Latest Vilma brief attaches whistleblower email from Cerullo


Earlier today, I mentioned that the latest court filing from Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma in the bounty case contains no new facts or legal arguments.

Man, was I wrong.

Attached to the brief is the email sent by former Saints assistant coach Mike Cerullo that resurrected the NFL’s investigation.  In a November 2, 2011 message to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, Cerullo states as follows:  “So I have info on Saints Joe Vitt Lying to your NFL Investigators on Bounties from 2010, along with proof!!!  I was there, in the cover up meetings, with players and Joe, I love the NFL and want to work there again, but I am afraid if I tell thge [sic] truth I will never coach again in NFL, But I was fired for a situation that the Saints encourage.  All I want is a Job back in the NFL as a QC Coach anywhere, so If talking to you jepodizes [sic] that I will have to get back to you, but The Saints are a Dirty Organization.  Contact me.”

The message contains proof of Cerullo’s alleged bias against Vitt.  As alleged by Vilma earlier in this process, Cerullo had vowed revenge against Vitt for firing Cerullo.  Separately, Cerullo’s zeal to return to the NFL calls into question everything he says.  Also, Cerullo’s reference to being fired “for a situation that the Saints encourage” requires that claim to be explored and compared to the stated and actual reasons for his termination, in order to properly evaluate Cerullo’s overall perspective and mindset.

The email is attached to a new declaration from Vilma’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, who explains that the email was produced by the NFL on October 23, 2012.  Ginsberg contends that the NFL completely removed Aiello’s response.

The Cerullo email is marginally relevant to the effort to disqualify former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as the bounty suspension hearing officer.  But it will be extremely relevant to the overall appeal and litigation process, given that it makes a full cross examination of Cerullo even more critical to a fair disposition of the case.

38 responses to “Latest Vilma brief attaches whistleblower email from Cerullo

  1. Sounds like, in addition to a job in the NFL, Cerullo could also use a spelling/grammar check.

  2. The last thing The Great Roger Goodell Live And In Person wants is for anyone to be able to examine his witnesses under oath and independently look at the “evidence”. His vendetta against the Saints would be revealed in about ten minutes if a competent defense attorney were to question Cerullo.

    Changing the subject a bit–I’ve always wondered, what is a “quality control coach”, anyway? Especially on teams with no quality?

  3. I think this only lends credibility to Cerullo. He’s obviously concerned about his ability to work again in the NFL, and rightfully believed that being known as a snitch would jeapordize that.

    That being the case, he testified anyways despite the threat to his career. I think most people would agree that he would be more hire-able if he was not known as the snitch, compared to now that he’s known as a snitch. Now no one will touch him…

  4. Wow, just wow.

    How can this guy even be considered credible by the NFL? After he got caught lying to the team about some time off that he took, he got fired. He made such a scene he had to be escorted by security from the Saints facility the day he was terminated and the police were called.

    And why were any replies from the NFL not included.

    Emperor Goodell is wearing no clothes.

  5. Prior to his contacting the league last fall, Cerullo made insinuations in an interview regarding his former employer the New Orleans Saints which can be easily found online.

  6. Here is the thing about whistle blowers… they usually have a motive other than good will. They usually feel like they have been screwed over by the company they are exposing. BUT, usually what they expose is true. I knew a guy who was fired for a legit reason. He was angry, so he called MicroSoft and exposed that the company was using bootleg MS Office on all of its computers… guess what… they were. He wasn’t trying to help Microsoft, but he used inside info that he learned while working for a company to burn them. Usually whistle blowers tell the truth, even if it is for less than stellar reasons.

  7. For some some reason, this is this unexplained yet predictable phenomenon that both former and current employees of the NFL are great at butchering the English language.

  8. When the Jets coaches and players announce on TV that they are targeting Reggie Bush’s knee or Peyton Manning’s neck nothing happens. When a disgruntled ex-employee with an axe to grind produces hearsay slander against the Saints, the NFL acts immediately and says it has proof that is too sensitive to share. Just shows Roger Goodell is a New York guy and plays for the home team.

  9. Cerullo is a liar…why would Saints fire him because of his knowledge of so called bounties…just senseless, he is covering up real reasons for being fired…this guy is uncredible

  10. Warren Sapp – Now is a good time to man up and apologize to Shockey (Who is normally an bum-hole, but in this instance…)!

  11. Should the suspended players be able to cross examine Cerullo and Williams? Absolutely. Is the email relevant to the issue the brief is supposed to be addressing (Tagliabue)? Categorically not.

    More spaghetti being thrown against the wall by Vilma/Ginsberg.

  12. truthfactory says: Oct 29, 2012 11:17 PM
    I think this only lends credibility to Cerullo. He’s obviously concerned about his ability to work again in the NFL, and rightfully believed that being known as a snitch would jeapordize that.


    Cerullo’s “ability to work again in the NFL” was jeopardized by his flakiness, unexplained absences from work, and increasingly shady behavior that occurred long before anything came out about a “bounty” scandal.

  13. Of course those who have a bias against the Saints will interpret this Cerullo as a “Saintly” guy who was just concerned about his job security.

    Unfortunately for them, and the NFL, this is not going to give them the conclusion they had hoped for.

  14. Why on earth would I hire an individual to be my quality control coach when he cannot even quality control his diction?

  15. Really? The NFL is willing to base most if not its entire case on this guy? No wonder they don’t want an impartial arbitrator hearing this.

  16. Sorry, but to me it doesnt matter as to why he snitched.. when the NFL got that email that gave them enough reason to look into the matter and coaches took their punishment because they knew what was true. I am 100 percent sure this has gone on forever with many team, but they got caught and got people to talk so they get the punishment. End of story and I dont see as to why it is still being debated.

