The NFL Players Association is hoping to not only discover concrete evidence that New Orleans Saints players were directly tied to bounties, as the league has found, but also to get a basis to determine whether punishments meted out are specific to allegations, players’ association spokesman George Atallah said Monday. The NFLPA will meet with the NFL on Monday — and maybe longer — to pour over evidence the NFL has offered to share regarding its lengthy investigation into the scandal that has led to lengthy suspension, fines and lost draft picks.
The NFL Players Association told players involved in the New Orleans Saints‘ bounty case that there is a chance they could face criminal charges and it hired outside counsel to represent them if needed. While Commissioner Roger Goodell weighs how to punish the two dozen or so players the league says might be connected to the bounties, the NFLPA also suggested that players have a lawyer and union representative present when they are interviewed by NFL investigators.
Sean Payton picked up a side-gig over the weekend as he prepared to head to New York to appeal his suspension. Payton took the stage with singer Jimmy Buffett at the “Big Dance” Final Four concert series at Woldenberg Park, playing congra drums and bongos on “Changes in Latitude.
Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove had almost no leverage in unrestricted free agency. The contract that he signed with the Green Bay Packers Friday is a reflection of that. Hargrove accepted a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $825,000. Not only did it not contain any bonus money, it also was structured to protect the team. If Hargrove goes on injured reserve, his base salary would be reduced to $393,000. Having such a split in a contract is common with late-round draft choices and free agents, but isn’t at all common in contracts for veterans.
Baltimore Ravens officials want left tackle Bryant McKinnie to be a bit faster and more lithe than he was this past season, the Baltimore Sun reportedMonday. The officials met with McKinnie a few weeks ago, according to the newspaper, and coach John Harbaugh told the Sun at the NFL Annual Meeting last week that McKinnie is currently in the “same shape he was when he left.” The Ravens website lists the 32-year-old McKinnie at 360 pounds. McKinnie joined the Ravens last season after he was released by the Vikings in August 2011. Cornerback Antoine Winfield said publicly that the team parted ways with McKinnie because he was overweight and not in shape at training camp.
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