Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Apr 2012

MMQB: Top of the Draft Shows Contrast

In this week's MMQB, Peter King talks about the teams that have multiple picks (or no picks) at the top of the 2011 draft; memorializes Joe Avezzano; and has his thoughts on the Gregg Williams tape and how it came to light.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 09 Apr 2012

57 comments, Last at 15 Apr 2012, 7:40pm by Mike B.


by Mort (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:37pm

And lo, the King looked upon the scandal of the bounties and said: "stop snitchin'"

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:44pm

"And congrats, Ilya Kovalchuk, on your 37-goal season. Knew you had it in you."

Yes, congrats to Kovalchuck for reaching a milestone he has surpassed only 7 times before. He really showed that at age 28, 2 years into a $100 mil contract, he's still got it.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:51pm

The teams in control of the draft stuff makes no sense at all. It's just a list of teams with a few high picks.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:56pm

So, what would PK have done if Sean Pamphilon had come to him with the tape? No judgement of the media's role in spreading the story. Yet Pamphilon should be either a rat or a hero, and PK is conflicted as to which. Pul-eeze.

by tuluse :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 1:01pm

Well to play devils advocate, I think PK's point was that Pamphilon betrayed his friend, and whatever media outlet he went to would have no such conflict of interest.

by Jeff M. (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 1:41pm

First off, I absolutely agree with PK that the work Gleason is doing is admirable and commendable. But I think that's being allowed to cloud the question of whether Gleason himself is the one in the wrong here. I look at it this way:

Should the league have been informed of Williams' speech? Absolutely. It's material to an ongoing investigation, it could later be subpoenaed by one of the targeted players in a suit against the NFL, etc.

Should the public have been informed? This is trickier, but I tend to go with yes (and from the column, PK seems to lean this way as well). My belief is that player safety will only improve if the league is held accountable by fans, sponsors, etc. I don't know if these groups actually want to hold the league accountable, but they can't without knowing what's going on.

Would the league have shared the information with the public? Absolutely not. We already saw with spygate that Goodell's policy is to view the tape once and then burn it, in order to make absolutely sure no one can later second-guess him (or hold him accountable as discussed above). The league also wouldn't want any fans or advertisers turned off even further by learning the full truth of how bad this stuff got.

So, should Gleason and Pamphilon have agreed, at minimum, to send the tape to league offices? Absolutely yes. Should they have also agreed to release it to the media? Here we can differ, but if you believe the public should know, this is a yes as well.

Instead Gleason wanted to sit on the tape and not reveal it to anyone. He's understandably grateful to the Saints, but he's trying to facilitate a cover-up of their ongoing attempts to seriously injure opposing players. That's the morally wrong action, not going over your friend's head to whistle-blow.

PK's ultimate justification for suppressing the tape is that Gleason and Pamphilon wouldn't have been there and recording without the Saints' inviting them. I know the analogy is a little ridiculous, but say a friend invites me to his house and I witness him murdering someone. Am I obliged to stay silent because I wouldn't have seen it without him inviting me? Or should I maybe go to the police anyway?

Gleason and Pamphilon witnessed a crime (you don't think what Williams said is at least potentially evidence for conspiracy to commit assault?) and recorded evidence of it. They needed to come forward with the evidence or be (at least morally, though perhaps not legally) partly complicit in it. Gleason was in the wrong, Pamphilon did the right thing, the public gets it (at least according to the survey PK cites), and PK 100% does not.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 5:01pm

Pamphilon may have had selfish reasons for making the tapes public, but he's sort of a hero in my book simply because there's no way the public finds out about those tapes if he doesn't release them. If he'd just given them to the NFL, they absolutely never would have been released. At best we'd have seen some reference to them in a league statement or some legal documents...and that would have been best-case.

What I find interesting is that even with the tape being released, Goodell is still open to lessening the penalties. (He now seems open to everybody but Williams getting some compensation during their suspensions and he said he may readdress taking the draft pick away.) Without Pamphilon relasing that tape, I now wonder if the suspensions themselves wouldn't have been shortened.

by grady graddy (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 1:01pm

King's characterization of Joe Barksdale and Taiwan Jones isn't very balanced. As a Raider fan I'd rather have them on the roster the next three years than a second round pick in this draft. Barksdale looks like the RT of the future and everyone is hoping he earns the starting job now that he has a full offseason to work. And Jones was behind McFadden and Bush, two top 20 backs in the league, and was in line to play a lot with McFadden out but missed the second half of the season with an injury of his own. He looked good during the game in San Diego and looked like a future star during his only lengthy playing time, the preseason game against New Orleans. Since I'd also take any of the three QB's the Raiders got with their trades over any QB they could select with the 17th overall pick this year, and the Curry trade seems quite reasonable, and the Raiders knew well before the Pryor selection they'd be getting it back as a comp pick at the end of the third, I'm pretty gung ho on all the trades of 2012 draft picks Davis/Trask/Jackson made.

by Bill (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 2:26pm


But don't expect a retraction. After all, aren't all draft picks superstars in the waiting?

