Favre: NFL’s evidence Saints had a bounty on me “just hearsay”


As Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma continues to fight his yearlong suspension for his alleged involvement in the Saints’ bounty program, he has found an unlikely ally in the player he supposedly offered teammates $10,000 to knock out of the NFC Championship Game.

Brett Favre says that even if former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams confirmed that Vilma put a bounty on Favre, that’s not enough evidence to take away a full season of a player’s career. And so Favre says he was glad when the courts ordered Vilma and the other three suspended players to be reinstated while seeking a fuller explanation of their suspensions from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“In all honesty I’m pretty indifferent,” Favre said of the bounty case in an interview with Mike Tirico of ESPN. “But I’d have to say when they were allowed to play, I thought that was the right move, because I don’t see enough evidence. I don’t think ‘Some guy said that this went on’ is enough evidence. I don’t know Jonathan all that well. I think he’s a great player. Seems like a great leader. Seems like the guys who have played with him have a lot of respect for him, and Scott Fujita. The other guys I really don’t know. I felt like that’s the right thing to do. Otherwise, I think it’s just hearsay.”

Favre, who was himself once fined $50,000 for refusing to cooperate with an NFL investigation into accusations that he sexually harassed a Jets employee, may not be the most credible source of opinions about league investigations. But if the supposed victim of Vilma’s actions isn’t convinced that Vilma deserves to be suspended, it’s not surprising that a lot of other people aren’t convinced, either.

45 responses to “Favre: NFL’s evidence Saints had a bounty on me “just hearsay”

  1. After the interview:
    Gotta go now, promised my HS team a pizza party if we kicked the snot out of our biggest rival.

  2. Favre knows a thing or two about evidence in the context of these NFL investigations. Without that picture of lil’ tiny, he’d of probably gotten off scott free!

  3. Brett was a great QB, but he’s def not a good lawyer. “testimony alone not enough for a year long suspension”-well it’s just a civil case so they only need to prove it was probable it happened (ie 51%)…if this were a criminal case (ie a murder case) where the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt (a much higher burden then 51%-not to mention the stakes are much much higher then yr long suspension–like life in prison) -the only required evidence is testimony of one single person.

  4. Good attitude. Non-vindictive viewpoint. Not a rumor mongerer. SO UNLIKE Goodell. And the Saints haters.

  5. just playing devil’s advocate, if he is in trouble for OFFERING10k (not actually paying) what other evidence could there be? Unless there is an audio/video recording or a “ledger” the league would have to rely on witness accounts. Multiple witnesses would be enough especially when the odds of the witnesses conspiring are slim and the accused has a history or similar actions.

  6. The only matter that should be investigated involving Favre and the Saints was the one-sided officating in that infamous NFC title game.
    Even though I had no dog in that fight, Favre and the Vikings clearly got screwed. It’s games like that one that have me rooting for the demise of the regular refs.

  7. Way too much hearsay and not enough evidence. If solid evidence has not been produced by now, then it’s time to let it all go. The league office is embarrassing itself at this point. Seems like stubbornness has overcome reason. Credibility is gone! And, while I’m here, may as well add the attitude towards “maintaining the integrity of the game” doesn’t seem to mean much in the tiff with the professional refs. Something is a bit wrong down at the league offices.

  8. This isnt a civil suit/ its a worlplace disipline.They can suspend the cheatin taints for anything they want as long as it doesnt go outside the cba. Vilma should never suit up again. if i went to work and offered some1 10000 to hurt some1 i would go to prison. the taints are done. brees isnt anything but a loser without peyton. rest of the taints just suck

  9. Cuz Brett Favre is SO well-respected around the nation for his analytical prowess and legal opinions. He’s a regular ol’ football-chuckin’, Wrangler-wearin’ Sarah Palin!

  10. Translation for the lawyer wannabe’s: Brett is saying that some guy, Greg Williams, saying that something happened does not meet the preponderance of the evidence standard. That is, it’s less than 50% probable. That is, he doesn’t believe Gregg Williams. I don’t see how this could be more clear. Also, the three judge panel doesn’t think there is a preponderance of the evidence. If all you do is read Internet comments, then you might think differently. These people’s comments are directed toward the evidence and they are saying its not sufficient. And don’t you think it’s fishy that the NFL only just now got an affidavit from G. Williams?

