When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell chose not to withdraw his suspension of former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove, the report he filed explaining his decision revealed some key points about how evidence was handled and specifically addressed the audio tape featuring the infamous “show me the money” quote.
What Commissioner Goodell reveals at that the source of the quote has no bearing on his decision to suspend Hargrove:
“For purposes of addressing Mr. Hargrove’s appeal, I need not resolve the issue of who made the statement. Instead, I am prepared to assume – as he apparently stated publicly – that he did not make it. But that statement is relevant because, regardless of which player said it, it corroborates other evidence that there was an incentive in place for knocking Mr. Favre out of the game and that the members of the Saints defense, including Mr. Hargrove, were well aware of that fact.
“The identity of the player who made the statement was immaterial to my decision on your appeals and did not affect the level of discipline imposed on Mr. Hargrove.”
A few weeks ago it was revealed that Remi Ayodele, believed to be the voice on the tape, would not come forward and admit that it was him. At the time, the assumption by many was that it was because Ayodele did not want to incriminate himself but a few people such as myself put out the theory that his testimony may indeed be damaging to the players as it simply would corroborate the existence of the bounty system and the players knowledge of it. This opinion has been affirmed by the statement of the Commissioner.
Lawsuits against the NFL by the suspended players are currently ongoing and this statement is unlikely to change that.