While some players implicated in the Saints bounty scandal deny any involvement with the program, the NFL reportedly has a damning piece of evidence that could prove to be a strong conflict to those assertions.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole, the league has a copy of the Saints’ bounty ledger, which was used to keep track of payments made to players for various feats as part of the system. The NFL reportedly shared parts of the ledger during meetings with members of the Saints who have been embroiled in the scandal. While it doesn’t indicate whether actual payments took place, it does reveal details of the rates allegedly being used:
In the ledger, 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.
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah, however, seems to be dismissive at the ledger’s actual legitimacy with respect to the NFL’s handling of the scandal.
“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 told Yahoo! Sports.
Atallah added that the NFLPA has yet to see the ledger. But for now, it still hurts some of the players’ contentions that a bounty program didn’t exist. Especially while Peter King’s best friend, Jonathan Vilma, uses litigation to prove the NFL and Roger Goodell defamed him by suspending him for the season.
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