I love how people celebrate all of NE's picks in every draft, but what do they end up doing with them? A solid CB and 2 x TEs aside, five year history of "controlling the draft" every year hasn't added up to much. I'd love to see this NE 53 man roster go through the Peyton Manning experiment and lose Brady for a year. 2-14?


by RickD :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 3:43pm

Who celebrates all of NE's picks every draft?
Last year, the draft was followed by a month of "why didn't Belichick draft a pass rusher, like we thought he would?" and "Why did they draft two running backs?"

I'd love to see this NE 53 man roster go through the Peyton Manning experiment and lose Brady for a year. 2-14?

Wondering where you were in 2008.



by Bill (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 4:32pm

Hello Rick -

1) I meant all of the pre-draft celebrations of their "control", well aware that many of his movements confuse and confound NE fans, esp as you watch so many of them released... I'm making fun of the experts who thiknk that picks in the hopper have inherent meaning and value, despite their being consistantly squandered.

2) Am well-aware of 2008, which is why I said "this" roster, which I'd argue includes both fewer impact players and weaker depth. 'Tis a kissing-cousin to Indy's "if we don't score 30 we be screwed" construction.


by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 6:26pm

Interesting, though completley incorrect.

NE spit the bit from 2006-2008, which means they are absent 5-7 players who should be hitting their prime and carrying the team. But since 2009 they've acquired

Three OT, two TE, RB, SS, CB, ILB and three solid DL, all in varying degrees of ability from starting caliber to elite. The problem is you just aren't aware of it.

by RickD :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 8:47pm

I think it's certainly arguable that with Hoyer and Mallett the Pats are better equipped at backup QB than they were in '08 with Cassel.

As for the draft, I don't know why people get so bothered with trying to predict what Belichick is going to do, or, even worse, trying to say exactly what the team needs. After not drafting a pass rusher, the Pats did fine last season with Mark Anderson and Andre Carter.

And yet, all the pundits are out again saying that the Pats must draft a pass rusher.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 4:32pm

I think part of the Payton Manning experiment is to replace Brady with Curtis Painter, who is definitely worse than Cassel and probably Ryan Mallett. The NE roster (not counting QB) was probably a bit better in 2008 than it is today, though I don't think the dropoff is as severe as Indy's was over the last few years.

by jackgibbs :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 9:57am

also it cannot be understated just how historically easy their schedule was in '08. they got the nfc west/afc west at their absolute worst

