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Updated: June 18th, 2012 4:52pm
NFL shows evidence that Saints' bounty on Brett Favre was $35,000

NFL shows evidence that Saints' bounty on Brett Favre was $35,000

by Judd Zulgad
1500ESPN.com
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Turns out the information that the New Orleans Saints put a $10,000 bounty on Brett Favre to knock the Minnesota Vikings quarterback out of the 2009 NFC title game might not have been correct.

The NFL showed reporters evidence Monday regarding the Saints' bounty case, including an allegation of a $35,000 bounty to knock Favre out of the game on Jan. 24, 2010. The Saints won, 31-28, in overtime en route to a victory in the Super Bowl.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated tweeted the information about Favre and the fact that the NFL claims Saints interim coach Joe Vitt pledged $5,000 of that money.

Initially, the NFL only said only Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was offering a $10,000 bounty on Favre, but USA Today is reporting that defensive lineman Charles Grant and Mike Ornstein, along with Vitt, were also willing to pay up.

Ornstein is a marketing agent who was sentenced to eight months in federal prison, which he served in Florence, Colo., for conspiring to scalp Super Bowl tickets and hawking fake "game-worn" jerseys. He was released last fall. He has ties to Saints coach Sean Payton.

Payton has been suspended for the 2012 season as a result of the NFL's findings in the bounty case, and Vitt is suspended for the first six games of the year.

All of this came as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell heard appeals Monday in New York for the four players suspended because of their involvement in the Saints' bounty pool.

Goodell met with Vilma, who has been suspended for the season, as well as defensive end Will Smith (four games); Green Bay defensive end Anthony Hargrove (eight) and Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita (three).

The NFL turned over some evidence to the four players and the union on Friday, as required by the collective bargaining agreement. That information included some 200 pages of documents, with e-mails, power-point presentations, even handwritten notes, plus one video recording.

But a ledger that reportedly documents payments of $1,000 for plays called "cart-offs" and $400 for "whacks," as well as $100 fines for mental errors, was not in the material.

In King's tweet, he said the 12 reporters who were given the information about the bounty on Favre were told they were getting the same presentation the players got earlier in the afternoon

The hit on Favre that most remember from the 2009 conference title game was a high-low take out that defensive end Bobby McCray and nose tackle Remi Ayodele put on Favre in the third quarter that left the veteran on the turf with an injured left ankle.

Favre's pass on the play was picked off by Vilma. New Orleans took over at its own 31 with the score 21-21 but did not score on the ensuing series.

No flag was thrown but Mike Pereira, then the NFL's vice president of officiating, admitted later that referee Pete Morelli's crew should have called a 15-yard penalty. Favre was injured but was able to continue playing. A hobbled Favre threw an interception near the end of the fourth quarter with the scored tied and the ball at the Saints 38-yard line.

Ayodele spent last season with the Vikings but was let go by the team after the Saints' bounty system was revealed by the league.

The Associated Press contributed

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Remi Ayodele, Brett Favre
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