Looks like the New Orleans Saints “bountygate” is going to come down to He-said-he-said. Monday afternoon Jonathan Vilma met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell where he was presented with a signed affidavit from former Saint defensive coordinator Gregg Williams stating that Vilma offered $10,000 to any teammate who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2010 NFC title game.
Vilma’s suspension was overturned on appeal along with 3 other players but Goodell still has the option to modify the original penalty. The fact that there is now “proof,” which is what Vima was requesting all along presents an interesting turn of events. Several teammates have previously stated that Vilma did not offer any money in exchange for hits on opposing teams players.
In Williams statement which was described as “a detailed account” of the Saints alleged bounty system that pre-dates his 2009 arrival to the franchise.
Williams did admit to subsequently revamping the pay-for-performance program, but said it did not put bounties out to injure opposing players within it, that no money was ever exchanged within that program for penalized hits, and Williams also noted that when linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any teammate who knocked Vikings quarterback Brett Favre from the 2009 NFC Championship Game, it was done outside of the pay-for-performance system.
Nowhere in the lengthy testimony is Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita, one of the suspended players, ever named, the source said, and Williams pointed out that the program did not make payments for illegal hits or on-the-field misconduct.
So if Vilma’s alleged offer of $10,000 wasn’t apart of the “pay-for-performance program,” why bring it up?