Will Smith: Tagliabue got the facts, Goodell rushed to judgment

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Upon learning that he will not be suspended in the Saints bounty case, defensive end Will Smith thanked the man who rescinded his suspension — and ripped the man who originally suspended him.

Smith said he appreciated that former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue took the time to consider the players’ side of the story and said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rushed to judgment without waiting for the facts.

“I’m pleased with the ruling of Mr. Tagliabue to vacate my suspension,” Smith said. “I continue to maintain that I did not participate in a pay-to-injure program or facilitate any such program. I appreciate that Mr. Taglaibue did not rush to judgment, taking into consideration all facts presented to him, before ruling– something that was clearly not done by Commissioner Goodell in previous hearings. I am looking forward to putting this all behind me and getting back to the game I love. I want to thank the New Orleans Saints, the NFL Players Association, the fans, my friends and family for their continued support throughout this ordeal.”

Smith and his fellow suspended Saints have said all along that Goodell botched the bounty investigation, and now Smith and his fellow Saints are celebrating a victory handed to them by Goodell’s predecessor.

43 responses to “Will Smith: Tagliabue got the facts, Goodell rushed to judgment

  1. Sorry Will Smith, Goodell may have rushed to his sanctions but both he and Tags got the “facts right”. Funny how these players and saints* fans somehow thinks this exonerates the saints* when it specifically states that they were guilty but perhaps punished too harshly.

  2. Fools……….all Tags did was “vacate the suspensions” which is a far cry from exonerating guilt. Kind of like the criminal who committs a crime and the appeals court determines that his sentence was “too harsh”, they lower the sentence but it doesn’t vacate the guilt.

  3. You people that support the guilty parties in this, you disgust me.

    Grow up, admit there was a bounty, move on.

    They did not exonerate these guys (that means still guilty). They are just very lucky that the case was mishandled.

  4. Bottom line is there was a bounty program period. Just because there’s not enough evidence to suspend a particular player doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

  5. Any punishment Goodell hands down from now on will be scruitinized. When he first took the job I appreciated his stern punishments and looked forward to him cleaning up the NFL. Now he just seems like a punish first authoritartian. Like Buford T. Justice or Boss Hog

  6. Until I hear some actual hard evidence (testimony of the scumbag Greg Williams and his ilk doesn’t impress me) these guys get my benefit of the doubt since every arbiter aside from him has dismissed everything he’s tried to put on them.

    Only certainty I have in all of it so far is that Goodell’s ego is out of control, one way or the other.

  7. That was a pretty self serving interpretation of Tags report.

    Very simply what he said was that the Saints ran a bounty program. The Saints brass actively tried to hide what they were doing and hindered the investigation. BUT this was a crime run by the coaches and management and the players, though they participated, shouldn’t have been held responsible for what their leaders were sponsoring.

    Doesn’t sound like a rush to judgement to me.

  8. “Goodell is awful. Saints get banned, but Belicheat doesn’t get kicked out of the NFL?”

    Belicheat? 2007 called it wants its joke back.

    The tears of Patriots haters taste so good, enjoy your 5-8 team Saints fans.

  9. You people who STILL talk trash about the Saints are just bitter, ignorant fools.

    The Saints won the Super Bowl. Deal with it.

  10. My question is what if a coach tells a player to, for example, take steroids… by Taglibue’s logic that player shouldn’t be punished

  11. What Tags is saying is basically “yes, there was a pay-for-performance system” and “no, there is no proof the Saints were trying to injure anyone”. Bottom line, this type of thing have gone on since the beginning of the league and nobody has ever been penalized for it. It was highly publicized that Reggie White had this type of system going in Green Bay, which makes it funny to hear Favre fans still whining about it and saying the Saints Super Bowl has been tainted. Pot meet kettle…

  12. Tag did exactly what was wanted. He got the NFL off the hook and eliminated the ridiculous penalties inflicted by RG’s gross incompetence.

  13. No such thing as luck when a case is mishandled. If you are accused of something falsely and it comes back that you didn’t do it….are you lucky?

  14. Advice to Smith: Don’t go back and sue the NFL over “player safety” concerns when someone takes you out.

  15. If we had one positive thing out of this it is the phrase, “he’s the coach on the field” is now dead. A coach is necessary to the players on the field who implement the game plan.

