When Curtis Lofton hit free agency, the Saints issues were well-known. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had already announced the investigation into the bounty system, and Drew Brees was still unsigned. The possibility of trouble loomed. Yet Lofton, the prize middle linebacker of the free agent class, came to New Orleans anyway. But before he did, Lofton did his homework. “I mean, I asked about the bounties,” Lofton told me in the locker room yesterday, “what was going on with that, what players they thought were going to be suspended, what they thought the suspensions were, what they were going do with me and (Jonathan) Vilma — I asked all those questions. They were very up front and truthful with me, […]
Posts Tagged ‘bounties’
I just spent the last 10 minutes talking with Saints LB Jonathan Vilma about his defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, along with other things related to the bounty issue. For the first time, Vilma explained why he refused to participate in the NFL’s investigation against his team. And he addressed the possibility of sitting out 2012. Here is what I wrote in this NFL.com story: Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma said he would not cooperate with the NFL’s investigation into his team’s bounty system because Commissioner Roger Goodell would not show him the evidence of his alleged wrongdoing. In an exclusive interview with NFL.com at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Vilma spoke publicly for the first time […]
The Saints held OTAs today, and it was open to the media. For the first time, everyone watched a Saints practice without coach Sean Payton or QB Drew Brees. Payton is suspended along with some others, and Brees is staying away because of contract issues. I surmised recently that the suspensions would actually help Brees, and no doubt the scene of little Chase Daniel running the team must’ve been jarring. Couldn’t have been pretty. Brees’ stance is noted by all. Reading the transcripts of the interviews of several Saints players and coaches, though, I can’t help but take one thing away from it: They think Brees will come back soon. Sounds like they are optimistic or convinced it’ll happen. That […]
This may sound a little weird… The Saints suspensions — from coach Sean Payton to GM Mickey Loomis to the players — have hurt the team. No doubt. Two key parts who built the team won’t be involved in some or all of the 2012 season, and a few players are appealing that reality, too. Some, as in the case of Jonathan Vilma, are doing so vehemently. And then there is QB Drew Brees. Hit with the exclusive version of the franchise tag, without a long-term contract, Brees is a little pissed. He didn’t mind saying so. And his comments haven’t led to any contract movement, Steve Wyche reports. Brees hasn’t said whether he’ll sign the tag if it’s that or […]
As the only Saints player named specifically in the NFL’s news release announcing the punishments of Saints personnel involved in the team’s “bounty” program, LB Jonathan Vilma is likely in line for steep discipline as well.