Sapp scolded over 'snitch' allegations
The NFL Network has warned Warren Sapp not to overstep his role as analyst after the former defensive tackle claimed Jeremy Shockey was the "snitch" behind the league's probe into the Saints' illegal bounty program.
The allegation prompted a furious Twitter spat between Sapp and former Saints tight end Shockey, who vehemently denied the accusation and even offered to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence.
NFL Network brass entered the fray Friday, issuing a terse statement saying they had reminded Sapp of his role in their organization.
"We have discussed it with Warren and stressed that he is an analyst and not a reporter for NFL Network," NFL Network Senior Vice President of Programming and Production Mark Quenzel said in a statement, according to NBC's Pro Football Talk.
"In the future, if he comes across something he thinks is news he will let his producers know, and before it is reported or Tweeted, that content will be subject to the same verification procedure that our reporters follow."
The NFL handed down a slew of penalties to the Saints on Wednesday for the team's pay-for-performance system, whereby defensive players received cash bonuses for injuring opponents.
Soon after the announcement, Sapp wrote on Twitter he had "heard who the snitch was." And when a follower asked if it was Shockey, Sapp replied, "BINGO!"
Shockey responded Thursday by tweeting a screenshot of what he claimed was a text exchange with suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton, in which the coach said, "I know you had nothing to do with that stuff [Sapp] said."
Shockey also told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday he believed Sapp should be punished.
"Is the league going to come down on their own people when someone does something so wrong and outrageous?" Shockey said. "There should be a standard for punishment, like getting suspended or fined or losing your job.
"This guy says something about me that's not true and that he's not supposed to say and what happens? Nothing."
Shockey, who is currently an unrestricted free agent, played for the Saints from 2008 to 2010.
In announcing its punishments, the NFL said New Orleans, under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, had an active bounty program from 2009 to 2011.