If you're curious, the two exhibits the NFL submitted as their evidence is now available... (exhibits 1-12 HERE, exhibits 13-16 HERE). Some of the evidence is pretty damning, without doubt, but how solid is the evidence? That's where I'm still not sure, especially given the recent rumors that Cerullo (the NFL's supposed star witness, who is coveniently a disgruntled ex employee who was fired) has recanted his claims. That's of course not stopping Jeff Duncan from rushing to judgment and once again nodding in approval to anything the NFL dishes out on this topic. My personal favorite is Duncan's jab at Saints fans: "You'd have to be pretty naïve - or a blindly devoted fan - to not believe a program existed after reviewing the evidence in its entirety." That's a typical JD maneuver, immature and insecure enough to stoke the fire with pointed words at his detractors. I expect nothing less from him, and he continues to be as predictable.
One random thought I had about this whole ordeal: is Remi Ayodele back with the Saints because they needed depth at defensive tackle and regretted letting him go, or is he back because hushing him up was a much easier thing to do as his employer? We know he was right in the thick of this mess in 2009, specifically in the infamous Brett Favre/Vikings NFC Championship game. Maybe he was brought back for a little bit of both reasons? I'm not complaining, the Rogers-Franklin duo attempt was a disaster and if nothing gains loyalty from a player like giving them a paycheck.
But I digress, the NFL presented some evidence. Some of it seems a stretch at best, and some of it was information released long after the penalties were imposed. That supports the notion that the NFL didn't feel too good about their original evidence. It seems fairly clear to me the NFL got most of it's "evidence" from a tainted source. A fired employee with an axe to grind. But again, so what? That's all Goodell really needed, fairly or unfairly, to hang the Saints with. He's done it and he'd do it again. Blame the Saints for breaking the rules (and that they did with a pay for performance program at the very least), blame the NFLPA for giving Goodell a ridiculous amount of power under the new CBA, and blame Roger Goodell for furthering numerous agendas at the expense of a team buried by a witch hunt.
At least we'll still have football in 2012 and if Drew Brees actually plays we'll have a competitive product to root for.