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Goodell's letter to free-agent DE Hargrove

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By PFW staff

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reduced DE Anthony Hargrove's suspension from eight games to seven for his role in the Saints' bounty program. Here is Goodell's letter to Hargrove:

“I find that you engaged in conduct detrimental by falsely denying, when questioned by an NFL Security representative, both the existence of the Saints’ program and the pledge of a substantial payment to any member of the Saints’ defensive unit who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game. The existence of the program has been admitted by numerous Saints coaches and players, and is plainly established by the documents obtained from the club. And, based on substantial evidence, including written declarations made under penalty of perjury by two program participants whom I find credible, I have found that a member of the Saints defensive unit made such a pledge with respect to Mr. Favre.

“My finding that you misled the NFL Security representative and obstructed the League’s investigation is corroborated by your own Declaration and by numerous statements made by you in our meeting of September 18 that were themselves not credible.

“In response to a request for clarification from System Arbitrator Burbank, I previously advised you that the ‘vast majority’ of your discipline was based on your lack of candor to the League’s investigators.  So that there is no question about the basis on which discipline is being imposed, I find that your misleading a League investigator and your obstruction of the League’s investigation constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football.”

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