May 22, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove (95) during organized team activities at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE
Anthony Hargrove is one of the New Orleans Saints players, current or former, currently appealing their suspensions for the 'Bountygate scandal' to the NFL, and as I'm sure you've read, Hargrove's camp is pretty annoyed that he got suspended in the first place. Tex already wrote about the responses of the NFLPA and Hargrove's lawyer to the suspension and the process they're going through at the moment. That reaction can best be described as 'scathing'.
And you know what? It sounds like they have good reason. The evidence against the players that the NFL allowed the players to see has leaked out, and it's not convincing. This tweet from Mike Freeman is pretty telling.
To me, from what I've read with my own two eyes, this isn't proof. That doesn't mean the NFL doesn't have it, it just means this isn't it.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) June 18, 2012
Unfortunately, the Euro 2012 tournament is currently preventing me from reading the entire document myself, but Freeman is not the only person to raise concerns. From the above-linked SB Nation story:
Freeman said that the most revealing items were handwritten notes showing bounty amounts. There was also a note that said "qb out pool" and listed a $5,000 contribution from assistant coach Joe Vitt, who was suspended for the first six games of the season.
That's obviously evidence of some wrongdoing, but enough to suspend Vitt for six games? And if there was nothing stronger against any of the players, is that enough evidence to suspend them at all? It will be interesting to see what other pieces of evidence, if any, leak out. Roger Goodell might have to break out his most damning pieces of evidence -- if they exist -- to avoid a PR nightmare.