Malcolm Jenkins says Saints players haven’t had chance to tell their side of story

Getty Images

There have been a few remarkable claims made in the five-plus weeks since the NFL first announced the discovery of a three-year bounty program in the Saints organization.  From Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2009, now comes perhaps the most remarkable.

Jenkins contends that Saints players haven’t had a chance to tell their side of the story.

“I think especially being a defensive player the most upsetting things is just not really being able to have a voice yet,” Jenkins told WWL radio, via  “To hear the media and fans and everything that is going on and hear so much stuff being said about our character and what type of people we are and not having an opportunity to tell our side of the story is probably the most frustrating thing and we won’t have that opportunity until all of the punishment and everything is done, but right now we are weathering the storm trying to stay busy and keep our minds off of it.  We can’t control anything that is going on right now.  All we can do is sit and wait and when that time comes we’ll have the opportunity to speak our minds and really try to save face I guess, but right now all we can do is focus on what we can and that’s being ready for the season and I think guys are excited to start back up next week.”

But nothing prevents Jenkins or any other player from telling their side of the story now.  Plenty of media outlets would surely bring a satellite truck to their houses, today, if Jenkins or Jonathan Vilma or Will Smith or anyone else wants to talk.

Of course, there’s a chance that none are talking now on direct advice from the NFLPA and/or outside legal counsel.  But the players can disregard that advice and talk, if they truly want to tell their side of the story.

And if they choose to heed that advice, they’ve got no reason to express frustration.  Protecting their interests in a court of law (and/or in the NFL’s internal appeal process) at the expense of their interests in the court of public opinion is a judgment call that only the players can make.  For now, they’re choosing the former.  Any time they want to choose the latter, they can.

73 responses to “Malcolm Jenkins says Saints players haven’t had chance to tell their side of story

  1. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I heard that rambling tape of Williams “pep talk” I didn’t hear any reaction from the players. You would think you would hear at least a couple of “that’s right!” or “yeah le’ts get them!” or something. Seemed like the players were just sitting there thinking what a nut case their coach was. Of course I doubt any of them turned down rewards for big hits either.

  2. Mr. Jenkins, I don’t need to hear your side of the story. Let me guess though, it goes something like this.
    “None of the players liked the things coach was saying, but we were bullied into do it. All the money we got from the bounties was donated to save puppies and kittens. I also love Jesus and America”

  3. Saints need to just keep their mouths shut and play ball.

    Go ahead though and create more drama and distractions for yourselves, it will allow the Falcons to take over the division.

    Saints are going down fast, the Panthers are overrated, and the Bucs are terrible.

  4. This won’t be popular, but in their defense they didn’t look like a defense that dived at knees or took nasty helmet-to-helmet shots. In the end, Williams talked big but the players might not have really acted on it…much. I think his act wear thin quickly with those guys. They did brutalize Farve though and I thought it was dirty at the time (crap here comes Vike fans…we know, we know already), but the refs have to step up too and make the calls.

  5. Soooo you want to explain why you went along with a coach who espoused career threatening injuries?

    By all means, justify your actions/inaction.

  6. Don’t bother Malcolm. The media will edit it to convey whatever message they see fit. I’m not saying Gregg Williams didn’t go overboard, but it’s interesting to note one key part of the locker room speech that ended up on the cutting room floor.

    “Don’t hurt the team and don’t go over the line!”

  7. For the love of everything holy, to all Saints players and fans – Your coaches admitted to what they did and they gave gave the NFL the finger after they ordered them to stop their tactics. For two years they thought they were bigger than the NFL and they got busted. It’s too late to “save face”, move on and take it like men. Your side of the story is irrelevant at this point.

  8. So speak…You were on the radio. I’m sure if you wanted to talk the host would have let you. There is also this pretty cool thing called the Internet. It gives everyone a voice. You should check it out sometime.

  9. Hey, Malcolm….when the person who organized the bounties gets caught with his pants down and his cheeks spread….you pretty much don’t have another side of the story.

  10. “But nothing prevents Jenkins or any other player from telling their side of the story now.”

    ….except for the media spin machine. Lot’s of Saints defenders have TRIED to get the story out, but that stuff isn’t “juicy” enough and won’t “generate clicks”.

    That majority of people have had their minds up from the start. That’s unfortunate. To all those people: The Earth turned out to NOT be flat, and the Earth ACTUALLY orbits the Sun.

