Jonathan Vilma implored the league to show some evidence.
If word leaking out now is to be believed, he may regret that request.
According to a report from YahooSports! Jason Cole, “sources with knowledge of the NFL’s evidence in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal said Friday that the league has a copy of a “ledger” that was kept detailing weekly earnings for players.” Here are some of the more disturbing details:
- The “ledger” kept records of the players “Bounty” performances on a week by week basis, illustrating “payments of $1,000 for cart-offs (a hit that resulted in a player being helped off the field), $400 for whacks (hard hits) and $100 deductions for mental errors were kept track of for each player.”
- “Two specific entries for the 2009 season were shown during one meeting. In a game against the New York Giants on Oct. 18, there was a $1,000 bounty awarded for one cart-off. In a game against the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 8, 2009, there were three $1,000 awards.”
- “There was also a notation that after one game an opposing player who had been carted off was placed on injured reserve. The notation of the player on IR included an exclamation mark.” (!)
NFL Player’s Association spokesman Geore Atallah questioned whether or not this ledger can be relied upon as evidence. Although he was aware of its existence, Atallah and the NFLPA have yet to see the records with their own eyes. “I guess it either qualifies as evidence, which means fair due process was violated because [the] players didn’t get to see it before they were punished or it is not hard evidence because they didn’t get to see it and cross examine the validity of that piece of evidence,” Atallah said in a text message responding to a request for a quote.
While Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita and others embroiled in this scandal have denied the existence of a Bounty program, if they in fact kept detailed records of the dirt they were doing, they may have sealed their own fates.