When former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams signed a sworn statement on September 14, months after the bounty investigation had ended and days after the first wave of player suspensions had been scuttled, obvious questions arose regarding whether Williams had gotten anything in return for his cooperation.
Now, he’s possibly looking for something in return for his cooperation.
Before Thursday’s Texans-Lions game, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported that Williams has asked to have his reinstatement hearing moved from February to December. Not coincidentally, the request comes at a time when the NFL must, as a practical matter, produce Williams to testify or risk having his sworn statement excluded from the proceedings.
So, basically, Williams is making a power play. If the league wants him to show up and testify, the league will have to accelerate the reinstatement process.
The shift from February to December would, if Williams is reinstated, give him a chance to look for a new job in the event the Rams opt not to keep him. If he’s not reinstated until February, most of the jobs likely would be taken.
Then again, it’s unlikely any NFL will hire Williams to coach players. Apart from his cartoonish “kill the head” antics and his ongoing use of a pay-for-performance system at a time when Williams knew the NFL had investigated the situation, plenty of players believe Williams “snitched” on Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, which will make it difficult if not impossible for Williams to ever have credibility again in an NFL locker room.
Still, if the NFL wants Williams to show up and testify, the NFL would be wise to do what Williams wants. Otherwise, the NFL will have to make its case against Vilma with the testimony of former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo, whose testimony could collapse under aggressive cross examination.