In one of the weirdest offseason stories I can recall, the New Orleans Saints might be in a little trouble with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
The dude behind it all is Geoffrey Santini, a retired FBI agent who then worked as the Saints security director. Santini filed a civil lawsuit against the Saints, alleging that they tried to cover up for a "senior staff member" who thieved some Vicodin.
Apart from the civil suit, the DEA also caught wind of these allegations and is now looking into it. At the moment, it's not a criminal investigation, but it could eventually get there.
So who's accused of doing what?
Well, the civil complaint claims that there's surveillance video of the "senior staff member" -- believed to be Joe Vitt, the Saints linebackers coach who also was briefly the head coach of the St. Louis Rams -- using a trainer's key to lift some Vicodin from the team's drug locker.
The civil complaint also says that Sean Payton, the Saints head coach, was "permitted to take a large enough amount of Vicodin from the team's drug locker to constitute abuse."
Now, Santini says he was ordered to keep this whole thing covered up, and that two trainers were ordered to doctor the log books and make it look like all the Vicodin was present and accounted for. He says that's why he resigned, and he wants damages and back pay.
The other side of the story?
Well, Sean Payton released a brief statement saying he's never abused or stolen Vicodin. Joe Vitt's said nothing, as of yet.
The other other side of the story? Well, Pro Football Talk reports from "multiple sources" that, before filing the civil suit, Santini asked the Saints to give him $2 million. Is this a story of an unhappy employee trying to squeeze some money from his employer? Who knows?
The surveillance video will be the compelling thing, along with any other proof Santini might be able to produce in regards to Payton or anyone else going along with a cover-up.
Right now, it's all just weird. The head coach of the reigning Super Bowl champions being involved in abuse of prescription narcotics, theft or a cover-up ... that's a story I think the media might be interested in. Spending $2 million to keep this out of headlines might not have been the worst idea in the world.