The NFL Has Hired 'BountyGate' Whistle Blower Mike Cerullo, And Sean Payton is Something Less Than Pleased
PFT- Jay Glazer of FOX reports that former Saints employee Mike Cerullo has been hired by the league office. He’s a director of football administration, working in the department that will be responsible for determining the discipline to be imposed, if any, on Saints coach Sean Payton for his interactions with officials on Thursday night.
Former Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma outed Cerullo as a disgruntled former employee of the Saints, a theme that continued throughout the legal drama that emerged in the aftermath of the allegation that the Saints gave players a financial incentive to inflict injury on opponents. The league said he should be “commended” for coming forward.
Some will now say that he’s actually been rewarded, five years later, for helping the NFL with its effort to punish the Saints for (in my view) a trumped-up charge without (in former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s view) considering broader cultural realities, including for example the fact that plenty of other teams were giving players a little extra money for doing that which they already had a natural incentive to do — render opponents incapable of continuing via the application of clean, legal hits.
Wait...do you mean to tell me that someone who was complicit in delivering Roger Goodell the little hearsay he needed to heavy-handedly make an example out of one team for potentially having a policy that was widely present throughout the entirety of the league has just been hired by said league? The snake that sunk his venomous fangs into the back of a former employer that canned him for cause (the New Orleans Saints) in an effort to prove his worth to a Commissioner who had yet to admit that professional football was directly linked to chronic brain damage is getting his own terrarium in league headquarters? A multi-billion dollar private entity that hands out discipline free from the court of law and values high profile cases that can be used as distractions thinks of a moral-less mole with a history of baseless snitching as an asset? No way. Not my NFL.
Oddly enough, assuming this doesn't result in Sean Payton receiving a year long suspension for raising his voice at an official that couldn't seem to make the connection between running 4th quarter clock and screaming head coach, I welcome this news. Perhaps it's a product of all the winning he's been doing of late, but the passion that's been present in the Saints' head coach (See: the choke) this season has been absent since before Roger Goodell turned him into a scapegoat for CTE. One of the main criticisms that fans had of Sean Payton was that he looked emotionally neutered and disinterested on a 7-9 sideline, but his competitive fire is back and - by hiring the rat fuck that cost him his livelihood - the NFL basically just doused it in gasoline. As if proving that 2009 was no fluke wasn't enough motivation, Sean Payton can now play the vengeance angle?
Mike Cerullo better get to digging. Not because there's any more common, accepted behaviors left to be uncovered beneath the surface of an inherently dangerous sport that features the biggest, fastest, and strongest athletes hitting each other as hard as humanly possible in exchange millions of contracted dollars, but because he'll want a place to take cover with Sean Payton on the war path.