“The Saints were vicious and nasty, but it’s become clear, seeing as they kept damning evidence on a computer, and used Dog the Bounty Hunter as motivation, that they weren’t very smart. Or original.” – CBSSports’ Mike Freeman
The New Orleans Saints players accused in the Bounty Scandal and their lawyers keep saying that the league has no evidence that a “Bounty Program” existed during the 2009-2010 seasons.
The documents produced proved otherwise.
A majority of the league’s evidence showed off today seems to have been provided by and corroborated by former Saints defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams. What the league won’t do (but should) is have Williams testify at in front of the accused players and systematically walk them and their representatives through step by step through all of the details he provided to league investigators. This more than likely will never happen due to the fact that Williams would never find work in the league again.
The findings presented to reporters after the player hearings today provided a look at evidence that may be deemed as merely circumstantial. Nevertheless, logic dictates that the Saints really were up to no good.
CBSSports’ Mike Freeman, who was among the dozen of reporters to sit in on the league’s presentation, has the details.
[Gregg] Williams, in effect, told NFL investigators everything. Every detail of the bounty system. Every nugget. Every fact. And in one extraordinary quote, a quote that typified what was an extraordinary day Monday, a day of fact revealing by the NFL and fact denying by the union, the NFL said Williams made a damning statement.
Williams told the investigators that by utilizing a pay-to-injure scheme he was mistakenly “rolling the dice with player safety and someone could have been maimed.”
Some of the main points from the NFL’s presentation included:
• According to the NFL, the Saints also targeted Seattle’s Matt Hasselbeck and Marshawn Lynch.
• Williams and assistant Joe Vitt, the NFL says, admitted to a pay-to-injure system to investigators, although Vitt now denies this.
• Vitt, the NFL says, contributed $5,000 to a bounty on Brett Favre. This was noted earlier in a report from CBSSports.com.
• The NFL says Roman Harper put a $1,000 bounty on former Giants runner Brandon Jacobs.
• A cash box, the NFL says, with bounty earnings were kept in Williams’ office.
• Mike Ornstein, the two-time felon who the league repeatedly warned the team about having around the complex, was also a source for the NFL.
It also bears repeating that it seems not only did Williams provide a great deal of information to league, but it also seems Williams pointed investigators to other sources who then cooperated with the NFL.
Some of the league’s evidence was obtained through the Saints’ computer database, where they brazenly spoke about adding money into the bounty pot and created power point presentations of the goals they’d set forth to attain.
The league likely released only 200 of the 50,000 accumulated pages of evidence in order to protect the sources who provided them with testimony against the accused. Whether or not the rest of the documents should be released and those sources be revealed is an entirely different debate.
One thing is for certain – the league has a stacked deck against the accused and any claims of a weak case can certainly be tossed out of the window.