After months of legal maneuverings, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith finally are getting answers from the man who crafted the pay-for-performance system that resulted in multiple suspensions of players and coaches.
Per Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is testifying on Friday at the appeal hearing convened by former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue — and Vilma and Smith are present to watch and listen.
I wonder if they were frisked for eggs.
Williams’ testimony comes a day after former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo testified. Though no one is saying anything about what was said (so far), Cerullo undoubtedly was grilled regarding his motivations for blowing the whistle more than a year after he was fired, the accuracy of his recollections, and the creation of those controversial notes listing the pledges made to the Brett Favre bounty pool, especially since the notes show that interim head coach Joe Vitt kicked in $5,000, something for which he never was investigated or punished.
There’s also a major discrepancy regarding the cash that Vilma supposedly displayed to his teammates. Cerullo says the money was given to Williams for safekeeping; Williams says he didn’t.In the end, Tagliabue will make a decision based on his scrutiny of the evidence, including the performance and demeanor of the witnesses. And it all will be subject to further scrutiny from Judge Helen Berrigan, who reminded everyone on Thursday that she is ready to issue rulings — and that she’s apparently leaning against the league’s position.