June 19th, 2012
By Scotty McGraw
The 2012 offseason has been completely engulfed by the New Orleans Saints’ bountygate scandal.
The draft flew by, as did the normally seismic free-agency period. The New York Giants’ Super Bowl run was overshadowed as soon as the bountygate issue went public.
About a month and a half after the season concluded, numerous Saints coaches, including head coach Sean Payton, were suspended by the NFL. Rams DC Gregg Williams, who was heavily involved in the Saints’ scandal at the time, was suspended indefinitely.
Back in May, four Saints players were also suspended for their involvement in the program. LB Jonathan Vilma, a key player in the Saints’ defense, was suspended for a full year. The four players appealed yesterday.
Yesterday, more pieces of evidence emerged as the NFL released several documents and slides that the Saints utilized in years past.
One document has pictures of three Seattle Seahawks players, a gun, “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” and quite a bit of text, which horrifyingly contains several money signs.
The whole issue will continue to affect the league as tension is rapidly escalated between sides.
The NFL and NFLPA are clashing, but the significance of the entire dilemma proceeds past the two sides.
Since Payton is out for the year, a heap of duty is now placed on quarterback Drew Brees. Brees, however, is holding out due to contract issues.
What others are saying:
Statement from Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith leading up to today’s appeals, via NFLPA | saintsreport.com
New Orleans Saints bounties: Jonathan Vilma leaves hearing | Washington Post Sports
NFL players appeal punishments for Saints’ alleged bounty scandal | LA Times
Jonathan Vilma and attorney cut appeal hearing short Monday, call it a ‘sham’ | CBS Sports