Skip to content

Memo shows NFL knew Cerullo was disgruntled

New Orleans Saints 2009 Headshots

As the bounty case now focuses on the defamation case filed by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma against Commissioner Roger Goodell, one of the main arguments will become whether Goodell acted recklessly when giving credence to anything said by former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo.

Recklessness becomes important because Vilma is a public figure.  He can prove defamation only if he shows that Goodell knew that what he was saying about Vilma was false, or that if Goodell acted with reckless regard as to the truth or falsity of the statements.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Vilma soon will file a memo that shows the league and the Saints coordinated their security efforts in connection with the termination of Cerullo’s employment.  This meshes with a strong allegation contained in a recent Vilma filing:  “The Saints were so concerned about Cerullo’s stability, as Goodell also knew, that, when Cerullo was terminated, Saints head coach Sean Payton also was forced to obtain police protection at his house for fear that Cerullo would seek some type of retribution.”

The argument will be that the NFL knew that there were concerns that Cerullo would not react well to the team’s decision to fire him.  Which means that anything he later said about the Saints should be taken with a proverbial grain of salt.

But Vilma now contends that, as to the allegation that he placed a bounty on Kurt Warner, Cerullo was Goodell’s only source.  In Vilma’s defamation case, Goodell and the NFL will have to show that Cerullo was reliable, despite any inherent biases.

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill
7 Responses to “Memo shows NFL knew Cerullo was disgruntled”
  1. jeremywflores says: Dec 16, 2012 12:23 PM

    I’m always down for another plot twist.

  2. eatitfanboy says: Dec 16, 2012 12:27 PM

    I have long believed that the Saints were guilty of this while also believing the penalties were too harsh.

    However, if it turns out that the bulk of their case rested on the testimony of THIS guy, they are in trouble.

    Witness credibility is huge in court cases. If Vilmas’s lawyers get this guy on cross-examination in open court, they will rip him to shreds.

  3. FinFan68 says: Dec 16, 2012 12:30 PM

    This is just a smokescreen to fool those that can’t think for themselves or are unable to believe someone they view highly could do something wrong. EVERY “whistleblower” is disgruntled about something. Some spitefully attack those that have “wronged” them. Others can no longer deal with their conscience or continue to take part in something they believe is wrong. Regardless, the fact that Ceruello has an axe to grind does not in and of itself mean that the allegations are untrue. There are some inconsistencies that are problematic but there are also corroborating accounts of other things as well. The bounty case was hard to prove. The defamation case is even harder.

  4. wayne1693 says: Dec 16, 2012 12:33 PM

    Although somewhat of a fine line, it’s not that the NFL/Goodell will have to show that Cerullo was ‘reliable’…just that they were not in ‘reckless disregard of the truth’ in relying on his testimony.

  5. fuglyflorio says: Dec 16, 2012 12:41 PM

    Of course there’s always those confessions and admissions of guilt. They count … except in New Orleans where no evidence will ever be enough.

  6. pftcensorssuck says: Dec 16, 2012 12:46 PM

    fuglyflorio says:Dec 16, 2012 12:41 PM

    Of course there’s always those confessions and admissions of guilt. They count … except in New Orleans where no evidence will ever be enough.
    ———————————————————
    Funny how all that has been forgotten, isn’t it? ;)

    Let the smearing of Cerullo begin, it’s the only way Vilma and the Saints can cling to any hope.

  7. xakle says: Dec 17, 2012 9:10 PM

    fuglyflorio says:
    Dec 16, 2012 12:41 PM
    Of course there’s always those confessions and admissions of guilt. They count … except in New Orleans where no evidence will ever be enough.
    __________________________

    Coaches & Players only ever admitted to a pay for performance program, never a bounty or pay to injure program that Roger Goodell originally claimed.

    Only after the players fought back did the NFL try to make it sound like it was merely a pay for performance program… which is also why the CBA Appeals Panel overturned their original decision considering that Goodell has no authority on player suspensions in such as scenario.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!