Key Bountygate figure resurfaces as league-office employee

Getty Images

The P.R.-obsessed NFL is still susceptible to bad optics.

Jay Glazer of FOX reports that former Saints employee Mike Cerullo has been hired by the league office. He’s a director of football administration, working in the department that will be responsible for determining the discipline to be imposed, if any, on Saints coach Sean Payton for his interactions with officials on Thursday night.

Former Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma outed Cerullo as a disgruntled former employee of the Saints, a theme that continued throughout the legal drama that emerged in the aftermath of the allegation that the Saints gave players a financial incentive to inflict injury on opponents. The league said he should be “commended” for coming forward.

Some will now say that he’s actually been rewarded, five years later, for helping the NFL with its effort to punish the Saints for (in my view) a trumped-up charge without (in former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s view) considering broader cultural realities, including for example the fact that plenty of other teams were giving players a little extra money for doing that which they already had a natural incentive to do — render opponents incapable of continuing via the application of clean, legal hits.

11 responses to “Key Bountygate figure resurfaces as league-office employee

  1. Yeah right…next you’re going to tell me that one of the refs from Thursday night’s Saints Falcons game is a former Falcons player that currently lives in the Atlanta area.

    Oh wait

  2. This is simply becoming NFL Hate Week for me. Too bad that only Saints fans are seeing behind the curtain this week. NFL needs to really play it straight for a little while.

    On another note, Look for the main narrative about TNF going forward to be aimed at Payton. Blatant mis-direction. Just like bountygate to be honest. The fans of the other 31 teams will get fed the narrative, and of course, that’ll be good enough for them.

  3. Cerullo gets rewarded with a league job and meanwhile a former Falcons player was allowed to ref the Falcons/Saints game on Thursday that in Mike’s words seemed like “a gift basket to Arthur Blank” and resulted in the NFCS games of the last 3 weeks, in particular the Christmas Eve game that will now probably be for the division outright, actually mattering. Gotta love the NFL.

  4. This guy did quality control for the Saints. Basically, he cut up film for coaches to watch. How in the world does that qualify him to judge coaches in a possible disciplinary situation? And, how can they say that he’s unbiased in this situation?

    Typical Goodell decision making.

  5. Bountygate was the league paying the Saints back for daring to beat their precious golden boy Peyton Manning in a Super Bowl. Just like how they went after the Seahawks for 43-8, and the Patriots for repeatedly blocking Manning and then Luck. It is an organization run by marketers who don’t understand their customers.

Leave a Reply

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