Anthony Hargrove gives detailed description of the Saints bounty program coverup

Anthony Hargrove spills the beans on Gregg Williams and the Saints

5/7/12 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5222 respect

October 17, 2010; Tampa, FL, USA;  New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove (69) rushes during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. New Orleans Saints defeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIREAnthony Hargrove is one of 4 players who were suspended by the NFL in the aftermath of the Saints' bounty scandal. Hargrove, now with the Packers, was suspended for 8 games without pay.

Now, Hargrove has given a detailed declaration of exactly what the Saints told him to do, in order to help cover up the scandal and hide it from NFL investigators.

You can read the full declaration over at Pro Football Talk, but here are a few of the highlights:

[Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg] Williams said he was going to deny the existence of any bounty on any player to the NFL, and I should deny it, too.  Coach Vitt also said he was going to deny the existence of any bounties.  Coach Williams said:  “Those motherf-ckers [the NFL] have been trying to get me for years,” and if we all “stay on the same page, this will blow over.”

...

The meeting lasted approximately 30 minutes, and during that time, both Coach Williams and Coach Vitt told me that I should deny the existence of any bounty or bounty program to the NFL.  Williams and Vitt repeatedly stated that they “care about me, and . . . if we all stay on the same page about this, it will blow over.”  They told me that when the NFL asked me about any bounty or bounty program, I should “just play dumb.”

...

The NFL Security personnel asked me if there had been a bounty on Brett Favre in the NFC Championship game, and as instructed by Coach Williams and Coach Vitt, I denied all knowledge of a bounty or bounty program.

...

Approximately a week after I had been questioned by NFL Security, Gregg Williams asked me about the interview; he asked “Did you stick to the story?”  I told him that I responded to all of the NFL’s questions as he and Coach Vitt had instructed me:  I denied any knowledge of a bounty program.


This sheds an awful lot of light on the real situation in New Orleans.

Most likely, the bounty situation itself wasn't considered the real crime here. Instead, the elaborate coverup involving various levels of the Saints' organization is what the NFL has a real problem with.

One has to assume that the NFL knew about all of this before levying their suspensions against Williams, Sean Payton, Vitt, Hargrove and the other players, but if they didn't, do you think this should change anything?

It seems like Hargrove is trying to use this to show that he and the other players are innocent victims of merely obeying their coaches' orders.

I'm not sure if that's going to make Roger Goodell look any more kindly on them, but it gives you an idea of why the players were so hesitant to blow the whistle, even after they went to other teams.
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5/8/12   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

Whether he lied, told the truth, was told to lie, was told to lie about what the truth was, or whatever it was he did, it really doesnt matter at this point. He along with three other former/current Saints are suspended and will have their appeals heard likely by the Overlord of American Football Roger Goodell