Josh Cribbs tweets a lot of stuff.
Occasionally there is the interesting nugget in there about the Cleveland Browns or the NFL.
Monday was one of those days. As Scott Fujita released his first statement denying ever pledging or contributing to a bounty pool in New Orleans, and as Fujita and the other three suspended players stated they would appeal, Cribbs offered this on Fujita via Twitter:
Hey @nfl, I wouldn’t force @scottfujita99 to take the gloves off if I were you…”Sources” tell me he knows a little too much!!!
Cribbs didn’t detail anything else, but if anyone has information that might be interesting it would be Fujita. He’s plugged in to the league, and as a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee he has access to a lot of information that the public does not see.
From the get-go, it was shocking to think that Fujita played for a team that had bounties. But when the league announced its suspensions, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and coach Sean Payton did not deny the bounty pool (which disgustingly rewarded guys for injuring opposing players). The Williams tape from the NFC Championship Game in January confirmed what had been reported.
But it was tough to see Fujita being involved. He has never been known as a dirty player, and he also was part of the effort to relax rules that would, in theory, make the game safer.
Then the league said it had evidence Fujita pledged “significant amounts” to the bounty pool in the playoffs after the 2009 season. And it said Fujita declined to speak with the league. And it trotted out a former defense attorney called in as an independent expert to examine the evidence. The league’s certainty bolstered all claims.
Now comes the pushback from players who say they have never been given evidence of their misdeeds. And with it comes some tiny chipping away at the foundation of certainty the league built. Cribbs’ tweet followed.
It’s impossible to say what it all means, but the league’s mountain of evidence certainly seems persuasive — as do the actions and words of Williams and the actions and words of the Saints.
The vehemence of the pushback, though, is not insignificant.
Where this goes could be among the more fascinating stories of this or any other NFL year.