    On the flip side, what I’d your coworker screwed your career with a false accusation?

  11. LAW SCHOOL 101: Testimony by a witness concerning conduct they personally observed or statements by the accused that they personally heard is not hearsay. It is the most common form of evidence.

  12. Brett Favre doesn’t cry about the game,he’s too damn tough. Only cried about the thoughts of leaving the game forever. Don’t see no shame in that,,,

  13. Brett Favre will say or do anything to stay in the headlines. He’s saying just the opposite of what he’d be expected to say. This guarantees some play in the press. Well played, Costanza.

  14. Despite what some Packer “fans” (and I put fans in quotations for a reason) say about Favre, he is really a class act that says it like it is, not like what he thinks the press wants to hear (like plenty of other QBs).

  15. @samapoc: apparently you’re also not a lawyer. The preponderance of the evidence standard is irrelevant. The CBA is silent in the amount of proof Goodell needs to discipline players. Even when the suspensions go back to Judge Berrigan, the standard still be irrelevant. The Judge will just be evaluating whether Goodell followed the procedures in the CBA. That’s it.

    The appeal panel absolutely did not make a finding regarding the evidence. Be it a preponderance or any other standard. The panel simply said it was unclear whether or not the suspensions were related to salary cap violations. They had an issue with jurisdiction, not evidence.

    Williams’ declaration merely reduced to writing what he previously told the league and the league disclosed the information prior to issuing the suspensions.

    In regards to evidence itself, don’t forget about the statements of the Saints, Loomis and Payton acknowledging the NFL’s allegations were true. Or Hargroves’ statement that he was told to lie to league investigators by Williams and Vitt and that he complied.

  16. Weather Favre is credible or not is irrelevant. He is simply saying if you want to hurt an NFL player with a full years suspension. The league and the commissioner need to come up with some hard evidence and not just hearsay. Gregg Williams is not credible, so where is the NFL’s substantial information that can be confirmed and backed up with other testimony?

  17. I could impeach Williams “testimony” in 2 seconds. When Goodell presented Vilma with a sworn affidavit from Williams dated September 15th, Goodell and his case lost all credibility. What that means is that when Goodell handed down the suspensions HE HAD NO SUCH SWORN EVIDENCE. So he decided to ruin the career of a player and several others with no sworn evidence at all. My 1st question to Williams would be to ask him what he was promised in return for turning states evidence against Vilma.

    Goodell is being exposed as the power mad egomaniac he is. He’s ruining the game and needs to be fired ASAP for the good of the game.

  18. All of the talk about Farve just being a media hog is rediculous. The guy has quietly retired and was interviewed about a case that is directly related to him. And he just gave his opinion and isn’t holding a grudge. His behavior in all of this is commendable if anything. He’s not grabbing at money. He’s frickin coaching QBs for a high school. He’s a good ole boy who made some mistakes but gave the game his all because the game was all he had. Oh, an he just happened to be one of the greatest football players to ever step on a football feild. Ever. And that’s not even my opinion. That’s fact.

  19. You Favre bashers really love him. Like a girlfriend that left you, you can’t stop obsessing over him. Having A man crush on Favre is OK, especially if you can admit it to yourself, which is the first step to recovery.

  20. FinFan is right on on this. Even in a criminal case, eye witness testimony carries significant weight. Lets say someone shoots you in the head and you die. The person who shot you had an accomplice who witnessed the assault. This accomplice decided to come forward and testify about your murder and finger the trigger man. That has been enough evidence to convict thousands of people in criminal court. Outside of DNA or video evidence, it is the strongest evidence one can have in court.

    The court had nothing tying Vick to the dog fighting ring other than he owned the property. It was when they got his inner circle to roll over and become a witness against Vick that he went to jail.

    To say eye witness testimony is hearsay is false. Hearsay would be Mr. X told me that Mr. Y said he put a bounty out on Favre. . . not I heard with my own ears Mr. Y say he was putting out a bounty. That is eye witness testimony which is very strong in any case.