by grady graddy (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 5:06pm

Agreed. The Raiders-Patriots trades have been pretty interesting. The Raiders' ultimately unsuccessful trade for Randy Moss (Napoleon Harris, a first, and a seventh - Troy Williamson and Adrian Ward - outside of Harris' bigger boosters you'd have to consider the trade a mutual bust) prompted the similarly useless Doug Gabriel to NE trade (with the fifth rounder used on Eric Frampton, who did not come alive). (In the same draft, the Raiders sent Bobby Hamilton back to the Jets for the pick that two years later became Chaz Schilens, whose injury riddled stint led to his becoming a Jet along with his Raiders WR coach Sanjay Lal this offseason.) Then in 2007 the Raiders, after succumbing to Star Wars with the top pick, ultimately tried to replace Moss with Mike Williams and Zach Miller: they traded down five spots in the second (the Cardinals chose Alan Branch, the Raiders Zach Miller, and both joined Tom Cable in Seattle last season as free agents). They flipped the extra pick (a fourth) to Detroit for Mike Williams and Josh McCown, who chose AJ Davis and then cut him in camp. Then they made two different trades with the Patriots: a 7th round pick and future third rounder for the 91st overall pick, Mario Henderson, and then Moss for a fourth, which became Bowie, who was a no more successful Oakland DB than Frampton. Henderson at least played but never got very good and by most accounts ate himself out of a job during the lockout. After Moss' record breaking year, the Raiders stayed away from trading with the Patriots, instead focusing on shuffling CB's - trading Fabian Washington for yet another 4th round bust, WR Arman Shields, and trading 2nd and 5th rounders for DeAngelo Hall (yielding busts in Devin Thomas and DeAngelo Smith). But the Raiders did manage to trade up to get Tyvon Branch in that draft, which worked quite nicely. The Patriots, meanwhile, traded the third (69 overall) they got in the Mario Henderson trade the year before to the Chargers for a 2nd rounder in 09 and a fifth rounder, later trading up in the fifth round to get Matthew Slater (the Bucs picked Josh Johnson with the fifth rounder; the Chargers got Jacob Hester with the 2nd rd pick). The following year, the Raiders draft their first WR to near 1,000 yards in a while in DHB (not that it's been a success yet). Then the Patriots twice trade out of their first round pick (Ravens pick up Michael Oher and Packers Clay Matthews) in order to get two third rounders and a monopoly on the early second round, picking up the #41 to go along with the #47 they'd got in the Hester trade and the #34 they got for Cassel and Vrabel. They then traded up from the 47 with the Raiders, who netted a fourth and a sixth rounder. The Patriots flip the early third from the Packers for a seventh (Julian Edelman) and 2010 2nd rounder. From that glut of second and third round picks, the Patriots pick up Chung, Butler, Brace, and Tate, of whom only Chung remains on the team, but they still had a 2010 second rounder, Edelman, and Slater to show for the pick that became Mario Henderson. Meanwhile, the Raiders chose Mike Mitchell (seen as a reach, though it has been widely reported the Bears would have taken him two spots later at 49 and traded down when Oakland took them, netting a busted third rounder in Jarron Gilbert and a nice pickup in Henry Melton, while the Seahawks used the pick on Unger), and used the extra picks from trading down with the Patriots on Louis Murphy, who outproduced DHB playing opposite him their first two seasons (though Heyward-Bey appears to have advanced well beyond Murphy now), and a bust in Stryker Sulak. Then, between the draft and the season, the Patriots made the Burgess and Seymour deals, getting the 2011 pick that became Solder for Seymour but only getting one so-so year out of Burgess in exchange for future third and fifth rounders. So headed into the 2010 draft, the Raiders have third and fifth rounders from the Patriots and the Patriots have the #44 pick from the Jaguars and a future Raiders first rounder. The Raiders, on the clock in the second round, decide they want Lamarr Houston, and traded down to 42 then again to 44. The 42, which Chicago had traded for Gaines Adams, would become Rob Gronkowski for the Patriots, who the Bucs weren't looking for since they'd traded a second rounder for Winslow the year before and the Raiders didn't need since they had traded down in the early second round for an ASU TE 3 yrs prior, while the Bucs grabbed Arrelious Benn. For trading down, the Raiders netted a sixth rounder from New England (spent on coach's favorite Travis Goethel, who has missed 3/4 of his pro career to injury so far) and a fifth rounder from TB that they had received by trading TE Alex Smith to New England. The Raiders flipped the NE-via-TB/Alex Smith pick and Kirk Morrison to the Jaguars, where Morrison stayed a year, to trade up for Jacoby Ford. They then traded the two picks they'd received for Burgess to get two LBs who started for most of 2010-11 but are now gone, Wimbley and Groves, with the former quite productive in Oakland. The Browns got Colt McCoy for Wimbley, and the Jags flipped the Groves pick to the Saints, picking up Chris Prosinski in the fourth round a year later. The Patriots would then trade Moss mid-season for the pick that became Mallett. With that pick in hand, they were confident in trading their third and fourth rounders to the Raiders for a 2012 2nd rounder. So out of this loose series of trades the Patriots netted a tremendous stretch from Moss, an apparent superstar in Gronk, a promising young tackle in Solder, a safety who might continue to improve in Chung, and some role players like Edelman and Slater, and still have the second round pick in this year's draft from Oakland, but on the flip side missed out on some big opportunities (most notably Clay Matthews). The Raiders got solid play from Wimbley and Seymour, with the latter still on board though pricey, have a solid DE in Houston, and have gotten moments from Murphy, Ford, and Mitchell, and can continue to hope for the development of those three along with Jones, Barksdale, and Goethel. While they missed out on what Moss and Gronkowski have shown in the Patriots offense, the Raiders look to have acquired a fair amount of compelling young talent in these swaps. If Barksdale has a better career than Solder, I'll be pretty happy.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 6:17pm

Graddy, you clearly have a lot to say, which is good. However, that enormous block of text is really tough to read, maybe throw in some paragraphs?

