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Fleur-de-Links: December 11, 2012

Your daily collection of New Orleans Saints news and opinion. TODAY'S HEADLINE: Paul Tagliabue vacates all player discipline. Blames coaches and organization for everything.

Chris Graythen


Thrilled w/Tagliabue ruling. Said all along the NFL went WAY too far with this. Now, if only they could give fans their season back.

RT : remember when the nflpa tried to have tagliabue removed from hearing the case? me neither.

what happened to the 50,000 pages of evidence?

Point: Your boss is a known liar, and worse, he sucks at it.

Aiello you are a clown. NFL example of how NOT to run an organization.

The idea that Tags just bootstomped Goodell is just another PR win for league. JUSTICE!

Also, is the slimiest motherf***er in the league. More so than Goodell.

I don't think so. Tags is complicit in this, backing down but protecting coach suspensions and hedging against defamation suit in process

NFL: "Saints pressured Hargrove to lie." Hargrove: "THE GODDAMN NFL JUST WENT AHEAD AND LIED FOR ME!"

Albert Breer, Charley Casserly, Steve Wyche and the NFL Network have been shamelessly shilling for Roger nonstop for the last 3 hours.

Remember when NFL specifically accused the Saints of putting bounties on Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton? No mention of it in Tag's ruling.

Paul Tagliabue's full ruling on vacating penalties against players in bounty case

Check out the Tags document. Start bottom of page 15. Great unintentional humor, Tags quoting powerpoint slides in official legal brief

Couple things shouldn't be forgotten today: 1. The whole thing amounts to little more than Gregg Williams being a s***-talking meathead...

2. If it were up to me, I'd do it all over again because :lombardi:

Finally. The entire Tagliabue ruling in PDF form: (thanks )

Be on the lookout tomorrow for news on a new event of mine…..(hint) at a place "Where Dreams Come True."

Tagliabue was troubled by what he saw as inconsistent treatment of Bounty-4. "Rightly or wrongly,a sharp change in discipline (1/2)"

"can often be seen as arbitrary and as an impediment rather than an instrument of change. This is what we see on the record here." (2/2)

Trotter > Jeff Duncan RT : ruling is rebuke of media. many of us were quick to accept leagues allegations as fact just because

Reading full Tagliabue decision, he's coming across like a cop letting speeders off w/ a warning.

That the NFL would actually invoke due process in its statement today might be the biggest joke of all.

I'd so love to have a chat with Sean Pamphilon right about now

BREAKING: Roger Goodell suspends Paul Tagliabue indefinitely, overturns today's judgment, appoints Sean Pamphilon to hear further appeals.

Tagliabue decision obviously huge win for players, but it's carefully written to uphold and protect broad commish powers in future cases.



Full text of Tagliabue's Ruling
This is every word of it.

Paul Tagliabue Ruling: The NFL Doesn't Have A Bounty Problem; It Has A Roger Goodell Problem
When Roger Goodell appointed Paul Tagliabue to hear the Saints' bounty appeal, the players fought to get the ex-NFL commissioner to recuse himself. There was no way, they thought, that Tagliabue would kneecap his successor, invalidating the suspensions that Goodell had pronounced from his unassailable lair atop Commissioner Mountain. But on Tuesday, Tagliabue sided, amazingly, against the man sitting behind his old desk, vacating the suspensions of four current and former Saints. Though he affirmed many of Goodell's original findings of player misconduct, this is the equivalent of a teacher writing "nice job" in the margin of a D paper. Goodell got it wrong in every way that matters. He conducted an unfair investigation that reached bad conclusions based on faulty evidence, then crowed sanctimoniously about his findings. Now, at last, this story has the ending it deserves, with the power-hungry commissioner undone by his quest to demonstrate just how powerful he can be.

Silverman: Tagliabue Smacks Down Goodell By Eliminating ‘Bountygate’ Player Suspensions « CBS New York

Can you hear the screaming emanating from the NFL’s Park Avenue offices? The loud voices -- stomping and swearing -- are coming from commissioner Roger Goodell, who has had his legs cut out from under him by his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue.

Paul Tagliabue's bounty-gate ruling puts Roger Goodell in his place - Tampa Bay Times

Now ask yourself this: What if this was your team? Around the league, not many fans of one team share the pain of another. But what if it was your team? What if a commissioner rushed to judgment to punish players without the ability to make it stick? In the meantime, what if you saw your team's season swirl down the toilet? Yeah, you would probably want an appeal process, too.

Tagliabue hurts NFL case, rips Saints' coaches, may foster more suits -
Paul Tagliabue's ruling on the Bountygate case could leave the NFL open to more lawsuits from players vindicated by the decision.

Players’ union: We’re pleased with Tagliabue, happy for our members | ProFootballTalk
The NFL Players' Association says former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue made the right call in rescinding the suspensions of four players in the Saints' bounty case, and the union is happy for Scott Fujita, Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Jonathan Vilma.

