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Saints' Bounty Bluster Whips Up as Vilma, Players Prepare to Appeal Suspensions
The four Saints players suspended by the league for their involvement in Bountygate - including current Black and Gold boys Jonanthan Vilma and Will Smith - are set to appeal their banishments on Monday. This being the NFL, however, there's plenty of hype leading up to the ruling. On Friday, Vilma's lawyer was out making the case that his client has been making all along: The NFL doesn't have evidence. Instead of tweeting about it, however, New York lawyer Peter Ginsberg took to the airwaves and pointed to actual evidence that the NFL released.
The Tale of the Tape: Gregg Williams and Sean Pamphilon
On the day Sean Payton was supposed to face down the villian Roger Goodell and we were all supposed to sing about freedom in the streets, yet another wrench was tossed into the gears of this offseason saga. Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, the man contracted to make a film about what is arguably the Saints' most heartwrenching story, Steve Gleason and his battle with ALS, ended up at the center of its most sidesplitting - Bountygate.
Saints' Bounty Bombshell
Our Saints may be blessed, but, like all mortals they aren't immune from sinning. According to a bombshell NFL statement that dropped this afternoon, the the Saints' defense operated a bounty program during the 2009, ’10, and ’11 seasons. As part of the program, which was operated by recently departed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and involved participation from 22-27 players on the team, the players received payments for injuring players from opposing teams, according to the NFL.
Yesterday's heartbreaking loss to the 49ers means we must say goodbye to the weekly ritual of watching our boys until next season. Saints defensive leader Jon Vilma summed up the difficult reality of the loss on Twitter: "...There are no moral victories. we lost. So idk wat ur really thanking me for bc we didn't get da job done." There remains a lot to be proud of in this record breaking season. But, the realities of the NFL news cycle also reared their head this morning, when rumors surfaced that offensive lineman Carl Nicks and, less surprisingly, Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams might be leaving. In better news, Pierre Thomas is okay.
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