For example, you conclude with a rather insightful statement but it would be much easier to digest like this:

"So out of this loose series of trades the Patriots netted a tremendous stretch from Moss, an apparent superstar in Gronk, a promising young tackle in Solder, a safety who might continue to improve in Chung, and some role players like Edelman and Slater, and still have the second round pick in this year's draft from Oakland, but on the flip side missed out on some big opportunities (most notably Clay Matthews).

The Raiders got solid play from Wimbley and Seymour, with the latter still on board though pricey, have a solid DE in Houston, and have gotten moments from Murphy, Ford, and Mitchell, and can continue to hope for the development of those three along with Jones, Barksdale, and Goethel. While they missed out on what Moss and Gronkowski have shown in the Patriots offense, the Raiders look to have acquired a fair amount of compelling young talent in these swaps. If Barksdale has a better career than Solder, I'll be pretty happy."

by grady graddy (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 8:04pm

Fair enough. Us Raiders fans have only been able to read this site during definitively the worst period in the franchise's history, and the lame jokes about the Raiders mean we mostly read the site while drunk, stoned, or otherwise dissociated. I used to write a baseball blog and for a couple big baseball sites so I didn't have to deal with the Norv Turner era. Just not used to having any reason to organize my thoughts re the Raiders on this site, but after 32 games of .500 ball and a new GM and staff, hopefully people start to care enough about the Raiders I can find somewhere to write about them and have incentive to pay attention to paragraphs. Some places I'm afraid to use hard returns because it'll submit, and this time I didn't even think about how much I had written.

Give me a Raiders history topic from after SB XVIII and I can give you some good, organized writing.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 1:40pm

"It's impossible to have a one-way, clinical view of the Gleason-Pamphilon mess. At least for me it is."

On one hand, I'm utterly dependent on parasitic relationships and feeding off of insider news for my professional relevance. So maintaining relationships is important to me. On the other hand, I'm a bloviating, self-important media whore. So generating news from those professional relationships is important to me.

I can see how Big Pete's conflicted.

In the larger view, considering the whisperings that ALS may have a correlation with football head impacts, it's a remarkable sociological statement that Gleason was so opposed to releasing the audio. Although given the benefits he has gained from a close association with the Saints' management, I can see how he's not entirely clean from a personal conflict front, too, and his personal motives may outweigh his advocacy motives. Still, this statement is too simple: "What's morally right is that Pamphilon, who never would have heard what Williams said without being attached to Gleason, shouldn't have released the tape without Gleason's permission." While I realize the question of individual benefit versus group benefit is probably beyond the rhetorical skills of King, it should also be beyond him to simply commit to one camp without discussion.

by akn :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 7:25pm

I'm not aware of any association of ALS with concussions. The only proven factor in some ALS cases is genetics, and there is some decent evidence for environmental factors (chemicals, etc.), but nothing with head trauma. While most cases of ALS first manifest as limb weakness, some cases present with CTE-like symptoms (slurred speech, etc), which may be the source of confusion.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 8:42am

I'm not saying the association is real. But Gleason's profile also gets big bump from the concussion debate in the NFL and the media insinuations about all of the big hits he took prior to becoming symptomatic. Whether Gleason likes it or not, his ALS is part of the media story of head injuries in the NFL.

by akn :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 3:29pm

Then the media had better do a better job making a distinction, unless they are claiming the Lou Gehrig suffered a few too many bean balls to the head. Next thing you know there will be a 5 part mini-series on the Ryan Leaf's brain tumor.

by Mike B. (not verified) :: Sun, 04/15/2012 - 7:40pm

Some people now do believe that concussions and bean balls had a part in Lou Gehrig's disease becoming so severe http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/17/als.lou.gehrigs.concussions/index.h...

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 9:57pm

It is far from established, but.......


....there is some evidence which suggests a link. Anecdotally, a Viking linebacker, Wally Hildenberg recently died of the disease, and a Viking safety, Orlando Thomas, has been diagnosed with it. A Minnesota based heavyweight boxer, Scott LeDoux, who fought almost all the prominent heavyweights of the '70s, recently died of the disease. I won't be surprised in the least if it is established that repeated blows to the head is correlated with a greater chance of developing ALS.

by Joseph :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 2:01pm

To both commenters who wrote about King's section on Pamphilon/Gleason:

