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Will Smith: Tagliabue got the facts, Goodell rushed to judgment

Arizona Cardinals v. New Orleans Saints 8-5-2012 Getty Images

Upon learning that he will not be suspended in the Saints bounty case, defensive end Will Smith thanked the man who rescinded his suspension — and ripped the man who originally suspended him.

Smith said he appreciated that former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue took the time to consider the players’ side of the story and said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rushed to judgment without waiting for the facts.

“I’m pleased with the ruling of Mr. Tagliabue to vacate my suspension,” Smith said. “I continue to maintain that I did not participate in a pay-to-injure program or facilitate any such program. I appreciate that Mr. Taglaibue did not rush to judgment, taking into consideration all facts presented to him, before ruling– something that was clearly not done by Commissioner Goodell in previous hearings. I am looking forward to putting this all behind me and getting back to the game I love. I want to thank the New Orleans Saints, the NFL Players Association, the fans, my friends and family for their continued support throughout this ordeal.”

Smith and his fellow suspended Saints have said all along that Goodell botched the bounty investigation, and now Smith and his fellow Saints are celebrating a victory handed to them by Goodell’s predecessor.

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43 Responses to “Will Smith: Tagliabue got the facts, Goodell rushed to judgment”
  1. fitzmagic1212 says: Dec 11, 2012 5:52 PM

    just let it end.

  2. thejuddstir says: Dec 11, 2012 5:57 PM

    Sorry Will Smith, Goodell may have rushed to his sanctions but both he and Tags got the “facts right”. Funny how these players and saints* fans somehow thinks this exonerates the saints* when it specifically states that they were guilty but perhaps punished too harshly.

  3. omniscient48 says: Dec 11, 2012 5:58 PM

    C’mon Man. Does anybody really think that Will Smith said that?

  4. catfanatic1979v1 says: Dec 11, 2012 5:59 PM

    Do we really have to protect these grown men from punishment? This is ridiculous.

  5. thejuddstir says: Dec 11, 2012 6:01 PM

    Fools……….all Tags did was “vacate the suspensions” which is a far cry from exonerating guilt. Kind of like the criminal who committs a crime and the appeals court determines that his sentence was “too harsh”, they lower the sentence but it doesn’t vacate the guilt.

  6. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Dec 11, 2012 6:04 PM

    Goodell likes to talk about players being held accountable.

    Today he’s on the other end of that broom.

  7. phuriousjorge says: Dec 11, 2012 6:06 PM

    You people that support the guilty parties in this, you disgust me.

    Grow up, admit there was a bounty, move on.

    They did not exonerate these guys (that means still guilty). They are just very lucky that the case was mishandled.

  8. cwwgk says: Dec 11, 2012 6:07 PM

    When is someone going to tell this guy that he just thanked Goodell?

  9. yojoemama says: Dec 11, 2012 6:14 PM

    Bottom line is there was a bounty program period. Just because there’s not enough evidence to suspend a particular player doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

  10. blackbelt4d says: Dec 11, 2012 6:15 PM

    Isn’t this the same Will Smith who was part of a motion to have Tagliabue recused from these hearings?

  11. mcmeen0576 says: Dec 11, 2012 6:18 PM

    Any punishment Goodell hands down from now on will be scruitinized. When he first took the job I appreciated his stern punishments and looked forward to him cleaning up the NFL. Now he just seems like a punish first authoritartian. Like Buford T. Justice or Boss Hog

  12. totallyuselessme says: Dec 11, 2012 6:18 PM

    Until I hear some actual hard evidence (testimony of the scumbag Greg Williams and his ilk doesn’t impress me) these guys get my benefit of the doubt since every arbiter aside from him has dismissed everything he’s tried to put on them.

    Only certainty I have in all of it so far is that Goodell’s ego is out of control, one way or the other.

  13. dan7800 says: Dec 11, 2012 6:18 PM

    Goodell is awful. Saints get banned, but Belicheat doesn’t get kicked out of the NFL?

  14. patfanken says: Dec 11, 2012 6:24 PM

    That was a pretty self serving interpretation of Tags report.

