De Smith says Saints fans, Sean Payton got the “raw end of the deal”


The bounty case is over, for the most part.  But with the NFL soon descending on New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII, plenty more will be said about the situation — especially since Saints coach Sean Payton remains suspended as the franchise is preparing for the 2013 season.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said plenty more about the situation on Tuesday, during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take.

“Sometimes in this business everybody sort of looks at the end,” Smith said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  “Very few people today it seems to me have time to look at the process.  Here was the process, the process was if you remember, the league started out on a P.R. campaign where they said that there were dozens of players involved in a scheme to injure players.  It turns out that while they talked about dozes of players by the time we got through the process it was a smaller number of players.

“You had people talking about email talking about bounties that the league didn’t even rely on when they were held accountable to the process.  And as a person who sat there and read every page of the transcript, whether it was from Joe Vitt, Gregg Williams or other people involved in that bounty.  What I was shocked by from the process was none of the words that came from their mouth substantiated the league’s P.R. machine.

“So it seems to me, while all of you haven’t been privy to the transcripts — we certainly don’t have a problem with those transcripts becoming public — what I champion and what all of our players champion is we are able to force a process that ultimately resulted in the fact that those players didn’t lose their games.  Now frankly I will tell you, do I think the fans in New Orleans got the raw end of that deal?  Yes they did.  Do I know that Sean Payton got the raw end of that deal?  Yes he did, because I know from reading each and every page of that transcript that what the National Football League said occurred never occurred.”

That’s a strong statement, as we’d love to hear more about why Smith believes that.  And we’d love even more to see the transcripts — all of the transcripts.  The Saints undoubtedly were doing something they shouldn’t have been doing, and the non-players suffered significant consequences because they apparently covered it up.But, yes, a disconnect existed between words and actions.  And, yes, the facts as initially sold by the league didn’t completely mesh with the reality.Moreover, and as former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue explained in his 22-page ruling overturning the players’ suspensions, the NFL ultimately attempted to implement culture change by taking a sledgehammer to the last team to be caught dangling cash to get players to do things they already had an incentive to do, from generating turnovers to applying clean, legal hits in a manner that rendered opposing players unable to continue.Meanwhile Payton remains suspended.

47 responses to “De Smith says Saints fans, Sean Payton got the “raw end of the deal”

  1. I think it’s pretty obvious by the transcripts from the players mtgs. with Goodell and the court transcripts, that no one considered what continued in 2010 to 2011 a “bounty program”.

    So it’s pretty hard to cover up what no one believes exists.

    That is why the NFL’s lack of proof of a bounty on Rodgers or Newton, or the fact that the ledgers didn’t support what they were selling is so important.

    This is the reason De Smith thinks Payton got the raw end of the deal.

  2. I have yet to hear a logical explanation as to why someone (may not have been harvrove) said “Give me my money!” On the sideline after the Favre injury??? Someone DID say that.

  3. Still waiting for the discovery in the Vilma defamation lawsuit. And what a judge is going to say when he sees what De Smith saw – or didn’t see. Somehow, I think that there’s going to be a settlement involved here, without Godell admitting guilt.

  4. Goodell can solve all these problems by releasing all the transcripts and evidence to the public. There is no whistle blower to protect anymore. There is no reason to keep this stuff quiet..

    Well, except for one thing. Goodell lied.

  5. Anybody with half of a football brain knows this.

    Goodell has done enough unprecedented and undue damage to this franchise. At least give’em their draft picks back.

  6. The NFL, up until this very day has not put forth one legitimate piece of evidence, that alone is reprehensible. What goes around comes around. This injustice will be paid “in full”, Mr. Goodell.

  7. Payton doesn’t play defense. Neither do Saints fans.

    That’s really the only thing that could have helped this clunker of a team.

    Lucky to finish where they did, and even luckier if they finish that well next year.

  8. Any team without their head coach, GM, and assistant coaches; plus multiple players on their defense would have suffered the same fate the perennial Division leader Saints would be in the same boat. Think about this for a second; what if that was your team…

    Hey Giants; how bout no Coughlin, GM and assistants; no Blackburn, Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora, etc….

    Hey SF; how about no Harbaugh, GM and assistants; no Bowman, Smith, Smith (lol), etc….

    Hey GB, how bout no McCarthy, GM and assistants; no Woodson, Matthews, Raji, etc…….

    I can go on and on and on and on………….look, these guys got the raw deal… plain as white toast and ARCO unleaded. This has never passed the smell test, and I got a bad sense of smell……

  9. sdisme:
    Gregg Williams did. The night before the playoff game in their hotel in Seattle at the end of the ’10 season, he made a power point presentation to the defense. “Now it’s time to do our job…collect bounty$$$.”

  10. bigtunna says:
    Jan 8, 2013 9:41 PM
    Cue the Saints fans whining


    Cue the Vikings fans whining about the Saints fans whining.

  11. Smith’s defense of Sean Payton is interesting because Smith does not represent coaches. Nor does he have a professional obligation to speak about coaches’ entanglements with the League.

  12. Smith’s support of the coach, franchise, as well as the players is very interesting. The transcripts from the Tagliabue hearings must be very illuminating for him to take this position.