I think the best solution would have been give it to the NFL--NOT release it to the general public first.
1--Pamphilon shouldn't have EVER been there. The only reason he was there, as PK states, is that Gleason trusted him, and the Saints/Coach Payton trusted Gleason. He has forever ruined that trust.
As an aside, isn't reporting built somewhat upon your "sources" being able to trust you?
2--Both Gleason and Pamphilon had a HUUUUGGGGE conflict of interest here--Gleason toward keeping it quiet for the Saints, and Pamphilon wanting to break a "story" that he was only allowed to learn about because of Gleason.
There is a reason that defense lawyers have the "lawyer-client-privilege" law--to draw a clear line about what they can say about what they know/learn.
3--To Jeff M's last paragraph, um, if that can be construed as conspiracy to commit assault, then a lot of football coaches are in big trouble. And NOPE, there is NO responsibility on Pamphilon's part to "report a crime." If there were, then why did he wait 2 1/2 months???? I mean, this isn't that his mike picked up something from another room that he didn't hear live--HE WAS THERE!!! And NOW, on the day the Saints' brass go to NY to appeal their suspensions, he releases it to the PUBLIC??? How many witnesses of a crime go to the press first, before going to the appropriate authorities?
If you want to say that this is blaming the "messenger," so be it. If Gleason had signed off on this, I wouldn't blame Pamphilon a bit. But he clearly didn't, and Gleason gave him very intimate access to his life.
King was wrong--Pamphilon CLEARLY is a rat--he betrayed his friend.

by RickD :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 3:32pm

I'm just not seeing how Pamphilon is a "rat." He didn't "betray" his friend in the sense of getting his friend in trouble. He's not even the initial whistleblower here. What he's done is provide evidence confirming an allegation already made public. Furthermore, his friend is not culpable in the scandal - it's just embarrassing for his friend.

It's a sign of the times that King is even conflicted here. Pamphilon had a story that was newsworthy. But King cares as much about protecting the reputations of the people involved as he does about covering the news.

"By blowing the whistle, though, what has Pamphilon accomplished? He has shone a light on a dark story."

Yes, Peter. That's what journalists do.

I can cut Peter some slack because basically he's an entertainment journalist, and to a great extent hype is part of his job description. But this confusion about journalism that King has is prevalent in many areas where we need better journalism.

by RickD :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 3:38pm

...and in the same column he cites Mike Wallace as one of his heroes. Would Mike Wallace ever have considered sitting on a tape like this?

by Independent George :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 3:46pm

What would Walter Duranty do?

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 11:27pm

"Saw Joe Stalin while at the Central Committe's meeting in Ukraine last week. The skinny-looking barista must have been lightheaded from goodness knows what, since he mixed up our coffee orders, which irritates me to no end. Joe, however, is a kindly soul, and had two of his assistants (burly fellows!) help the incompetent ectomorph down into the cellar so as to inquire what problems they could help with."

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 5:50pm

PK's world must be filled with millions of shades of grey. It's one thing if his sources sometimes play him to put their spin on things (that must be unavoidable in his job) but I have little doubt he sometimes willingly aids in that sort of thing in exchange for continued access. He also must have countless stories he'd never reveal because his sources would all dry up. He's been in Pamphilon's shoes and chose the other path, thus he can't really understand Pamphilon going the other way.

by Jerry :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 8:51pm

I think King can understand why Pamphilon did what he did. There are many shades of gray:

-The Saints have embraced Gleason as he deals with his illness, and Gleason is returning the embrace.

-Gleason brought Pamphilon along as the guy making the documentary about him (and, apparently, his buddy). I doubt that anyone, Pamphilon included, expected anything to appear in public until the documentary was ready for release.

-Pamphilon didn't hear that speech in January and immediately decide to release it. It wasn't until bounties became a story that he considered going public. Even then, he and Gleason debated whether he should release the tape.

-I don't know how the relationship between Gleason and Pamphilon will come out of this. I'm sure Pamphilon will never be welcome near the Saints again, and probably not any other team, either. He can survive burning those bridges in a way that SI's NFL correspondent can't.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:51pm

Your final sentence is spot-on but you'll note that King can't bring himself to admit that. I have no doubt he sees himself as a journalist, yet he struggles to come to grips with something journalists are traditionally expected to do. Journalists aren't supposed to care who they piss off, but for King that's a major concern. He's as much a PR rep for the league as he is a reporter.

by Jerry :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 4:39am

It's not as simple as "write what you see and if anyone doesn't like it, tough." Not only are there sources whose continued cooperation requires not identifying them, but journalistic ethics require restricting some information per agreement (off the record, on background, etc.) King is, I believe, a pool reporter covering Super Bowl practices annually, where he's not allowed to report on what the team is practicing. If the starting QB tears up a knee, he's there to provide coverage, but there are reasonable restrictions on what he can report before the game.

