In 2011, Mike Cerullo reached out to the NFL in an email where he called the New Orleans Saints a “dirty organization” and claimed to have proof the assistant head coach Joe Vitt had lied to the league about the existence of a bounty program. The reports said that the members of the team and coaching staff would pay players bonus money if certain players on the opposing team were injured or knocked out of the game. Cerullo was a defensive assistant with the Saints until he was not retained after the 2009 Super Bowl season. He provided key evidence to the NFL that led to an investigation, which resulted head coach Sean Payton being suspended for a year (among other punishments).
Fox Sports is reporting that Cerullo now works for the NFL. He spent several years as the director of football operations for Princeton. NFL Spokesman Michael Signorra says that Cerullo works closely with senior vice president of football administration and club services Rod Graves on matters related to club administration and development, as well as supporting efforts involving college all-star games and project management. He is not involved with any disciplinary matters that would represent a conflict of interest — such as the review currently taking place into whether Payton should be punished after his Thursday night penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct toward officials.
Payton is not happy with the news, taking to Twitter to say:
— Sean Payton (@SeanPayton) December 10, 2017
Word is that the Saints are skeptical about his hire, having felt he did a poor job when he worked for them, and insinuating that Cerullo is receiving a reward from the league for his actions.
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