    All of those who believe opposite of what I just informed you of may proceed to down-vote this comment.

  11. I don’t know how ANY of these Saints players can say a word, after that tape of Greg Williams was released.

    Shut Up, already

  12. Uh…’ve had 3 years and now you got something to say after the 3 YEAR Bounty! Go ahead…..who’s stopping you.Im sure you can explain it great after the fact.

    There is two sides to every story.Lets hear it.Im all ears.

    Either speak up or shut up because no one here is stopping you!

  13. What do you need, exactly, Malcom, to have a “chance” to tell your side of the story? You could have spoken up anytime since 2009. You chose to keep quiet, just like you’ve been doing since the news broke.

  14. @nolahxc

    The only spin machine around here is the washing machine you have your head inside. If ANY Saints player said ANYTHING about the bounty system and their take it would have been on every sports rag from here to Bejing. You’re delusional if you think the media is holding the players “side” back from publishing.

  15. Don’t bother, Malcolm. The parts the media don’t like will hit the cutting room floor. Like the part in Gregg Williams speech where he says “Don’t hurt the team and don’t go over the line!”

  16. C’mon. Do you really think that if any Saint comes out and tells their side that that’s gonna help them? Speaking out against any decision made by Hitler, I mean GODell will garner more fines and more suspensions. Either way the media won’t believe them therefore the people won’t believe them. It’s a lose lose for the players. Saying they have a so called open mic to talk is way off base

  17. So let me follow this post…Jenkins says he can’t talk about the situation implying he and the other players have been advised to keep quiet about it. Florio says the NFLPA may be telling them to keep a lid on it. But then Florio says there is no reason for the players to keep a lid on it…?

    The players are one year removed from unifying behind the NFLPA during their lockout and when the players’ governing body tells them to keep mum on the bounty situation they aren’t supposed to listen?

    I think I’ll take Jenkins at his word until some punishment is tossed his way and more of the story unfolds.

  18. And, of course, the IRS is watching matters extremely closely. It would not be wise to say that you didn’t receive extra income and then be proven wrong because that income was probably not taxed. The IRS tends to frown on people not paying taxes.

    And if you admit that you received extra income, but it wasn’t for ‘bounties’, you still have to explain to the IRS why you didn’t pay taxes on it.

    OH what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive… or maim

  19. Whoever wrote the saints didnt dive at knees or play dirty hasnt watched the aints play or even taken the easy step of going to youtube to watch their dirty play… That was easily the dumbest comment ive seen here… Even dumber than haters, flabbergasted, ron mexico, sexy rexy, billicheat and every other overused reset…

  20. um, yeah, ok florio, who are they going to tell their story TO? a bunch of self serving so-called ‘journalists’? you yourself are the leader of the conviction-in-the-court-0f-pulic-opinion crew. you had that entire team convicted from day one. i wouldn’t want my side of the story told either because thanks to all the sensationalistic ‘journalism’ and posturing we have seen from the nfl from the day this story broke, they’re all going to be labeled liars now. just as any former saints has been for speaking out. sometimes i think you post this diatribe just so you can read your own handy work. goodell achieved his goal. let’s just move on.

  21. cwmorga says: Apr 12, 2012 3:43 PM

    Don’t bother, Malcolm. The parts the media don’t like will hit the cutting room floor. Like the part in Gregg Williams speech where he says “Don’t hurt the team and don’t go over the line!”


    immediately got the down vote. lol. people don’t want to hear the truth when it doesn’t support their own self loathing. unfortunately, you’re right, THAT’S the part of the speech that got ‘conveniently’ edited out.

  22. This whole thing has gotten blown out of proportion. The original plan was to pool money for big hits and big plays. I dont recall the saints having a lot of pers. foul penalties during this period!! Thats probably because they werent trying to seriosly injure, just rock em!! This type of system has been going on for years, and Rogets just mad beczuse we lied! Please, get over yourself!! WHO DAT!!!!

  23. 3 years, 50,000 pages of documents and Williams admitted it. OK…now explain. Your sense of entitlement is showing…again.

  24. @jennstergersburnedretinas

    You honestly have no clue. Try google sometime…



    I’m glad you actually get it.

  25. Dear Saints players,

    You’re guilty. Please sit down and shut up.

    Panther fans

    Ps- Or, just keep running your mouths off like morons.