This happens outside the toy department, too. After the November election, articles and books will appear with lots of inside information, some of which might be useful to voters if they had it before the election. Reporters get that access by agreeing not to report anything until the votes are counted, and we have to live with "better late than never". Again, there are shades of gray to all of this.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 11:06am

Pamphilon no doubt did agree not to release any sensitive info like injuries, strategy, etc. And he complied with that agreement by waiting until long after the Saints had been eliminated from the playoffs before releasing anything. Now, if his film had been about rulebreaking and he'd told the Saints everything was on background, that would have been much trickier, but obviously that wasn't the case. This isn't even a close call on whether he did the right thing.

You have a good example of King being a pool reporter at the Super Bowl. Let's say he'd heard the Saints talking about bounties prior to their Super Bowl, or he'd seen guys shooting up with steroids, or saw a team watching tapes of the opponents practicing. His uncertainty over Pamphilon's actions suggests he might not have shared info like that with the pool. It makes you wonder where the clear line exists for him.

by Joseph :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:29pm

Except Pamphilon is a filmmaker. And I would bet that Gleason was allowed to be there WITH Pamphilon because he had told Coach Payton that nothing would be public till the movie was made, or something to that effect.
If Pamphilon had a credential with the NY Times, I doubt he is allowed in there at that time.
And sorry--if you betray your friend's trust, and go directly against his wishes, and violate a handshake/verbal agreement, in my book--YOU'RE A RAT.
[Like I commented below, this isn't reporting or corroborating evidence of a CRIME--this is going to the press months after the fact, with suspicious timing, to further villify a man/men who has already been punished for his actions. So, why did he do it now, instead of a couple of weeks ago, or a couple of weeks from now?]

by BaronFoobarstein :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 2:48am

It's fine if in your book that going against his friends wishes makes him a rat. The connection between Pamphilon and the Saints is a bit weak for this to meet the normal definition, but the general meaning is similar. Recognize though that in this instance being a rat is the more moral option. Heck, the term was popularized in the criminal word meaning an police informant; so it's generally meant to be an insult by the people using it, but aimed at people acting more ethically or at least less criminally.

by Joseph :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 11:22am

I was only using PK's word, but it applies. Here's where I draw the line--he wasn't reporting CRIMINAL behavior. Unsavory? yes; unethical? yes; what some might term "morally reprehensible? Probably.
I still think his best course of action (of course, in hindsight, sitting at a computer) would have been: If after discussing things with Gleason, and deciding to go against Gleason's wishes, first inform him of what he was planning to do. Second, copy that part of the video/audio, keeping the original for himself. Third, inform the NFL/Goodell of what he has, and then deliver it.
If he is still not satisfied that he has done enough, THEN AND ONLY THEN should he have gone public and blind-sided all involved.
[It seems to me reasonably apparent that Gleason was unaware that Pamphilon was going public with the audio, or at least at that time.]

by Will Allen :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 11:37pm

I wouldn't be too sure of the lack of criminal behavior. Hockey players have been prosecuted for engaging in assault, for actions that lie outside the rules of the game. We have Williams specifically instructing players, and offerng financial reward, for inflicting bodily injury in a manner that lies outside of what is allowed in a football game, like hitting opponents in the head after a play is whistled dead, and a pile is unraveled.

It would be hard to prosecute absent Frank Gore cooperating, which won't happen, but it isn't clear at all that there was no criminal behavior, and the filmmaker would be far from the first witness to take a few months to come forward, especially if there was no immediate danger of the criminal behavior repeating.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 5:36pm

"The only reason he was there, as PK states, is that Gleason trusted him, and the Saints/Coach Payton trusted Gleason. He has forever ruined that trust. As an aside, isn't reporting built somewhat upon your "sources" being able to trust you?"

The guy's a filmmaker, not a priest. It's beyond ridiculous that an outside filmmaker would be allowed in the room while Williams openly referenced the bounties. (Impossible to put into words how stupid and brazen that made the Saints look.) Making a documentary on Gleason (who just happened to play for the Saints) does not mean Pamphilon was morally obligated to keep quiet about anything nefarious that happened in his presence. And it's not like Pamphilon went digging for dirt--Williams blabbed about it openly.

Also, following your line of reasoning, Gleason himself wouldn't have been in the clear to release the tape since he was only there because Payton trusted him. And the players were only being told because Williams and Payton trusted them... Convenient for the rule breakers when absolutely everybody involved is morally obligated to keep quiet, isn't it?

by RickD :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 8:52pm

Also, journalistic ethics don't allow for friends to ask you to cover up stories after the fact. If before the meeting, Gleason had asked Pamphilon (I'm getting real close to calling him Papillon) to keep everything confidential, that would be one thing. But asking a journalist to keep mum after the fact? That's a bit late.

