Second scud? Cerullo letter to Tagliabue is leaked


On Thursday afternoon, Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt said that the leak of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ testimony to the media amounted to a “scud,” presumably launched by the league office.  Vitt predicted that another “scud” would be coming Thursday night.

Coincidentally (or not), a letter from former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo to former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been leaked to John Barr of ESPN.

“Since it became public that I told league officials about the (bounty) program, I have been vilified and subjected to slanderous lies,” Cerullo wrote.

“It has been said . . . that I ‘pledged vengeance on the Saints,’ and that I retracted my claims after first making them. As you know, none of that is true.  Having people tell vicious lies about me has not been easy for me and my family.”

Cerullo, whom Vitt called an “idiot” while testifying at the recent bounty appeal hearing, allegedly was fired after multiple unexplained absences from work during the 2009 season, according both to Vitt’s testimony and a lawsuit previously filed by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.  “It has been said that I ‘disappeared’ from work during the 2009-2010 season, that my performance ratings were poor,” Cerullo wrote to Tagliabue. “I never missed work, always received high performance ratings.”

Cerullo also took aim at those who criticized him for blowing the whistle on the bounty program; most recently, Saints quarterback Drew Brees described Cerullo and Williams as “two guys who were fired from here because they didn’t fit the mold.”  Brees also questioned where they are “mentally.”

“I regret that some of the players facing discipline chose to attack me and coach Williams for coming forward,” Cerullo wrote to Tagliabue.  “But what is worse is that others, including lawyers, knowingly spoke lies and continue to do so.  You searched for and found the truth; they have never thought that truth matters.”

Since Cerullo is interested in the truth, he should consider the whole truth.  While employed by the Saints, Cerullo knowingly participated in the activities about which he now complains; he could have taken a stand at the time the events were unfolding, or he could have blown the whistle not long after he was fired.

Instead, he sent an email more than a year after the fact to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, only a couple of months before the annual hiring season began for head coaches and assistant coaches.  And Cerullo made no bones about his desire to get back to the league.

“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,” Cerullo wrote in November 2011.  “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.”

Cerullo wanted back in, and he possibly believed that helping the league crack the ice-cold bounty case would help.  And his decision to call the Saints a “Dirty Organization” suggests that he indeed harbors ill will for the organization that fired him.  And now he has decided to write a letter to Paul Tagliabue complaining about the fact that his motives have been questioned.

Regardless of whether he has the skills and abilities to return to the NFL, he could have used a better strategy for getting there.

25 responses to “Second scud? Cerullo letter to Tagliabue is leaked

  1. Perhaps he can explain this GLARING contradiction in what happened to the supposed ‘bounty cash’:

    From Cerullo’s affadavit filed in May:
    “I personally collected the money that Mr. Vilma left on a table at the front of the room and subsequently gave it to Mr. Williams for safekeeping.”

    Compare this to what the AP says about his testimony in the leaked portion of the transcripts:
    “Cerullo testified that league investigators misrepresented what he told them, and that, during the playoffs following the 2009 regular season, he kept track of large playoff pledges on note pads but didn’t collect the money.”

    Got your story straight yet, Cerullo? Prepared to testify under penalty of jail? Prepared to take lie detector like Vitt is?

  2. Joe Vitt is a seer. A visionary. Either that, or he knows the way the NFL works and can predict their next move like clockwork. Roger Goodell and his entire spin team needs to be sent packing before the NFL has to endure the indignity of sending their ‘leadership’ to deal with the scorned Saints fans over Super Bowl weekend. And if you think this isn’t going to be a special time in New Orleans, let me remind you, the Super Bowl is right smack dab in the middle of Mardi Gras. That just means instead of a two week drunk, it will be a three week drunk. You ever deal with a bunch of Cajuns who have been drunk for three weeks? I bet you haven’t.

  3. Isn’t Barr the guy that was poking around the Saints for any kind of dirt after this “bounty” thing came to light? He’s the one that broke the eavesdropping scandal, right? Dude is desperate for a story and he seems like the journalism world’s equivalent to an ambulance chaser. Total scumbag…

  4. Why would Cerullo send Tags a letter now? What would Tags do with that letter, send an apology?

    “Having people tell vicious lies about me has not been easy for me and my family.”

    He’s looking for a payout or ammunition to sue the league for releasing his name.

    Seriously what else could it be?

    IMO Vitt’s correct about Cerullo being a idiot.

  5. Cerullo sending that e-mail to Aiello trying to sell his insider info on the bounty scandal was a really bad idea on so many levels. If had sincere concerns about wrongdoing and wanted to blow the whistle, the appropriate time was during the initial investigation. This guy was trying to serve up the Saints to ensure himself a job. Even if he was telling the truth, all he’s done is ensure he’ll never work in the league again.

  6. Mike,

    Whistleblowers are usually disgruntled. That is why they are blowing the whistle. Their motives may be less than pure, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t telling the truth. Many of the biggest cases in the history of this country have been made possible because of whistleblowers. Frankly, I can sympathize with Cerullo feeling like he and his family are being attacked throughout this saga. Because they have been. Peter Ginsberg has done his best to use you to attack him for the last 5 months.

  7. I also think Cerullo had help writing this email. After reading his first email to Aiello, I have a hard time believing this was writte by him alone. Hell, he actually used a semicolon in the email to Tags.

    Lastly, there seems to be an awful lot of leaks coming from the NFL Park Ave offices in the last year. Stuff like this never happened from previous commissioners.

  8. Ha, contrast the tone, poor grammar and misspellings in the email with the current letter. Think a lawyer wrote this one? Geez

  9. mazblast says: Dec 13, 2012 10:34 PM

    And WTH is a QC coach anyway?


    Judging by his grammar, he wasn’t much of one. No wonder the Saints fired him.

  10. Isn’t this the same John Barr that broke the “news” about Loomis wiretapping visiting teams? How did that play out again?

    You’ll understand if I refuse to give any creedence to anything with that hack’s name on it.

    Keep trying, Roger. We’re laughing at the pathetic fighter who keeps staggering all over the canvas because he’s too stupid to just lay down and take the 10 count.

  11. “Second letter from a slug” is more like it.

    And WTH is a QC coach anyway?

    Quality control coach.

  12. The league seemingly was so determined all evidence would be destroyed, I should have known it really meant it’s all about to get leaked. Nobody was warned before they burned all the evidence from Spygate, they just done it.

  13. I’m a big Saints fan. Have been my entire life. But, to be honest with you all of this is starting to get funny. And, I can’t figure out why I find this so ammusing.

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