  17. “But it will be extremely relevant to the overall appeal and litigation process, given that it makes a full cross examination of Cerullo even more critical to a fair disposition of the case.”
    In Your conclusions you make an assumption that a player has a RIGHT to cross examine anyone; Under the current CBA, there is no such right. Remember, the BARGAINED FOR procedures are left entirely to the Commisioner to do, basically ANYTHING he wishes. If this were a court of law I would agree with you, but it’s not!

  18. Apparently Goodell is using the Saints as his sacrificial lamb to protect the NFL owners from taking a huge hit in court regarding the concussion lawsuits. The Commish can point out how he and the owners have come down HARD on a franchise that was allegedly out to hurt players so how can the NFL be held responsible for concussions.
    Very slick Roger. Unfortunately your case hinges on allegations from an obviously deranged individual. This clown is a joke. The NFL will be irreparably harmed by the Goodell tactics. Enjoy it while you can Roger. When the full truth comes out YOU will be the next sacrificial lamb the owners throw under the bus to protect their precious bottom line. The billionaires are using you Roger. Good luck.

  19. See and the average NFL fan couldn’t even tell you who Cerullo is, theyd probably figure he was some suspended Saints player. Most folks get their information almost exclusively from ESPN and it doesn’t really give coverage to this case in any fair sort of manner.
    They just track Goodell”s moves and then whatever Vilma says he’s going to do in court against them. Whatever motion he’s gonna file or however the NFLPA is going to pump the brakes on the whole deal.
    When there was evidence like the bounty ledger coming out ESPN was actually quick to bring that out and brief the details to their audience. Well there’s mountains of evidence au contraire to that as well as heaps of discrepancies in aforementioned evidence. Yet ESPN won’t say a thing about that.
    If you’ve read every snippet on this story from PFT then you know what I’m talking about. If the public was in the know as anyone who’s read as much as I have, it would have a different outlook as to what this case was.
    Goodell should be held accountable for his questionable actions and if any of his people up top sing any songs of ulterior motives, well then he should face a few suspended paychecks and maybe an indefinite ban for his conduct detrimental to the game.
    In the meantime, free Sean Payton.

  20. Cerullo was fired for incompetance. Think about that. Good coaches are hard to find. If he is worth his salt, why would he be worried about being known as a snitch? Maybe cause he would have a reputation of being incompetent and a snitch to boot?

    This isn’t the school playground Cerullo. It’s the NFL. What are you going to say next? That your dog ate your testimony?

  21. this ginsberg guy is just a tacky ambulance chaser lawyer defending a fellow tacky crook in vilma. and this is exactly how the guilty act when they are the character in question: they subvert the reality of the situation and put everyone other than the crook on trial and try to turn the crook into a poor, innocent victim.

  22. He wants an OC job? Try typing the most important letter in your life and not misspell any words. “Jepodizes”……really………????

  23. showside says:
    Oct 29, 2012 11:21 PM
    Something tells me Vilma types like that, too.

    And what “something” is that? Please illuminate us.

    I mean, it’s not like he was a 3 time All Academic Big East or anything.

    Or do you think that Miami just hands out Finance degrees to everyone?

  24. The police had to be called to escort him from the Saints facility when he was fired because he went ballistic and wouldn’t leave on his own. He’ll never get another job in the NFL because he’s known to be unstable/erratic, not because he’s a whistle blower.

    I’m sure there’s a police report or some other record of the incident, and I’m sure it’ll be included in subsequent filings or at least brought up in court.

  25. While I have many reservtions about some of your opinions, I want to thank you for your reporting about the bounty case. For some time, I have wondered why Goodell doesn’t beg to get out before his world crumbles. And, it will.

  26. Goodell just won’t admit that he got duped by such a low-life, dumbass as Cerullo.

    The Saints were right to let this douche go.

    I hope Vilma takes Goodell for millions!

  27. sophandros says:
    Oct 30, 2012 9:03 AM
    showside says:
    Oct 29, 2012 11:21 PM
    Something tells me Vilma types like that, too.

    And what “something” is that? Please illuminate us.

    I mean, it’s not like he was a 3 time All Academic Big East or anything.

    Or do you think that Miami just hands out Finance degrees to everyone?

    Not everyone silly……..Just the star football players!!

  28. for all the posters saying they know the real reasons cerullo got fired…uh, how? because the team said so? because you saw it on the rumor mill? i don’t know if one or the other party is correct in this, or if it’s somewhere in between. but it’s disingenuous to criticize the nfl for using a source (cerullo) based on the reason he was fired, when YOU (the poster) are using what source(??) to show why?
    if cerullo is a sleazeball, but the allegations of “bounty-gate” are true, then the punishments are deserved. if cerullo is an angel, but the allegations are false, then no punishments. i’m sure florio could answer to this (cause he’s a lawyer and all), but how many witnesses in court end up being criminals/shady characters…i’d bet it’s a pretty high percentage.
    also, which one was higher, star jones reminding people “i’m a lawyer” on the view, or florio reminding us that he’s a lawyer?

  29. formyministry>> I suppose you missed the last article regarding this guy.. He went AWOL twice on the team, when they asked why and where, HE LIED!! That isnt a bog secret. Neither is the fact that he promised REVENGE.. You think this guy did this bc of a moral stance, HAHA!! so tupid.. It was a pure ME move.. It is all about Cerullo, it has nothing to do with the safety of the players, he felt it wa wrong, wetc etc etc..

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