Modern Beltway "journalism" notwithstanding.

by Joseph :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:14pm

No, my line of reasoning is that he went against Gleason's desire to not release the tape (we don't know if Gleason would have changed his mind at a later date), and betrayed his friend. Considering that it has been reported that they were supposed to agree to release any info before the movie was released, this means he thought, 3 months after the event, and one month after the scandal broke, that he needed to go against his friend's wishes--a friend who has a terminal illness.
My questions to Pamphilon would be:
1. Why did you wait 3 months?
2. Why did you wait till one month after the scandal broke?
3. Why did you go directly to the press?
4. Why did you betray your friend's trust? Esp. one with a terminal illness, who (according to PK) had basically brought him into the family?

by David :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 9:04am

1. Because, not being someone that has worked for/with multiple teams, I didn't realise *at the time* that what Williams was saying was unusual

2. Because I was conflicted about the best course of action, and wanted to discuss with Gleason (even though I acknowledge that I later ignored his desire)

3. Because otherwise the NFL would have viewed the tape, and never released it to the public

4. Because to not do so would have been the less ethical choice - being as it would have a hurt (though less so) a great many more people not to come forwards with this information

by Joseph :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 11:02am


I can see #1.
#2, if he was conflicted, why did he not follow his friend's advice? Personally, I've always thought that if you trust person X to ask his/her advice, you ought to follow it. Now, if you ask 5 or 6 people, and all disagree with person X, that's one thing. That person might have a bias, blind spot, etc. that makes their advice less than the best course of action.
#3--So what? He STILL HAS THE ORIGINAL, and can release it at a later date.
#4--Maybe it is a more "ethical choice;" however, who does it HURT if he doesn't come forward, and who does it HELP if he does? (It only helps Sean Pamphilon--nobody gets hurt by not releasing it--and only Gregg Williams gets hurt, although he probably deserves it.)

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 11:30am

Who's to say he didn't talk to 5 or 6 people? If he talked to Gleason and 5 journalist buddies, I guarantee you it was 5-1 in favor of releasing the info. (And on this board of disinterested parties the ratio is running at least that high.) Without a doubt Gleason does have a blind spot on this--he knows and likes all those people, he doesn't want to cause waves, doesn't want to have focus shifted away from his very worthy cause, etc.

And it is not at all clear that nobody gets hurt by it not being released. That tape is the most direct and damning evidence of what was going on. Speaking for myself, it was nothing short of amazing that even after the NFL had told them to stop the bounties, that Williams and the Saints were that brazen in defying the rules. And it wasn't some little side deal where if an opponent happened to get hurt there'd be a quiet little payment--Williams built his entire pep talk around trying to concuss guys and blow out knees for monetary gain. It helps the NFL fan to know what was really was going on. It hurts the Saints and the NFL's desire to put this all to bed. Without the release of the tape, it's fair to question whether the suspensions wouldn't have been reduced on appeal. Even with the tape's release, Goodell is still talking about reconsidering the draft pick and monetary penalties.

by David :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 5:33pm

#2 - I didn't say ask advice from, I said discuss with. It's not just a semantic difference (and apologies if this comes across as overly nitpicking), it's about who has the active agency. Pamphilon may have had very strong feelings about wanting to release it, but still want to discuss it further, without needing to ask advice as to what actions to take

#3 - Fair point, just answering the original question. Why release it, because one doesn't trust the NFL to release it wider scrutiny. As such, why should the NFL be the only group to see it

#4 - Well, for starters, it hurts any player that is planning to bring criminal charges. I'm not saying that what the Saints did was criminal, as I am not a lawyer, but it certainly seems to me that whilst the normal grounds for common assault are waived within the context of a football game, this may no longer be the case when players are being actively encouraged to (and, by taking the bounties, are actively engaged in) injure players

Having said all that, I believe that his motives were ultimately self-serving. However, one can be a selfish arse, and still do the right thing

by morganja :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 4:05pm

Let's follow the logic here. Let's say Gleason played for Penn State and got to use their facilities as he is now using the Saints facilities. Gleason had permission from Penn State to film and make recordings in the locker room due to the documentary he was doing for Gleason. While in the locker room, he records Sandusky 'horsing around' in the shower with a ten year old boy.
Peter King would be 'conflicted' by Gleason making the tape public.
I can't see the logic. Supposedly there is some kind of loyalty owed to cover up potentially 'embarrassing' incidents? Where exactly, Peter King, is the loyalty of the NFL to their employees? Was there no trust betrayed there?