  16. The anti Goodell crowd lets their dislike/hate towards the man cloud their judgment.

    If you think bounties have a place in the NFL and/or that these players shouldn’t have been suspended, you’ve got no credibility.

  17. Unbelievable that 32 owners continue employing this dope to run their 9 billion dollar business. His handling of this nonsense would be a fireable offense if any other CEO committed it

  18. Anyway, nobody really liked Tagliabue when he was commissioner. Being a commissioner is the most thankless job in all of sports. No commissioner has been or will ever be popular. You’re the target of all the irrational hatred of unintelligent fans.

    You take heat for things that either, A) Aren’t your fault or B) Are actually good ideas, but fans with room temp IQ (re – 80/90% of them) hate.

  19. trbowman says:
    Dec 11, 2012 7:32 PM
    Anyway, nobody really liked Tagliabue when he was commissioner. Being a commissioner is the most thankless job in all of sports. No commissioner has been or will ever be popular. You’re the target of all the irrational hatred of unintelligent fans.

    You take heat for things that either, A) Aren’t your fault or B) Are actually good ideas, but fans with room temp IQ (re – 80/90% of them) hate.


    Spot on. Kudos trbowman.

  20. So far, nothing has been reported on what Tagliabue said about Payton. Did Tags say Payton was suspended because he was a part of the scheme or because he should have been aware of it or that he was part of the cover-up? I’ve NEVER heard anything bad EVER about Payton and yet he’s suspended for an entire year and we still have no explanation.

  21. These guys are like mob bosses who got off on a technicality. That is all. Our coaches made us do it, really?! Not a single one stood up and said it was wrong to anyone. Goodell’s mistake was making this public and punishing the players. If you had just punished the organization and the coaches he would have been fine.

  22. The only thing saints did wrong was have a pay for performance and they def did not play to injure anyone so all you haters out there just knock it off. It’s very clear that your biased opinions only make you look dumb

  23. Where are all the saint whiner fans who said it was just a conspiracy bringing in tags to review this? Just to make it clear the team was not exonerated and there was a bounty program. To continually deny it just confirms the failing educational system in Louisiana.

  24. I cant wait for 3 new defamation lawsuits to come against RG…you dragged these guys through the mud with little or no proof (that they have shown the public anyway) and no, i will not take roger’s word for it.

    I hope the other 3 file defamation suits against him and the owners realize that this guy went too far and is not good for their business at this point.

    Bye Bye Roger 🙂

  25. This has become very much like the 1919 Sox scandal. ‘Showless’ Joe and the other 8 fixers were found not guilty by a judge and jury but Landis exercised his power and threw them out of baseball with a lifetime ban.

  26. Obviously Tagliabue took time to carefully weigh the evidence and make a sound decision. But why would Goodell do that? Since the CBA gives him sole discretion to be judge, jury, and executioner, he’s a modern-day Judge Roy Bean. His decisions don’t have to be sound. He can decide in advance of seeing any evidence how he wants things to go, then write an opinion to make the “facts” fit his judgment.

    Goodell’s decisions are corporate. They have nothing to do with evidence or justice and never have. If they did, then the fact that none of these men were fined or suspended based on the game film would have automatically ruled out fining or suspending them for trying to hurt someone during a game.

    It’s time for this football kangaroo court to end.

  27. Notice how every player always make sure to include “I didn’t participate in a pay to injure program”…ya me too

  28. The key is this — Tagliabue would have given Sean Payton a big fine instead of suspending him. Why? Because by suspending him (along with Vitt and Loomis) he would have taken away any chance for the Saints to have a competitive season, which would have effected so many thousands of people who had nothing to do with the bounty thing. Is it fair that the Patriots were allowed to compete on a level field after they were punished (for actually cheating), but the Saints weren’t given the same chance?

  29. Rooney, Mara and Kraft run this league. They saw an opportunity to slap down a franchise that could threaten their chances of collecting more rings. Goodell is their puppet.

    These owners have been doing this for years- just ask Al Davis. Nevermind- RIP AL

    Go Raiders

  30. any other officials on any other day and the Saints lose to the vikes just based on the results of roughing calls. And then we would not have to had to listen to these vile clowns for the last 3 years.
    That would have been so nice. Consider it your penance for that game Roger.

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