Anthony Hargrove confirms NFLPA rejected settlement in bounty scandal
Anthony Hargrove’s agent, Phil Williams, confirmed during an interview on CBS’ The NFL Today pregame show that Hargrove, Scott Fujita, Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma had rejected a settlement offered by the league in the Saints’ bounty scandal case. Pro Football Talk reported that the offer centered on reduced penalties for the players involved, but only if they acknowledged violating league policy.
“It is true (that a settlement offer was made), but it’s definitely not acceptable,” Williams told CBS’ James Brown. “It’s very curious to us that we would receive one at this point.”
Hargrove, who signed with Green Bay before being released this offseason, faces a two-game suspension once he joins a team. Hargrove has appealed that penalty; so too have Smith (four-game suspension), Fujita (one game) and Vilma (one year).
In the same CBS piece, Hargrove denied that there ever was a pay-to-injure program in place in New Orleans.
“Numerous players have said the same thing under oath that I said — that is that no, there was no bounty program,” Hargrove said. “Never payments, nor discussions ever talking about injuries our opponents or anybody. “We had a production chart — it kept the stats, practice production, how many plays you made in practice …
“We never got any money for injuring anyone.”
The case currently rests with Paul Tagliabue, who was appointed by Roger Goodell to take over the hearings after Goodell recused himself. Hargrove did say that Tagliabue had been “fair” throughout the process thus far.
Williams, however, pointed out “inconsistencies” within the NFL’s case against the four players. Hargrove also argued that one of the key pieces of evidence in this case — an audio recording of Gregg Williams discussing Brett Favre’s injury in the 2009 NFC title game, during which a second voice is heard shouting, “Pay me my money!”
Hargrove denied that voice belonged to him.
“No, it was not,” Hargrove responded when Brown pressed him on the matter. “Let me tell you something else that was disturbing about this footage. In March of 2010, when I was interviewed by NFL investigator Joe Hummell, he asked me who that voice was.”
You can watch Hargrove’s full interview with Brown below: