Happy Memorial Day to my American readers! Make sure to enjoy your beer and food but remember why you’re able to read my subpar column and drink beer at the same time. Freedom!
Something has been on my mind lately that doesn’t seem to quite add up. Why is it that Sean Payton and Gregg Williams aren’t fighting tooth and nail to reverse the suspensions like Jonathan Vilma? You could say that maybe it’s because Vilma only has a few years left in his career where Payton and Williams have many, many more, and I guess that makes sense. You could say maybe the coaches were the guilty parties and the players were coerced into playing along and that’s possible too. The thing that keeps bugging me is that the NFL is refusing to release evidence other than what Vilma allegedly said. He allegedly offered $10k to anyone who knocks Favre out. Vilma is now suing the NFL and Goodell over the accusation. If the NFL doesn’t prove that Vilma said that and intended to follow through, the NFL will owe him a ton of $$ and cause an even bigger problem I won’t touch with a 10 foot pole.
I think I figured it out: the NFL is protecting their source(s) at all costs. The NFL won’t publicly release the information as to how they know Vilma said what he did because that player will instantly be blackballed by NFL teams. No one wants a snitch in the locker room even if he did the right thing. That player’s career will instantly be over. It will also discourage other NFL players from ever coming forward with information like this. In the past, reporters have gone to prison to protect their sources. The NFL is going to let themselves get run through the cleaners over this for all the right reasons.
I assume Vilma and his lawyers know this. They’re going to force the NFL to prove the bounty allegation or get millions of dollars (if the NFL refuses to prove in the court of law that Vilma said the things he said and intended to follow through, they committed slander, a lawsuit worthy offense). Payton and Williams won’t push it this hard because they still have a future in the NFL in the next 5-10 years. Vilma won’t be in the NFL much longer. A year long absence could be the end of his career. In addition to that, no one would want to play for a coach who ended a player’s career (the source) to protect his own. If you found out Sean Payton ratted out a player publicly for reporting a rules violation, would you want to play for him? I wouldn’t.
I actually think Vilma is going to win but not because he’s innocent. The NFL could easily prove that Vilma sincerely offered the bounty but they won’t. They’ll do everything possible to prove that Vilma is guilty without revealing the source. Without a direct source they won’t be able to prove it. The only way I see the NFL winning is if Gregg Williams is forced to testify. His reinstatement provision dictates that he must cooperate with the NFL. If he refuses to testify, they could say he didn’t cooperate and refuse to let him coach again. If he does, he may lose the ability to be respected by the players he’ll coach. I don’t feel bad for the scumbag though, he made this mess and now he has to wallow in his own filth.
I say all of this assuming the source is a player. I don’t think a coach would do this. If a player would possibly get blackballed, a coach would get it even worse. It’ll be very interesting to find out if the source is ever revealed. I admit I’m quite curious but I hope we never find out. I hope NFL players retain the confidence they can report egregious violations such as bounties without any fear of repercussions.
The Saints are doing a great job maintaining their news dominance between bounties and Drew Brees’ contract. If the bounties, investigations, appeals, and now lawsuits aren’t confusing, Drew Brees’ contract is. Why is it confusing? I can’t figure out WHY THE HELL THEY WON’T PAY THE MAN! Brees is younger than Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and will be the only source of continuity in 2012 for the Saints. No Sean Payton, new defensive coordinator, assistant head coach Joe Vitt won’t be around for a good chunk of the season…just pay Brees and get it over with. Is he the best QB in the NFL? That’s certainly debatable. What isn’t debatable is that there’s no way in hell the Saints could possibly do better at QB in 2012, 13, or 14. Brees has no current health concerns (his shoulder is obviously not an issue anymore), he still has several years left to play at a high level, and without him the Saints are nothing.
Just look at what the Saints had at QB before Brees: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHIFLNWZBfA
Even if you’re “overpaying” Brees by making him the highest paid QB in the NFL, you can’t possibly think the New Orleans Saints will be worth a damn without him. Take him away and Chase Daniels is your starting QB in 2012 without Sean Payton there to help run the offense. The ownership and front office of the Saints need to shut up and pay Brees. They don’t have a Super Bowl without him. They don’t have one of the best offenses in the NFL without him. They have no chance at contending for a Super Bowl without him.
-I’m so sick of how much the Steelers players and coaches whine. You’ve been to 3 Super Bowls in the past 7 years and won 2 yet you’re constantly crying about being a victim.
-I’d like to congratulate Nick Fairley for proving to the world that actions are louder than words.
-I’m very happy the NFL has moved the trade deadline. The week 6 deadline has prevented numerous teams from making necessary moves because it’s too early in the season to know how things will pan out. At least 8 weeks into the season you’ve played at least 7 games and teams who need a push to make the playoffs can make a move and the teams who have no hope can ditch a player they have no intention to keep after the season. The trade deadline makes the NHL incredibly exciting that time of year and maybe it’ll add some excitement to the NFL too.
-I still wonder if players will want to play for Chicago given how they’ve treated Matt Forte. They’re questioning his knee publicly, they won’t give him anything close to a reasonable contract offer, and RBs that he isn’t too far away from skill wise (Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy) got big extensions. The Bears are a team I’ve always been neutral on, I don’t like, don’t hate, just watch as a football fan. Their treatment of Forte has me leaning negative.
-There are very, very few players whose failures I enjoy. I’m not going to lie, I’m eager to see Terrelle Pryor out of the NFL in a year or two. He had an interview recently where he said he did what he did to help his family pay the bills. That’d be totally believable if you weren’t driving a Nissan 350Z while in college and apparently had a thing for shoes. If you weren’t living large I may have sympathy for you but it’s pretty obvious that you’re not the center of attention anymore and you’re trying to get yourself back in the spotlight.
I live less than an hour away from where Terrelle went to high school and it’s the worst kept secret that he was living large even in high school. I’ve heard from way too many people what an entitled liar he is. It’s no surprise he thought about quitting football after everything wasn’t handed to him on a platter.
Enjoy your day off everyone!