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 4:37pm

For starters, I don't think any Sandusky tapes could be aired due to graphic content (which is probably for the best). I also think what Sandusky allegedly did is far worse than anything Williams did. Even so, I think it's good this tape was released.

by Joseph :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:05pm

I don't get the comparison between a perverted person committing a heinous crime (so heinous that CRIMINALS have been known to kill persons who committed similar crimes) and a pregame speech that clearly crossed the line. In my book, McCreary (is that his name?) was ethically and legally required to disclose said information, and has been villified for only talking to Paterno instead of also going to the police. Paterno was fired for basically the same thing.
So why did Pamphilon wait, and why didn't he go to the cops, Goodell, or anybody else first EXCEPT the press?

by Thok :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 5:26pm

5. I think the funniest thing I heard in the last week was Jets owner Woody Johnson saying of the Jets importing Tim Tebow: "I think Mark will have no problem with this.'' All quarterbacks love having a guy come in to take five to 15 snaps per game away from them. It's amazing more teams didn't think of bringing in Tebow, because certainly their quarterbacks would love coming off the field three or four times a game.

If this was anybody but Peter King, I would expect the "QB's love coming off the field" to be a sarcastic comment. With Peter, I'm at 50%.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2012 - 6:08pm

"Denver could be a package team. By that I mean the Broncos like to move around (they have in recent years)"


This is a really odd statement unless he believes Denver has a mystical "they" that guides the team from on high. In the past 4 years they went from Shanahan running absolutely everything, to McDaniels controlling things, to now Elway running the show. (While a few front office people remain from the Shanny years, neither they nor owner Pat Bowlen were making those sorts of decisions.)

by Honest Abe (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 4:03am

I'm so weary of people beating up Peter King for saying what he thinks. Just because some couch potato thinks otherwise, he feels he can glibly say King is wrong. Get with it, people: You haven't done the reporting, you haven't the depth and background of King and you have no idea how a journalist works. King does.

by Independent George :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 10:08am

Yes, how dare we peons criticize our betters!

by AnonymousD (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 10:20am

So, when's your biography of King coming out? Can I pre-order it?

by Joseph :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 11:39am

I have posted several comments in this thread, and I want to make sure everyone knows where I stand on this as a Saints' fan.
1. What the Saints did was wrong--you don't intentionally try to injure somebody, and you certainly don't instruct players to do so, nor provide an incentive for them to do it.
2. The Saints, their coaches, and players, deserve what punishment they have been given and will be given. DC Williams may be banned or ostracized for life, and I am conflicted on whether he deserves it or not. Personally, one year might not be enough, but I nor any of us here get to determine that.
3. Pamphilon betrayed his friend's trust, and with very suspicious timing at the least.
4. We all have our lines of what's moral and ethical, and many times have to make judgment calls on something that is very "gray" or unclear. I hope, for his sake, that Pamphilon followed his conscience and doesn't regret what he did now, because nothing that he does will ever undo what he did. [To me, that where he put it all on the line--no apologies will ever fix this. For most of us who comment here, if we mess up a judgment call, we can try to fix it, apologize, and smooth things over with the affected parties--all 10 of them. He will never be able to.]
5. Please don't feel like I am attacking any of you personally. I just think Pamphilon really crossed a couple of lines that didn't need to be crossed, and should have tried better to go around them. [A poker analogy would be going "all-in" with a pair of number cards just because you're the short stack, when you have enough chips to play about 20 more hands. Waiting might be a better strategy.]

by David :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 5:36pm

<poker-nerdness>Actually, enough chips to play 20 more hands is exactly the point at which you should start shoving all-in - the analogy works better if you go with 50 blinds</poker-nerdness>

by Philly Cheesesteak (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2012 - 8:17pm

Depends on if there are ante's or just blinds. With 9-10 people at the average table, 20 hands is roughly 3X the big blind (2bb+2sb). given a small but normal proportional blind amount, that would equate to 30 cents if you bought in for 5 dollars. This is not the exact point you should start shoving all in, that point would have been at least 20 hands prior. I wouldnt have commented but you brought poker-nerdness to the table.

For more proof of it being earlier than you stated, think of it in terms of dan harringtons M theory. Your scenario gives you an M of exactly 3. That puts you in the "oh shit" category

by JMM* (not verified) :: Thu, 04/12/2012 - 7:47am

Maybe #3 & #4 were related. It's possible Mr P went to Mr B just after and said he was going to release the audio and they went back and forth till Mr P released it the morning if the appeal for appearent reasons.

I wasn't there so it's just one possible set of circumstances.