Normally, you wouldn't want as a character witness a guy who was just suspended by the NFL for an entire year. But these are not normal times in the NFL.
Jeremy Shockey, in an effort to combat allegations by Warren Sapp that he was the man inside the Saints organization who snitched about the bounty system, posted on Twitter this iPhone text conversation with Saints head coach Sean Payton (profanities have been obscured).
So what can we learn from this? Three things:
1) Shockey and Payton both believe that not being in defensive meetings means it's impossible that Shockey knew of any defensive bounty system. Which is not the case, of course.
2) Sean Payton loves to end sentences with multiple exclamation points!!!
3) Judging from the resolution of that screenshot, Jeremy Shockey has kind of an old iPhone.
And that's about it, really. Unless a real snitch comes forward (which is very unlikely to happen, and also, who knows if there even is a snitch, because there are about a million ways for something like this to get out), we'll probably never know the full truth about this.
And honestly, I don't care. Jeremy Shockey and Warren Sapp attacking each other's moral character is like Joey Harrington and Spergon Wynn comparing their Hall of Fame credentials.
Besides, if Shockey came forward and said, "Yes, I told the NFL that our defensive coaching staff was paying players to injure opposing players, because I didn't think that was right," would you think less of him or more of him? No one wants to be labeled a snitch, and I'm sure some people around the league would resent Shockey for it, but he could still claim the moral high ground, could he not? He could sleep at night with a clear conscience.
I don't know if there's a way for Shockey to definitively clear his name here. If he's "innocent," then Sapp really just put the screws to him, didn't he? "Snitch" is a stain that doesn't wash off, and Sapp would have a lot of apologizing to do. Which is really, really hard to envision.
- Jeremy Shockey
- Sean Payton
- Warren Sapp