    Very simply what he said was that the Saints ran a bounty program. The Saints brass actively tried to hide what they were doing and hindered the investigation. BUT this was a crime run by the coaches and management and the players, though they participated, shouldn’t have been held responsible for what their leaders were sponsoring.

    Doesn’t sound like a rush to judgement to me.

  15. geniusfan says: Dec 11, 2012 6:31 PM

    “Goodell is awful. Saints get banned, but Belicheat doesn’t get kicked out of the NFL?”

    Belicheat? 2007 called it wants its joke back.

    The tears of Patriots haters taste so good, enjoy your 5-8 team Saints fans.

  16. geauxjay says: Dec 11, 2012 6:31 PM

    You people who STILL talk trash about the Saints are just bitter, ignorant fools.

    The Saints won the Super Bowl. Deal with it.

  17. gizzmonic says: Dec 11, 2012 6:36 PM

    Can we get Tag’s to take a look into spygate.. The Pats could use that number one pick they forfitted

  18. jasons81 says: Dec 11, 2012 6:37 PM

    My question is what if a coach tells a player to, for example, take steroids… by Taglibue’s logic that player shouldn’t be punished

  19. mn2long says: Dec 11, 2012 6:47 PM

    What Tags is saying is basically “yes, there was a pay-for-performance system” and “no, there is no proof the Saints were trying to injure anyone”. Bottom line, this type of thing have gone on since the beginning of the league and nobody has ever been penalized for it. It was highly publicized that Reggie White had this type of system going in Green Bay, which makes it funny to hear Favre fans still whining about it and saying the Saints Super Bowl has been tainted. Pot meet kettle…

  20. brenenostler says: Dec 11, 2012 6:47 PM

    Will Smith, Tags did not say you were innocent. He just doesn’t think you should be punished. Dummie.

  21. mungman69 says: Dec 11, 2012 6:53 PM

    Let it end.

  22. stew48 says: Dec 11, 2012 6:57 PM

    Tag did exactly what was wanted. He got the NFL off the hook and eliminated the ridiculous penalties inflicted by RG’s gross incompetence.

  23. snaxdsp says: Dec 11, 2012 7:02 PM

    No such thing as luck when a case is mishandled. If you are accused of something falsely and it comes back that you didn’t do it….are you lucky?

  24. cags777 says: Dec 11, 2012 7:07 PM

    Advice to Smith: Don’t go back and sue the NFL over “player safety” concerns when someone takes you out.

  25. lennydpocketqb says: Dec 11, 2012 7:15 PM

    If we had one positive thing out of this it is the phrase, “he’s the coach on the field” is now dead. A coach is necessary to the players on the field who implement the game plan.

  26. jerlee7 says: Dec 11, 2012 7:23 PM

    Our coaches made us do it = the devil mad me do it.

  27. trbowman says: Dec 11, 2012 7:28 PM

    The anti Goodell crowd lets their dislike/hate towards the man cloud their judgment.

    If you think bounties have a place in the NFL and/or that these players shouldn’t have been suspended, you’ve got no credibility.

  28. billbrasky72 says: Dec 11, 2012 7:29 PM

    Looks like the fresh prince got fat.

  29. justintuckrule says: Dec 11, 2012 7:29 PM

    Unbelievable that 32 owners continue employing this dope to run their 9 billion dollar business. His handling of this nonsense would be a fireable offense if any other CEO committed it

  30. trbowman says: Dec 11, 2012 7:32 PM

    Anyway, nobody really liked Tagliabue when he was commissioner. Being a commissioner is the most thankless job in all of sports. No commissioner has been or will ever be popular. You’re the target of all the irrational hatred of unintelligent fans.

    You take heat for things that either, A) Aren’t your fault or B) Are actually good ideas, but fans with room temp IQ (re – 80/90% of them) hate.

  31. lennydpocketqb says: Dec 11, 2012 7:36 PM

    trbowman says:
    Dec 11, 2012 7:32 PM
    Anyway, nobody really liked Tagliabue when he was commissioner. Being a commissioner is the most thankless job in all of sports. No commissioner has been or will ever be popular. You’re the target of all the irrational hatred of unintelligent fans.