  26. I’m sure NFL films must have a game audio recording of Vilma talking about bounties during their defensive huddles on the field between plays. It probably goes something like this: “Yo you all know about the $10,ooo on #4, easy money, hips, knees, ACL, easy money boys…”

    This will be the NFL’s evidence that will shock Vilma’s lawyers at the appeal hearing.

  27. Hey Nolahxc: The mastermind behind the whole thing fessed up and accepted his lumps without appeal. What’s is there for the media to spin? If anything, it’s members of the fan base like you who are still insisting that the world is flat in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Of course, the Saints’ world did get a little flatter after getting stepped on by the commissioner’s big foot.

  28. Just google Scott Fujita’s cheap shot on Steve Smith. The Saints dirty play per-dates Gregg Williams. It started when Payton arrived.

  29. He’s right, but in the NFL there is no forum for that. He must go to the union and tell his side and trust that take it forward.

    If union reps don’t, then complain to the media to out them as management puppets and risk being black-balled.

  30. Isn’t it ironic or oxymoron to be called the ‘Saints’ when they are trying to maliciously injure someone’s health and livelihood out of greed for money, power and fame, not to mention lying about it? Wouldn’t the Raiders be a more fitting name..

  31. I mean, he’s kind of right. Sure, he can voice his opinion; but who really wants to hear it? Anytime that anyone from the Saints’ club opens their mouth, they have thousand bloggers/reporters and a billion ‘couch critics’ shouting ‘off with their heads.’ The frustration form every Saints fan is not that we believe that our freedom of speech and reason has been stolen, but the fact that every story has multiple sides and only one is being held as truth.

  32. After all this moral outrage over Williams’ comments, didn’t the guy who taped the audio say that, after watching the game from the Saints sidelines, he didn’t see anything different in the Saints/Niners playoff game than he saw in 15 other games he watched of different teams? So, please, get a life and stop with the BS outrage. There is nasty, dirty play all over the league. Giants said they were going to “test” the Niners kid with the concussions. The Niners, under Walsh, coached their offensive line to take out the knees of opposing defenders. The Ravens admitted to having bounties. So did the Redskins and Bills and I’m sure the Titans when Williams was there. The sainted Joe Gibbs was exposed as having given money to players. Buddy Ryan? Need I say more? The Oilers “House of Pain” under Glanville. The list goes on and on. So, please grow up and stop living in a fantasy world that the Saints are such villians while your team plays honest-to-goodness plain tough football.

    Just watch your favorite team and see when they take a cheap shot or launch head-first. You’re a fool if you think your team doesn’t do something similar. Will you stop routing for your team when they do?

  33. HA Florio you let my comment stay on the site long enough for me to get a printscreen at least!!!!

    Do not know why you’re so afraid of what I say but I’ve never cursed, written anything not “politically correct” or anything that’d normally have a comment removed HOWEVER true to form this site won’t post it!! Correction, you’re slipping, you let it stay up long enough for me to have proof – HA

    Gist of the post Florio removed was: Saints aren’t doing anything other teams haven’t, GODdell’s punishment is childish/punitive AND Florio needs to cut out his smart alec comments about the Saints!!

    …bet this comment never sees the light of day either Florio

  34. A lot of rehash going on, the only thing that is importance is they lied to the league and to the owner, and then admitted that they lied. That makes them guilty, the coaches threw the player under the bus, and Drew needs to get his head out of his ass. The smart players are keeping there mouth shut, all you need to know. Bill p.s. Do you know how hard it is for the video players to stay away and keep there mouth shut?

  35. I guess you will delete this comment too but its quite weak that you take shots at the players when you know good and well they can’t respond because its in their best interest.

  36. Once again, Florio spinning every Saints related story in a negative direction. This comment board has become a mob mentality. We’ll talk when you all get off your crosses.

  37. The Saints hurt so many players over the last three years with illegal hits……

    That would be ZERO.

    The Saints were responsible for knocking out of games so many players with illegal hits over the last three years…….

    That would be ZERO.

    Every Saints player should come out and state as a group, “I never took ANY “bounty” money for an ilegal hit on a player that resulted in injury or a player being knocked out of a game”.

    Pretty easy thing for them to say, except they don’t even have to say it, because it never happened. Nobody was hurt or knocked out of a game due to an illegal hit by the Saints Defense for the last three years combined. It is a FACT that has basically been ignored. The Saints deserved a penalty for possibly lying about the program, the players did absolutely nothing wrong. Not a single play over the last three years resulted in injury as a result of an illegal hit. What are you going to do, fine or suspend players for LEGAL HITS???

