By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Former New Orleans defensive end Anthony Hargrove says it’s not his voice saying “Give me the money” in a video used by the NFL as evidence in its investigation of the Saints bounty program.
A day after Hargrove and three of his ex-teammates had appeals of their suspensions heard at NFL headquarters, he returned to the sidewalk outside the league offices Tuesday for an informal news conference. As curious passers-by huddled around, Hargrove read a 13-minute prepared statement, often sounding like a colorful defense attorney giving a closing argument while making references to Bill Clinton and the Mona Lisa.
On Monday, the NFL showed reporters a clip from the 2010 NFC championship game in which Hargrove purportedly made the “money” comment about injuring then-Vikings QB Brett Favre. Hargrove insisted that it was someone else uttering those words, though he said he didn’t know who.
“I’ve never offered nor received money to intentionally hurt a player,” Hargrove said.
Hargrove, now with Green Bay, was docked eight games.
On Monday, Hargrove, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Jonathan Vilma each attended appeals hearings for their suspensions with Commissioner Roger Goodell. After the sessions, the NFL presented the same evidence it showed the players to reporters. The Hargrove clip was part of that.
An NFL investigation found that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams ran a system from 2009 through last season under which New Orleans players received cash bonuses for hits that knocked specific opponents out of games. Williams has been suspended indefinitely and other Saints coaches have also been punished.