    You take heat for things that either, A) Aren’t your fault or B) Are actually good ideas, but fans with room temp IQ (re – 80/90% of them) hate.

    _______________________

    Spot on. Kudos trbowman.

  32. whoopteedo says: Dec 11, 2012 7:37 PM

    So far, nothing has been reported on what Tagliabue said about Payton. Did Tags say Payton was suspended because he was a part of the scheme or because he should have been aware of it or that he was part of the cover-up? I’ve NEVER heard anything bad EVER about Payton and yet he’s suspended for an entire year and we still have no explanation.

  33. andrewfbrowne says: Dec 11, 2012 7:38 PM

    These guys are like mob bosses who got off on a technicality. That is all. Our coaches made us do it, really?! Not a single one stood up and said it was wrong to anyone. Goodell’s mistake was making this public and punishing the players. If you had just punished the organization and the coaches he would have been fine.

  34. marcinhouston says: Dec 11, 2012 7:40 PM

    Goodell lied, Falcons fans who wish it was true need to grow up and give up the lie.

  35. yourignorancespreads says: Dec 11, 2012 7:52 PM

    The only thing saints did wrong was have a pay for performance and they def did not play to injure anyone so all you haters out there just knock it off. It’s very clear that your biased opinions only make you look dumb

  36. gbmickey says: Dec 11, 2012 8:15 PM

    Where are all the saint whiner fans who said it was just a conspiracy bringing in tags to review this? Just to make it clear the team was not exonerated and there was a bounty program. To continually deny it just confirms the failing educational system in Louisiana.

  37. numba1dunna says: Dec 11, 2012 8:30 PM

    I cant wait for 3 new defamation lawsuits to come against RG…you dragged these guys through the mud with little or no proof (that they have shown the public anyway) and no, i will not take roger’s word for it.

    I hope the other 3 file defamation suits against him and the owners realize that this guy went too far and is not good for their business at this point.

    Bye Bye Roger :)

  38. smokehouse56 says: Dec 11, 2012 8:56 PM

    This has become very much like the 1919 Sox scandal. ‘Showless’ Joe and the other 8 fixers were found not guilty by a judge and jury but Landis exercised his power and threw them out of baseball with a lifetime ban.

  39. Deb says: Dec 11, 2012 9:01 PM

    Obviously Tagliabue took time to carefully weigh the evidence and make a sound decision. But why would Goodell do that? Since the CBA gives him sole discretion to be judge, jury, and executioner, he’s a modern-day Judge Roy Bean. His decisions don’t have to be sound. He can decide in advance of seeing any evidence how he wants things to go, then write an opinion to make the “facts” fit his judgment.

    Goodell’s decisions are corporate. They have nothing to do with evidence or justice and never have. If they did, then the fact that none of these men were fined or suspended based on the game film would have automatically ruled out fining or suspending them for trying to hurt someone during a game.

    It’s time for this football kangaroo court to end.

  40. phreakin says: Dec 11, 2012 9:13 PM

    Notice how every player always make sure to include “I didn’t participate in a pay to injure program”…ya me too

  41. silentcount says: Dec 11, 2012 9:55 PM

    The key is this — Tagliabue would have given Sean Payton a big fine instead of suspending him. Why? Because by suspending him (along with Vitt and Loomis) he would have taken away any chance for the Saints to have a competitive season, which would have effected so many thousands of people who had nothing to do with the bounty thing. Is it fair that the Patriots were allowed to compete on a level field after they were punished (for actually cheating), but the Saints weren’t given the same chance?

  42. mullman76 says: Dec 11, 2012 11:29 PM

    Rooney, Mara and Kraft run this league. They saw an opportunity to slap down a franchise that could threaten their chances of collecting more rings. Goodell is their puppet.

    These owners have been doing this for years- just ask Al Davis. Nevermind- RIP AL

    Go Raiders

  43. pongonfl says: Dec 12, 2012 2:09 AM

    any other officials on any other day and the Saints lose to the vikes just based on the results of roughing calls. And then we would not have to had to listen to these vile clowns for the last 3 years.
    That would have been so nice. Consider it your penance for that game Roger.

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