  21. I think Favre is a lot angrier about the officiating of the farsr that was the 2009 NFC title game than he is about the bounty that was placed on him for that game. People bee to realize that Favre came from the 90’s era where activities like bounties were not uncommon.

    I personally think the NFL generated all of this bounty stuff to distract from the officiating in that game, effectively handing the Saints a Uper Bowl at the expense of the Vikings as a way to capitalize on the Katrina disaster while it was still newsworthy. It was this game that had lots of fans around the country talking like the NFL was rigging games.

    The bounty investigation has changed the conversation.

  22. Which is worse – having a team that was “paid” to be dirty, or a team like Pittsburgh or Detroit which plays dirty just for the hell of it?

  23. Like Favre or don’t that is your choice. But, what was the point in bringing up the texting incident regarding Favre? What does that have to do with the bounty issue? That is a reporter bring up crap just to throw crap because he enjoys crap. Must be crap.

  24. Favre needs to return to whatever law school he graduated from and/or return his juris doctor degree.

    Williams’ and Cerullo’s declarations regarding their personal observations of Vilma, Fujita and Smith making statements at a defensive team meeting before the January 2010 NFC Championship Games are most definitely not hearsay.

    Now please feel free to give me thumbs down for point out a legal fact. 😉

    An entirely different question to be answered is whether Williams and/or Cerullo are lying. The lawyers will almost certainly get their chance to cross-examine the two after the inevitable appeal is filed.

  25. joemcrugby says: Sep 22, 2012 4:17 PM

    Favre needs to return to whatever law school he graduated from and/or return his juris doctor degree.

    Williams’ and Cerullo’s declarations regarding their personal observations of Vilma, Fujita and Smith making statements at a defensive team meeting before the January 2010 NFC Championship Games are most definitely not hearsay.

    Now please feel free to give me thumbs down for point out a legal fact.

    An entirely different question to be answered is whether Williams and/or Cerullo are lying. The lawyers will almost certainly get their chance to cross-examine the two after the inevitable appeal is filed.

    The REAL question should be why the commish considered and acted on information that would be described as shaky, at best !!

  26. laserw:
    Your wild accusation that the Steelers “play dirty” is based on what?
    I believe the irony to this entire “bountygate” thing is that the Saints’ defense has never been considered to be anything special. New Orlean’s defense was just as soft and cheesy in 2009 as it is this season.
    I will say, however, having Tracy Porter on the 2009 team was a plus.

  27. I see a lot of you saying you only need “a” witness to convict someone. I’m really glad it doesn’t work that way! lol. The courts will only recognize a “credible” witness. BIG difference. We’re talking about a disgruntled ex employee who was fired for….wait for it…..LYING about his whereabouts when he went missing twice! And the other guy is a coach who will say and do whatever the league wants in hopes of them opening a door for him in the future.

    Look, the Saints are probably guilty of a PFP system but the rest of the NFL’s investigation stinks from top to bottom. The supposed confessions from Williams and Hargrove were both disputed by the men who were supposed to have written them. That’s enough for me to cry shenanigans. As far as Loomis and Peyton, they are playing ball, that’s all. they let the NFL write whatever they wanted in their statements. They want their jobs back, they’re keeping quiet whether they are guilty or not. Don’t confuse that as an admission of guilt, just smart on their part.

    One things for sure, we may not know the truth for a long time but I’m sure there will be many books written after these coaches/players careers and maybe then all the facts will be told.

  28. It’s not the Saints players who F’d that game up by cheating it was the officials who missed call after call after call. Like the pic in the headline. Not only high/low but below the knees and the result of that play an INT. Should have been overturned. The Saints stopped short on 4th down in OT but given a first down. Phantom PI. Investigate those officials! Still makes me sick, just think how the players feel.

  29. vikings fans.

    there were just as many missed calls for the saints in that game….there is no conspiracy….you just think that because you lost. 5 turnovers lost you the game…..get over it.

  30. Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this and totally redeem yourself!!

    i want to give this comment 1000 thumbs up.

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