rambling says “Vilma didn’t do anything”. Why? Because he is GUILTY!

    @larryjames836….that is just precious. I remember my first beer.

  17. TxGrown says: Jul 21, 2012 3:59 PM

    larryjames836 says:
    ” …but we can’t let the NFL commissioner pull us down.”
    ======================================================
    They are capable of doing it themselves.

  18. 1075thefan says: Jul 21, 2012 3:59 PM

    Even Bono thinks Drew Brees is a douche

  19. 3octaveFart says: Jul 21, 2012 4:12 PM

    mojosmagic says:
    Jul 21, 2012 3:30 PM
    “I will be submitting Affidavit that clearly states 99.9% of NHL fans don’t give a flying F*ck about this BS.”

    Yeah, I can certainly understand why hockey fans wouldn’t be interested…

  20. brownsfn says: Jul 21, 2012 4:19 PM

    Stay out of it big mouth!!

  21. nflfan555 says: Jul 21, 2012 4:22 PM

    I would be embarrassed to be a Saints fan after all the crying, whining and acting like completely selfish donks!!!

  22. bigassbiscuit says: Jul 21, 2012 4:23 PM

    Brees has turned out to be a first class ahole.

  23. nflfan555 says: Jul 21, 2012 4:26 PM

    May now be most hated sports team in the world!!!!

  24. silentcount says: Jul 21, 2012 4:54 PM

    It takes a man of integrity to recognize that virtue in another man. A man who plays with honor will defend another man who does the same. There’s more to football than who scores the most points. Goodell treats NFL players as meaningless pawns to his big picture. However, they are real people just like the rest of us who take pride in who they are on and off the field. I’ll take the word of Brees, Vitt and Vilma over Goodell’s any day.

  25. gridassassin says: Jul 21, 2012 4:55 PM

    Mentor to young teammates? Perhaps Vilma should have thought about that prior to offering up large sums of money as bounty.

    This is nothing more than Brees trying to pander to the New Orleans community and Saints fans.

    You pay the crime ….you do the time.

  26. randomguy9999 says: Jul 21, 2012 4:56 PM

    Breed chiming in is classic… He’s got legally nothing to do with it and he can’t control himself to keep his mouth shut….

    They did it, everybody knows it, they are just acting like some 12 year olds trying to whine their way out of it

  27. kchiefsfan says: Jul 21, 2012 5:07 PM

    I am not a Saints fan so maybe I am just stupid like every other non Saints fan, but I think Drew Brees just admitted a bounty program.

    ‘ If a good, clean, legal hit kept the person who absorbs the good, clean, legal hit from playing, then the player delivering the hit received extra money for a “cart-off” (if the player returned to the game later) or a “knockout” (if he didn’t return at all).”

    So do I understand this? If a person applies a “good clean hit” that does not prevent the person from playing, he gets nothing, yet if a person applies a “good clean hit” that prevents a player from coming back then they get paid extra money. This should not be considered a bounty program, or a pay for injury program……why?

    How are the Saints fans going to spin this one? And who is ignorant enough to believe in a locker room some coach said “If you injure someone from a good clean hit, you will get money” (especially Greg Williams)?

  28. huskylawyer says: Jul 21, 2012 5:15 PM

    I’m sorry, but if I had a choice of trusting Goodell, or the Saints 4 (Vilma, Fujita, Hargrove, Brees), I’d choose the Saints 4 anytime.

    Whereas time and again Goodell has shown to be a vindictive, 2-faced, and in some cases, outright liar “(we care about the players..but let’s play more games), the Saints 4 have by and large been known as “good guys” for years (I think Vilma has had like 3 personal fouls his ENTIRE CAREER).

    I think the anti-saints sentiment has more to do with bashing the opposing team than rationale thought.

    I will say this, the Saints coaching staff is shady, so if I had to choose between Goodell and the staff, it would be a toss-up.

  29. geauxjay says: Jul 21, 2012 6:03 PM

    Put your thumbs down if you like, but where is your proof that you know that they are guilty.

