With suspensions handed out to Saints coaches and players, an image that has been tarnished, many are now asking why the NFL and Roger Goodell will not release the evidence against the Saints. Here's a taste of "What They are Saying" ...
Because if the players believe Goodell is more interested in burnishing his tough-guy reputation and insulating the league from further liability on safety concerns than he is in genuinely pursuing their best interests, look out. All the pushback from all the previous disciplinary cases combined will seem like a nudge.
Did he expect them to stand up in the middle of the fire and brimstone the night before a huge game and say, "Uh, Coach? I'm not entirely sure that's ethical. Maybe we need to check with Roger?"
NFL needs to publicly release evidence of players' bounty involvement if it exists.
The push for the N.F.L. to release the evidence it gathered during its investigation of the New Orleans Saints intensified Monday, when the lawyer for linebacker Jonathan Vilma - who has been suspended for the 2012 season - sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell that contained a sweeping request for 17 types of evidence.
The declaration does not go into specifics, however, about just what Hargrove knew or did not know about the bounty program in New Orleans, and for that reason it has become a point of contention between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
"They chose the word 'bounty,' not us," Smith said. "And worse yet, they've made the decision to not prove up the words they chose to use. We believe that we have a right and an obligation to ask them to prove up their choice of words, and so far they've refused."
Browns linebacker Scott Fujita denied involvement in the Saints' bounty scandal and wants to see the evidence that the NFL is basing his three-game suspension upon. The league disciplined Fujita for his participation in the Saints' bounty system when he played for New Orleans.
In a separate filing to the appeal of his suspension Monday, New Orleans Saints linebacker Jon Vilma has also requested the league make available to him all the evidence it has amassed that pertains to him as a result of the league's investigation into what it says was a bounty system in place in New Orleans from 2009 to 2011.
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