Will Payton, Williams, Loomis spill beans at Goodell's NFL Bounty Court

vilmaSuspended linebacker, New Orleans Saints, Jonathan Vilma had this to say, on twitter, early Saturday morning: 

@JonVilma51 I hope the media reports the lack of evidence with the same veracity they reported the nonexistent "bounty program"

That we will soon see, on Monday, in fact.  Actually, it will be interesting to read, hear and see exactly what they do report.

The NFL is set to hear an appeal on the bounty that the punished Saints and others insist did not occur.

Unquestionably, Goodell has not and will not during the hearing show its hands, maybe a pinkie, but certainly not a hand.

The paucity of information by the accuser has made many NFL followers feel the NFL is hiding the proof, that perhaps, it just does not possess.

Based upon a report by NFL.com, we just might see some answers, then again, some.

The one issue that still remains a puzzle is why Sean Payton, Gregg Williams and other Saints have not appealed. Are they sucking up to Goodell with the hopes that a suspension and punishment without appeals would be better than dragging the matter out into football eternity?

Perhaps the facts will unfold with the combination of the evidence displayed to date along with the testimony of the coaches and front office staff who have been punished and others.

Said NFL.com “In a June 11 letter to Goodell, the NFLPA requested that Saints coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis, assistant head coach Joe Vitt, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (all have been suspended for various roles in the "bounty" program) appear and testify at the appeals hearing. Four others -- including two members of NFL security, Joe Hummel and Jeff Miller -- also were requested to attend and testify.”

We shall see what Vilma tweets on Monday.



Unquestionably, up to now, the tide has turned against the NFL but tides have a way of ebbing and flowing.

Here is one perspective favoring that lack of an NFL case:

Suspended Saints players believe their chances of getting bounty proof against them are as real as the chances they have of getting a fair appeal hearing on Monday.

"After what Jon Vilma and the other players have been though to suggest the players are being presented with any kind of a fair hearing based on what has been presented Friday ist pure fantasy, judged Vilma's attorney Peter Ginsberg, per Jim Varney of The Times-Picayune. "The thin production on Friday doesn't link any of the players to a bounty system, and that's consistent with what we know to be true -- there was no bounty system."

ProFootballTalk.com said, “Varney's report regarding the evidence confirms everything reported on Friday. The league produced fewer than 200 pages of evidence that will be used at Monday's quartet of appeals hearings, along with no list of witnesses that could then be tested by the NFLPA and lawyers representing the individual players."

Instead of giving the players a chance to get to the truth, the league seems to be relying on the same "take our word for it" approach that has characterized its entire handling of the bountygate and that has lasted through each subsequent effort not to share evidence, but to characterize and/or summarize it in a way that was skewed toward the league's desire to hammer the Saints for using bounties, presumably to serve as the ultimate warning for any other players or coaches who may be tempted to use bounties in the future.”

Per PFT.com For a league that is so concerned about the public confidence in the integrity of the game, the NFL should at least be a little concerned about public confidence in the integrity of the league.

The NFL is concerned in the long run about looking like the big tobacco companies in the concussion lawsuit.

Come rain, come shine, with acute brain trauma, the NFL must go on.

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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