    Release the transcripts, Roger, if you have the gonads to do it. The emperor is buck naked on this one.

  13. While I’ll concede Goodell did a poor job in his investigation, he rightfully pointed out and proved there was a bounty program in place. Instead of protecting all players, De Smith and Saints players showed they are no better at fighting for player safety than Goodell by defending their actions – something they even admitted, but blamed on their coaches – including Payton. Can’t wait for Vilma’s lawsuit and excessive bullying to end by a judge.

  14. Last time I checked, the cheating sAints got to keep the Lombardi trophy that they got thanks to their cheating bounty program rather than the rightful owners, the Vikings.

  15. As a tainted Defensive coordinator once said. “Kill the head, and the body will follow” Serves the Saints organization right, and their fans who still deny any wrong doing. You got caught stop crying

  16. Smith is trying to make himself relevant after getting schooled in the labor negotiations with the NFL. He will not agree with anything the league puts forth because of his own deminshed ego. Look at the HGH deal. The NFLPA has pushed back on that from the get go. Smith is a con man selling snake oil to the party faithful. Sad really.

  17. Patriots fan here.

    Right from the very start this whole process was fishy, stunk of the league trying to make some noise about ‘player safety’ through the medium of some trumped up ‘bounty’ crap.

    The evidence of which never seen the light of day.

    The league is smart enough to know that alot of fans from all of the franchises – especially those getting their asses whupped by Drew Brees et al on a regular basis – would happily jump on a bandwagon that gives their team a competitive advantage over the Saints.

    You can see the hate/relief in the comments section.

    Actually as a Patriots fan, it kinda feels like home!!

  18. DeSmith is a tool that Roger & the owners used to perfection. He’s the same moron that said it was ok to take money from the Cowboys & Redskins & spread it around to the other teams. That was stupid because go look at all the teams that didn’t spend up to the cap. Everybody knows that the Cowboys & Redskins spend all their money, not very wisely but they do spend money. So how did that help ur Union brothers U tool. He’s probably getting paid by the owners. Unions always getting the raw deal by those leading ur stupid butt.

  19. When DeSmith states without equivocation that the league started out on a public relations campaign then all of his determinations after that point are simply wrong. The league started out on a campaign to punish a team that lied to the league and covered up information about a pay for performance policy.

    If the Saints had been forthcoming with information and followed the leagues directives the first time around then none of this would have occurred. The league overreacted but the Saints instigated this entire mess with their intransigence. The league has made numerous mistakes but the lesson remains for all of the other franchises…..don’t screw with the commissioner’s office.

  20. I still have yet to hear a good explanation for the Gregg Williams audio. Speeches as graphic as that one aren’t “pep” talk. You don’t say stuff that specific if you don’t mean it. I played football every year in high school and never heard anything close to the Williams’ speech.

  21. The courts (as well as former Commissioner Taglibue) found that no single player could be tied to the bounty.

    It, however, did not deny that there was a bounty. Just that the NFL could not prove that the plaintiffs were guilty of helping to run it (or lying about it).

    This is why Coach Payton, GM Loomis, and DC Williams did not have their suspensions removed.

    There would have likely been less resistance by the Saints if the players had not been suspended.

  22. @ rboyett

    Why do you want to see evidence so badly? So you can decide who was right in this whole mess? Your opinion of who’s right will do nothing to change anything what so ever. The most you’ll be able to do is whine about it on Internet sites like this (oh yeah I’m sure Goodell is intimidated by your comments).

    Roger Goodell owes us nothing. It’s not our business to decide who was right and wrong here. People on here just dying to see evidence remind me of when I was in high school and everyone had to know why two people broke up. It’s none of our business.

    And by the way, isn’t there an outside chance that maybe Vilma is the one lying? He is, after all, the one that allegedly offered $10,000 to knock Favre out. So it would kinda make sense that he would lie about it too. Just sayin….

  23. ghjjf says:
    Jan 8, 2013 11:17 PM
    Last time I checked, the cheating sAints got to keep the Lombardi trophy that they got thanks to their cheating bounty program rather than the rightful owners, the Vikings.


    Just as I predicted. Rightful owners? Ha. Rightful owners of jack squat! Come on down the Mississippi in Fred Smoot’s love boat and get your Lombardi if you think you are the rightful owner!

  24. Its time for all the bounty case supporters to man up, stop whining, and admit their hero Roger Goodell got caught making up stories without the evidence for half of what he said, and that Roger Goodell must resign for the league to get beyond this sad chapter. If Roger Goodell accurately stated his case from the start, or if he admitted its shortcomings when initially questioned, it would be ok, but he lied to the public and that is the worst offence.

  25. If the Saints were so innocent…why did both Payon and Loomis take the suspensions without any type of appeal and also why didn’t they sue Goodell? Their actions are not those of innocent men…

  26. I wonder if the Viqueen fans would be whining about the Saints this much if they’d won last week? Who am I kidding….of course they would. Maybe your franchise should hire Gregg Williams to help you stop Aaron Rodgers for once.

