Former Vikings defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy was outed last week as the original bounty whistleblower, but he claims that he never was in.In documents filed in federal court on Monday, the lawyer representing Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma spells out various details regarding Kennedy’s role, or lack thereof, in the bounty case.
In a sworn declaration, lawyer Peter Ginsberg lists several facts that Kennedy shared with Ginsberg.
First, Kennedy said he never discussed a supposed bounty program with anyone — including NFL investigators or former Vikings coach Brad Childress.
Second, Kennedy said that, at halftime of the 2009 NFC title game, he screamed at his teammates: “These m*****f***’ers are killing our quarterback as if there’s money on it. These m*****f***’ers are killing us and we better start playing some ******* football.”
Third, Kennedy said he didn’t have any reason to believe that the Saints had a bounty on former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.
Fourth, Kennedy said he didn’t speak with former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove at any time before or after the game, contrary to a contention that Hargrove told Kennedy of the existence of the bounty on Favre.
Fifth, Kennedy said neither Hargrove nor anyone else told Kennedy that there was a “bounty” on Favre.
Sixth, Kennedy said he never talked to Childress about the Saints having a bounty on Favre, contrary to the league contention that Kennedy told Childress about the bounty.
Seventh, Kennedy said the NFL never interviewed him, contrary to the NFL’s contentions.
Eighth, Kennedy said that NFL investigator Joe Hummel called Kennedy twice, but that Kennedy never talked to Hummel about the situation.
Ninth, Kennedy said he’s not aware of Hummel ever calling Kennedy’s lawyer.
Tenth, Kennedy said he’s not aware that any members of the Saints offered $10,000 or any amount of money as an incentive to injure Favre.
If it’s true, it’s powerful stuff. Still, it’s odd that Kennedy didn’t provide a written statement of his own. With Ginsberg acting as the funnel of Kennedy’s claims to the court, Ginsberg could come dangerously close to becoming a witness — which would make it hard for him to continue being Vilma’s lawyer.
And if the NFL did indeed interview Kennedy, the evidence the league has been required to produce to the federal court in Louisiana surely would include at least some reference to Kennedy being interviewed, and regarding what he said.