Tagliabue’s ruling suggests Saints were targeting Peyton Manning, too | ProFootballTalk
The bounty case has only ever mentioned two quarterbacks whom the Saints faced on their early 2010 run to the Super Bowl: former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

Drew Brees on bounty ruling: Some things can never be taken back | ProFootballTalk
Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been steadfast in his support of his suspended teammates, and suspended coach Sean Payton, since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cracked down on them in the league's bounty investigation.

Paul Tagliabue Overturns Suspensions of Saints Players " NFL Gridiron Gab
It took some time, but Saints players are off the hook today - thanks in part to former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Tags today overturned the suspensions of four current and former Saints players in the league's bounty investigation of the club. Tagliabue did state that he found that the players' conduct was detrimental to the league.

Paul Tagliabue condemns Saints coaches in overturning player bounty suspensions - NFL - Peter King -
In vacating the 31 games' worth of player suspensions and fines handed to four players over the Saints' bounty sanctions, former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue today, in effect, slammed the Saints' coaching staff and organization for the existence of a bounty and pay-for-performance system in place during the 2009 through 2011 seasons.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Saints Players Bounty Suspensions Vacated
Football Outsiders is the internet home for Innovative Statistics and Intelligent Analysis of professional and college football. Our writers, lead by Aaron Schatz, also write Pro Football Prospectus.

Vilma’s lawyer bashes Goodell for "manufactured allegations" | ProFootballTalk
The attorney for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's "manufactured allegations" have tarnished Vilma's reputation. And attorney Peter Ginsberg says that while former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue did the right thing by lifting Vilma's suspension, Tagliabue now nee...

Paul Tagliabue vacates all player penalties in New Orleans Saints bounty scandal |
Huge reversal from Roger Goodell's original penalties

Early reactions to Paul Tagliabue's decision in New Orleans Saints bounty investigation |
Tagliabue draws line between on-field and off-field conduct that Roger Goodell never did

NFL walks away from Saints fight - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Let me get this straight. Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has found that current commissioner Roger Goodell was spot on in his finding of fact

Tagliabue walks tightrope to exonerate players, protect Goodell | ProFootballTalk
Tagliabue, meanwhile, did the right thing while also doing the smart thing. He has concluded that the players should not be punished while helping to shield a client of his law firm from significant civil liability.

Jonathan Vilma going ahead with defamation case against Goodell | ProFootballTalk
The decision from former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue that Jonathan Vilma will not be suspended for the Saints' bounty case does not mean Vilma is done fighting.

NFL declares victory, retreats | ProFootballTalk
Regardless of the specific facts, this case proves that there are real limits to the otherwise seemingly unlimited power of the office of Commissioner. As a result, the victors aren’t simply the four players who won’t be suspended but all current and future players who now have further protection against unwarranted or unfair discipline from the league office.



SaintsWin: Opinion & Analysis: Week 14, Saints at Giants: A Weary Pantomime
The 2012 Saints are a brittle shell of their former dominant selves, and no amount of acting can any longer convince anyone that recapturing a past glory is in any way conceivable. At least not at present.

" A New Failure The Angry Who Dat
I need to bitch. I think you need to bitch. Let’s bitch together. Here’s the thing: I’m disgusted. This is as homer a blog as probably exists on the entire Saints Internet. But this loss – this one was different.

Giants Blowout of Saints Doesn’t Hide Defensive Lapses -
A 52-27 victory by the Giants over the Saints may be misleading in terms of the defensive lapses the Giants displayed, including giving up five plays of 20 yards or more.

Saints not ready to give up on season | New Orleans Saints | The Sun Herald
METAIRIE-- One day after calling the Saints' 52-27 loss at the New York Giants, "embarrassing," and described the team as "fragile," interim coach Joe Vitt said one of the many problems attributed to their latest loss stemmed from trying too hard.

Saints defense slowly dropping average in total yards | Black and Gold

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: New England Patriots knock off Houston Texans for top spot |
New Orleans Saints drop six spots to No. 24

Breaking down the eight plays that put New Orleans Saints season out of its misery: Film study |
Saints went into self-destruct mode with turnovers, poor kick coverage in 52-27 loss to New York Giants

New Orleans Saints vs. New York Giants play-by-play observations: Film Study Part 2 |
A breakdown of the Saints' 52-27 loss



New Orleans Super Bowl plans to be outlined in lunchtime events |
With New Orleans' tenth Super Bowl less than two months away, organizers are holding a media luncheon at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Tuesday to offer previews and updates about how the Feb. 3 event will unfold. Prior to the luncheon, city officials will hold an 11:30 a.m. press conference on traffic plans for the game.

Mark Ingram Says the New Orleans Saints are Still a Prideful Group
Ingram rushed for 68 yards on 13 carries against the Giants