The NFL’s most explosive claim against any of the players it suspended in the Saints bounty investigation was that linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any teammate who could knock Brett Favre out of the 2010 NFC Championship Game. Vilma says that isn’t true, but when he went to the league office today, the NFL told him that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has confirmed that Vilma did, in fact, put a bounty on Favre.
Vilma was handed a sworn affidavit from former Williams confirming the $10,000 offer, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In that sworn affidavit, Williams admitted he had a pay-for-performance pool funded by Saints players, admitted he knew the pool violated league rules, and admitted he misled the NFL when he was first questioned about it in 2010. Even in that confession, however, Williams said he never encouraged players to inflict injuries or commit penalties.
The news today echoes what we heard in June, which is that Williams was one of three people who told league investigators that Vilma made the $10,000 offer. However, one of those three people, Mike Ornstein, later denied that he told the league investigators that.
Williams hasn’t said much of anything publicly since he was banished from the NFL in the Saints’ bounty investigation. But in talks with the league, he has apparently pointed the finger at Vilma.