The NFL Players Association released a statement on Monday saying it was aware of tapes that recorded then-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams giving a pregame speech to his team prior to the NFC divisional-playoff game last January vs. the 49ers. On the tapes, Williams discusses San Francisco players whom he wants his team to attack, part of the bounty program the organization has since been punished for.
“The NFLPA was aware of the existence of the Gregg Williams audio prior to its release,” the union’s statement reads. “We learned of the tape as part of our effort to obtain any and all information related to an alleged pay-to-injure scheme. We had no control of the content and did not make a determination on the method of its release. To date, the NFL has not provided the NFLPA with detailed evidence of the existence of such a program.”
The tapes were brought forward to the public by filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who was recording Williams’ speech as part of a documentary on former Saints player Steve Gleason.
The NFLPA has been investigating the bounty program in anticipation of player suspensions, which are expected to be announced by the league soon. According to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, Saints QB Drew Brees, ex-Saint and current Browns LB Scott Fujita and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith are meeting Monday to discuss the situation.