AP Source: NFL has Saints bounty ledger
Documents gathered in the NFL’s bounty investigation of the
Saints include a ledger detailing payments for plays such as
”cart-offs” and ”whacks,” a person familiar with the probe
The person confirmed the existence of the ledger to The
Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday night because the
NFL has not publicly discussed it. Yahoo first reported that the
NFL has the ledger, which describes $1,000 payments for
”cart-offs,” or hits which left opponents needing help to the
sideline. It noted $400 payments for ”whacks,” or hard hits, and
$100 deductions for mental errors.
Another person with access to Saints records also told the AP of
the existence of documents listing payments made for ”cart-offs”
and ”whacks.” But the person was not aware of any document that
identified a bounty placed on an opponent.
”There was no such thing as a bounty where anyone put up money
to hurt another player,” said the person, who spoke to AP on
condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing and
related litigation is pending.
”There were stupid names for legitimate plays,” the person
said, referring to the use of the terms ”cart-offs” and
”whacks.” The person said the payments listed ”are for big,
clean plays,” and that plays which were penalized usually resulted
NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah says the union
has not seen the ledger or any other evidence of player involvement
in a ”pay-to-injure” program, including the ledger.
”This supposed coach’s ledger, if it does exist, only proves
that a fair due process was not afforded to the players,” Atallah
told The Associated Press. ”They were punished before they had the
opportunity to review any of the supposed evidence against
The NFL has suspended four players – all of them either current
or former Saints – in connection with the bounty probe. Saints
linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended for all of the 2012 season,
Green Bay defensive end Anthony Hargrove was suspended eight games,
Saints defensive end Will Smith was suspended four games, and
Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita three.
The players all have appealed their suspensions. While none of
the punished players has denied that the Saints ran a
pay-for-performance pool similar to those run by other teams, they
have denied that they ever pledged or received cash for injuring a
Vilma also has filed a defamation lawsuit against NFL
commissioner Roger Goodell in U.S. District Court in New
The Saints also have been punished harshly as an organization,
with head coach Sean Payton serving a suspension that began in
April and runs until after the Super Bowl. General manager Mickey
Loomis was suspended eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt,
currently acting as head coach in Payton’s absence, must serve a
six-game suspension at the start of the regular season.
The team also was fined $500,000 and docked second-round draft
picks this year and next, though the NFL has indicated the penalty
for next year’s draft could be reduced if the club continues to
cooperate with the probe.
The NFL has said former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg
Williams ran a bounty program for three seasons from 2009 through
2011. Now with the St. Louis Rams, Williams has issued an apology
and has been suspended indefinitely. Payton and Loomis also have
issued apologies for not doing more to stop a program that Williams
ran on their watch.