  38. @metrocritic — go back and re-read his statement. what he admitted to was ‘pay for performance’, the nfl and MEDIA put the ‘pay for injury’ spin on it. sheesh, i’m a packer fan and can figure THAT out. jim schwartz admitted to giving ‘trinkets’ for ‘big hits’. notice he DIDN’T say, big plays. BIG HITS! what’s the difference?

  39. Seriously, this is the best thing I’ve seen you write.

    How ridiculous to announce that you can’t say anything, when you can!

  40. Speaking as a Vikings fan I can honestly say (again, my opinion) that there is some definate “scapegoating” going on as far as the Saints are concerned, the evidence that has been revealed thus far has been damning at least, but the whole story (such as it may be) has not been told.
    Did Saints players target Favre’s weaknesses? Probably.
    This, for me is NOT the issue, the fact that it was done (possibly/probably) for money is the issue.
    The apparent lying and deception by the coaches/staff is another issue entirely, and is the most damaging thing about this situation, again, in my opinion.
    I would hope that when all is said and done that football as a sport would be improved and this apparent ‘bounty’ situation (earning money to harm your peers) would cease to exist.

    Let’s just play some football, people.

  41. Usually when you offer/receive large sums of unclaimed funds to attempt to maim another human being it is best not to tell your side of the story to anyone except your lawyer. It would appear that the Saints players are doing a good job of this.

    The only players you hear talking are the ones that didn’t take part in potentially felonious activities.

    Taking out a guy’s knee in an NFL game, even on purpose. Legal. Taking out another guy’s knee, and receiving a large sum of money to do so by a 3rd party while not claiming the funds on your IRS, hella illegal.

    The law is a funny thing. One tiny detail can make something go from legal to jail time in a snap. Guys who aren’t sure should continue to keep their mouths shut until the statute of limitations has expired to be safe.

  42. The players who weren’t fined don’t have to defend themselves. The NFL hasn’t found that they did anything wrong. Turns out that intentional injury is not allowed in football.

    Let me recap: coaches giving illegal bonuses for hits that cause injury = bad. Players hitting other players legally = good.

  43. Read the article written by Sean Pamphilon titled “Tru Dat” for an inside look into this story. He was the guy that leaked the Gregg Williams audio and had inside access to the Saints locker room during this period.

    To summarize a very long interesting story, he placed 100% of the blame on Gregg Williams and none on the players. He said this situation is very similar to a sexual harassment case, where the victim and witnesses keep quiet for fear of losing their jobs. He confirmed that Brees and Payton were not in the defensive meeting during this audio and that Gregg Williams had total control over the defense. He mentions the character of specific players and does not believe they were involved to the extent spoken in the press.

    Anyway, it is worth a read, especially for the author of this article.

  44. sfsaintsfan,

    Favre was knocked out of the game momentarily by a hit that was illegal and resulted in a fine. He had $10k on his “head” during that game. So I wouldn’t say that you are totally accurate there.

    And just because they weren’t very good at hurting guys doesn’t make it okay. They paid incentives for things other than hits, outside of the CBA, often using 3rd party money. That is cheating the CBA and at its core is the main reason their getting fined.

    I think we all understand that NFL players are nasty, D coordinators train their guys to maim, and players will take a shot at the QB when they have a chance. The key thing here, and where the Saints crossed the line, is that they paid their players money specifically for this. The icing on the cake is then lying about it and continuing to do it after being told not to.

    In reality very few players are injured by illegal hits. QB concussions and the occasional WR over the middle, but other than that most injuries are legal. The Saints tried hard to change that and now have to pay the piper.

  45. To all the people saying the Saints ain’t do nothing other teams haven’t done are wrong. Other teams owned up Buddy Ryan said yeah he paid for the body bag game . He didn’t say his coaches went rogue.He owned up for it ,and the commissioner himself said he punished the Saints for lying !!! So quit with the everyone is doing it theme, because when they got caught they owned up, not tell lie after lie period!!!

  46. southcakpanther says:Apr 12, 2012 4:12 PM

    Just google Scott Fujita’s cheap shot on Steve Smith. The Saints dirty play per-dates Gregg Williams. It started when Payton arrived.
    Or you could google Steve Smiths cheap shot on Ken Lucas…..

