Saints News 3/5/13: ESPN Investigation Highlights Roger Goodell's True Motives Behind BountyGate

John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

ESPN (yes, the same ESPN that suggested Mickey Loomis could spy on opposing teams) has an in-depth and intensely interesting article on the megalomaniac and hypocrite Roger Goodell. The crux of the article is that BountyGate was much more about NFL concussion lawsuits and Goodell's ego than it was about anything that was truly happening in Saints' meeting rooms. We already knew this, but it's nice that it's becoming the consensus opinion around the sporting world.



World consensus opinion: Roger S. Goodell is the true villain of BountyGate

OTL: His Game, His Rules - ESPN
In the lengthy Bountygate scandal against the Saints, Goodell suspended four players, despite scant evidence to do so, during a period of heightened sensitivity about player safety. Last September he recognized that the referee lockout was hurting the game, but he went along with it because team owners had insisted on prolonging the standoff to its embarrassing conclusion. Both episodes became public relations disasters.

ESPN has exclusively obtained Bountygate documents including confidential transcripts of the private four-day appeal hearing held by former commissioner Tagliabue late last year. The documents show an investigation remarkable for its limited scope -- only one Saints player spoke to investigators, for example -- and for damning accusations that league officials quietly retracted in later memos or chose not to introduce as evidence.

The Sporting Life - ESPN
Audio interview with the author of the above article. Skip to 7:30 of the audio file. Very interesting.

Robert Gagnier: NFLPA's New Orleans Counsel Joseph N. Mole
Yes. I think Roger Goodell socked it to the Saints for some reason. I think former commissioner Tagliabue's opinion on the matter and action he (Tagliabue) took was a good ending to Bounty gate, so I don't want to say anything that may sound bitter about the whole ordeal -- it turned out well for my client, but it certainly killed the Saint's season.


Other less dramatic Saints news and opinion

NFC South's undervalued players - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Let’s start with New Orleans’ Brian De La Puente. He was one of the league’s biggest bargains last year when he made minimum salary. He’ll remain a big bargain even though the Saints will have to put a restricted free-agent tender on him to keep him this year. De La Puente remains a year away from a big payday.

Top 10 NFC South free agents - NFC South Blog - ESPN

8. Jermon Bushrod, left tackle, Saints. He’s been a solid player, but the Saints have cap limitations. They also prefer to pay their interior linemen big money and get by with bargains on the outside.

Updated NFC South cap space - NFC South Blog - ESPN

We do know the Saints restructured the contract of defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley. That puts the Saints at about $2.9 million over the cap and means they still have some work to do.

Top 85 free agents: Mike Wallace tops best available -
67) Sedrick Ellis, DT, New Orleans Saints: The former No. 7 overall pick has shown flashes, but has quietly been one of the bigger busts of the last five years.


NFL Draft, Free Agency, and player signings

The full Flacco deal | ProFootballTalk
On Monday, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco signed his contract. On Tuesday, the full details have surfaced. Per a source with his knowledge of the contract, here are the terms: 1. $29 million signing bonus. 2. $1 million base salary in 2013. 3. $15 million option bonus due in 2014.

Report: New England Patriots could replace Wes Welker with Danny Amendola - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
The Patriots chose not to franchise Wes Welker (or anyone, for that matter) on Monday, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a plan at slot receiver if Welker is not a Patriot next season. Report: New England Patriots could replace Wes Welker with Danny Amendola

Falcons sign Antone Smith to two-year deal | ProFootballTalk
The Falcons signed running back Antone Smith to a two-year deal Tuesday, giving themselves some cost certainty and a special teamer. Smith was going to be a restricted free agent, but other teams are trying to lock up guys at something less than the $1.

William Moore hopes to get deal done with Falcons soon | ProFootballTalk
The franchise tag deadline came and went without the Falcons using theirs, leaving open the possibility that safety William Moore will hit the open market next week. While Moore isn't upset about going tagless -- it would have guaranteed him a salary of $6.

Current NFL salary cap figures are anything but concrete -
The Saints will create abundant savings with the likely return of Will Smith on a team-friendly deal, sources said (he was set to count more than $10 million against the cap), and linebacker Jonathan Vilma will have to take a big cut to stay as well, or he will be cut.



Roaf, 4 Other Ex-Saints on College Football Hall Ballot
Five former Saints, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Roaf, are among the 77 players on the 2013 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

Young Leadership Council Unveils 14th Annual YLC Wednesday at the Square Line-Up
Anders Osborne kicks off this year's line-up for 12-week concert series

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