  27. Dee is letting the lawyer/politician get the better of him. I believe he is pandering to the public for the upcoming visit to New Orleans. If he was really interested in player safety he would be working with Roger to eliminate the other folks that use a bounty system or coach players to injure their opponents. Williams was not alone. Instead Smith defends guys that have admitted they did what they were repeatedly told not to do. Amazingly short sighted for a guy that should be interested in the safety of every player in the league instead of people (Payton and Saints fans) who never risk anything physically. I do not believe that the question is whether or not Goodell was right or wrong, it was his intent. He was trying to make the league safer for the players. You can argue weather he missed or hit but his intent was clear.

    What has Dee Smith done for player safety? Nothing today that is for sure.

  28. everybody that has seen the “evidence ” says the bounty case is some bs…except roger goddell…and of course the saints haters who simply refuse to admit they where/are wrong and goddell has them looking like true idiots…

  29. When De Smith makes statements – it’s best to realize that most everything he says is wrong, tainted or just plain false.

    A smart man would just shut his mouth. Smith is not a smart man.

  30. If anyone got the “raw end of the deal” it was the teams in which were in pursuit of the Lombardi Trophy that year. Gregg Williams openly admitted it happened. Sean Payton took “full responsibility”. Sure, there is a lack of proof but everyone, other than Saint fans, know it happened.

    It’s funny how all of the sudden Gregg Williams “doesn’t fit their mold” as Drew Brees said. Why? Because he admitted to wrong doing? It’s funny how he fit the mold before hand.

    The players on this team continue to say things to where fans lose all respect. Especially Drew Brees. But DE Smith needs to shut the hell up. Especially given the fact he was ALSO part of the STARCAPS issue.

  31. Two things, the league went to the Saints the first time they caught wind of it and advised them to stop it immediately. The evidence will show that the Saints not only continued, but lied about it after that point. Like Watergate, its not so much the crime as the coverup.

    Second pt, it just adds another chapter to the Viking’s playoff futility. They were so close but the Saints beat up Favre so bad that on the final INT, Favre choose to throw the ball rather than run up field for at least another 5 yards and a sure FG to win. That play alone demonstrates that karma really does exist.

  32. I love the idiots on here talking about how the Saints “cheated”! How is that again? By playing by the rules on the field – that is cheating? Give me a break and reign in your obvious jealousy! No matter what, your team didn’t win the Super Bowl – the Saints did – legally.

    So far, 1 Federal Judge, 3 NFL “Reviewers”, 1 former NFL Commissioner, and the head of the NFL Players Union ALL say the SAME thing – that God-dell and the NFL got duped by a former, fired, disgruntled Saints employee and they went on an unwarranted rampage against this organization.

    Those are FACTS so deal with it!

  33. We all know he loves the spotlight … but please, no more pictures. I’ve just had my breakfast.

  34. Whether you agree with what De Smith says or not he is STILL a pompous blowhard. He only took this stance to stick it to Goodell for beating like a pinata at the negotiating table. He is such a transparent politician that it disgusts me.

  35. 49erstim says:Jan 9, 2013 8:59 AM

    “Whether you agree with what De Smith says or not he is STILL a pompous blowhard. He only took this stance to stick it to Goodell for beating like a pinata at the negotiating table. He is such a transparent politician that it disgusts me.”
    I love how D Smith is pompous for sticking it to Goodell.. Let me ask you little 49ertimmy, why is it a successful attorney was able to beat Goodell, who is nothing more than a POLITICIAN and economist, at his own game.. He is smarter, knows the CBA better, and was not going to jsut let this get swept under a rug.. You are just a hater.. Also, the Niners defense is not so good when they dont have Justin Smith out there cheating and holding 2 O-linemen all game.. JS

  36. ghjjf says:
    Jan 8, 2013 11:17 PM
    Last time I checked, the cheating sAints got to keep the Lombardi trophy that they got thanks to their cheating bounty program rather than the rightful owners, the Vikings.
    Yeah, like the Vikes would have beaten Peyton Manning and the Colts… Now that’s funny!!!

  37. Once again, the morons come out! It still amazes me how some people want to flaunt their ignorance for all to see!

    “The Saints cheated!” Uh – no. The Vikings LOST, period.

    “The Saints management is guilty – they didn’t protest!” Wrong again – they appealed their suspensions, but unfortunately were stuck appealing to King Roger, who wasn’t about to change a thing.

    “Williams speech proves they did it!” Not really. “Kill the head and the body will die” is not a particularly unusual metaphor. In fact, there is visual evidence that this very slogan was posted on the wall of the KC Chiefs facility when Herm Edwards was their head coach.

  38. Why won’t the media address this question:

    How can a League via its franchise accept public funding, tax breaks, etc. and not be exposed to the right to information act? If my business received public funds, I’d be held to higher standards than a privately funded, private company…

    Second, how can the League Offices not be held accountable to Consumers of its products by disenfranchising them and not have to disclose their justification for their actions?!?

    Whether a Saints Fan or not, I want the discovery made public and then I want the same zeal launched equally in investigating the thirty-one other franchises – some of which players had admitted via SportsTalk Radio in their markets that they were doing the same thing…

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