  47. dzor22 says: Apr 12, 2012 4:06 PM

    3 years, 50,000 pages of documents and Williams admitted it. OK…now explain. Your sense of entitlement is showing…again.


    admitted what?

  48. So lets see. What if Jenkins comes out and says that RG is nothing more than an ignorant jack ass, and knows nothing about football or what really happened in all those defensive meetings? Don”t you think it makes more sense to wait until the player punishments are announced? I’m sure you don’t because you believe that the almighty RG is fair and just in all things football. You really are a moron!

  49. We already know what they’re gonna say- it didn’t happen. Darren Sharper has already told us this.

  50. Worried about the “media spin machine”? LOL Ever heard of Twitter? If the players truly feel wronged, you best believe their Twitter accounts would have been blowing up by now. The player’s silence speaks volumes. Let’s keep it real, Jenkins. The players have already said what they wanted and needed to say…which is nothing.

  51. It’s probably better if the players keep their mouths shut, Malcolm. The entire world heard your coach, on tape, telling players to target ACLs and cause concussions. We already know that not all of the players were involved. But that doesn’t change a darn thing.

    It’s like when you punish your kid for throwing rocks at cars with his friends and he says, “But I wasn’t throwing rocks, the other kids were!!” By trying to shift blame and not taking responsibility, the child shows he has not learned the important lesson and sees nothing wrong with his actions. Most parents increase the punishment in order to drive those lessons home, because what’s most important is for the child to take responsibility and see that he’s just as guilty for being PART of the problem. I don’t want to hear why it wasn’t your fault, or that you didn’t do it. You got caught. It’s too late to point fingers. If you really thought it was wrong, you should not have been part of it, but you were – so now you get the punishment. Most children learn this lesson around 9-10 years old, but apparently, Drew Brees and Malcom Jenkins did not.

    Honestly, the Saints fans and players would do well to just shut up and act like you’re taking responsibility. All you do by opening your mouth is strengthen public opinion that your team and fans are a bunch of Grade-A dbags and low-lifes.

  52. Damn Jenkins looks 50, anyhow nobody wants to know your opinion. As they say the proof is in the pudding or in this case the 50,000 pg report or the recordings or well never mind.

  53. 50,000 pages are emails, which are not even related to the issue, but included in the record because they were part of the investigation.

  54. Greg Williams admitted that he ran a bounty program, so shut your mouth and don’t make yourself look anymore stupid than you already are

  55. Saints fans, you have only ONE PERSON to blame.Your Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton!!!! They were told to stop, they did not.3 years later at his last meeting with Goodell Sean Payton lied again to his face.It’s your team and your coach who did this.There is not a person out there besides blinded Saints fans who think this is anybody else’s fault than Sean Paytons fault.Suck it up, face this facts and remember ……When you get made at us other football fans,Mike Florio or Roger Goodell you can really thank your head coach……..Sean Payton.He cost your team the draft picks,fines and suspensions.He did this to HIS SAINTS FANS……NO ONE ELSE!!!

  56. When you get mad at us other football fans,Mike Florio or Roger Goodell you can really thank your head coach……..Sean Payton.He cost your team the draft picks,fines and suspensions.He did this to HIS SAINTS FANS……NO ONE ELSE!!! He had the power to stop it and he chose to keep doing it for years after being warned.

  57. seem to me if the players felt like williams there would be lots of video evidence to point to about their illegal hits and fines that came from them, but the truth is, there is none, just talk, the nfl wants to feed the public to try and get out of paying all those ex nfl players that are suing them. but i doubt it works anyway.

  58. Maybe the league colluded with the NFLPA on this one and warned that there would be more consequences for the players if they talk to the media before the verdict is handed down. (J/K)

  59. bass1717 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:24 PM

    Greg Williams admitted that he ran a bounty program, so shut your mouth and don’t make yourself look anymore stupid than you already are.


    He admitted a “Pay for Performance” program. That’s the thing. It’s not a bounty program, and that’s why this whole thing is out of control. No one was taking out guys. And explain why when ESPN shows highlights during their “bountygate” talk that they show nothing but clean hits (except for the one high/low on Favre).

    Again–the “media spin machine” in action: Bountygate sounds way better than “Pay For Performance”Gate.

    But now this post is a half day old and no one cares anymore. The spin was effective.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.