    Besides the:

    Ledgers that we’re proven to be bogus and not even offered as evidence

    “confessions” which were proven to never have been uttered but actually forged by the NFL

    The Hargrove video where the NFL knew he said it because they falsely said you can see his lips moving

    Bogus emails and confessions by Ornstein?

    Seriously, is there anything else?

  30. rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: Jul 21, 2012 6:16 PM

    If Vilma can’t show a “substantial likelihood of success on the merits,” does it matter whether he can satisfy the other substantive requirements—including the “public interest” element—of the four-prong test for obtaining injunctive relief? That aside, I would argue that an injunction here disserves the public interest in that it would have a substantial and adverse impact on the collectively bargained authority of the one person who is best positioned to police “…the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football,” as per Article 46, Section 1(a) of the 2011 NFL CBA. If not the NFL Commissioner, then who is better suited for that role? The Executive Director of the NFLPA?

  31. nowillrepeat says: Jul 21, 2012 6:30 PM

    What you idiots dont get is an affidavit is punishable by perjury if the subjects who submit it are determined to be lying.

    Vitt, and Brees are putting their freedom on the line here.

    Will Goddell do the same thing?

  32. silentcount says: Jul 21, 2012 7:07 PM

    If Goodell is willing to make the harshest accusations and hand out the most severe punishments in the history of the NFL, then he should be willing to show why to a higher authority. Brees, Vitt and Vilma are man enough to testify under oath in a real court of law, but Goodell is not. Perhaps the picture isn’t exactly like Goodell painted.

  33. cgsuddeath says: Jul 21, 2012 7:45 PM

    My take on this is,please take a look at how Goodell handled spygate and you will see his true motivation.

  34. packhawk04 says: Jul 21, 2012 8:17 PM

    “Vitt and brees are putting their freedom on the line here”

    Which is probably why the farthest both went is they will testify that the bounty program didnt exist. If this ever gets to court (which it wont, players dont want that anymore than NFL does) all they have to do is say to their knowledge, one didnt exist. Regardless of what happens, they did what they said theyd do.

  35. saintsfan26 says: Jul 21, 2012 8:55 PM

    Brees is doing what any TRUE LEADER would do. Man I’m so glad he is a Saint.

  36. bucfandango says: Jul 21, 2012 8:57 PM

    They should change the Venue to Minneapolis so Vilma can get a fair trial.

  37. cwwgk says: Jul 21, 2012 9:14 PM

    “Largely meaningless as to most of the legal issues that will determine whether the suspension is delayed and/or overturned…”

    Exactly. The affidavit is another example of the lack of substance to Vilma’s lawsuits.

  38. joejoe81 says: Jul 21, 2012 9:55 PM

    Brees is probably the biggest target in the league right now. There are a lot of players with a bone to pick with the Saints, and right or wrong, he will get to answer for the team on the field.

  39. tjbucs says: Jul 21, 2012 11:57 PM

    What else is Brees going to do? I appreciate him supporting his team mate but what Vilma did (even though he denies it) is wrong on any level. Wrong is Wrong and stupid is stupid. He should get the book thrown at him. A years suspension is too little punishment for someone who is that irrational. There is no place for that kind of thinking or behavior period.

  40. samapoc says: Jul 22, 2012 1:00 AM

    What’s the difference between knocking the crap out of another player do you can get a higher salary versus knocking him out to get $100? Not a lot. This is only about salary cap.

    Nevertheless, Brees is an amazing leader for the Saints. Who else would go to this much effort for a teammate? And for offense to support defense like this. It’s how players and teams should act.

  41. mwindle1973 says: Jul 22, 2012 6:58 AM

    I thought he needed an explanation? Now he’s explaining it?

  42. jerlee7 says: Jul 22, 2012 9:57 AM

    If he were suspended, wouldn’t that allow him more time work in the community?

  43. randomguy9999 says: Jul 24, 2012 11:58 AM

    my guess is that most D’s in the league wont say this outright… but everytime they line up against Brees, they’ll be thinking about how hard Brees is playing the violin and how hard the Saints D was on their own QBs and key players….

    Brees will start taking some real shots… nobody is gonna say anything outright, but it’s gonna happen…

    what goes around comes around….

Leave a Reply

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