The Washington Post

Jeremy Shockey uses Sean Payton texts to deny Warren Sapp’s accusation that he blew whistle on Saints’ bounty system

View Photo Gallery: In text messages, Coach Sean Payton

The New Orleans Saints’ bounty system — the one for which the team was so sternly punished Wedneday — came to light in part because someone inside the organization blew the whistle on it.

On Wednesday, Warren Sapp, former Saints player and now an NFL Network analyst, strongly pointed toward former Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey as one of the whistleblowers on Gregg Williams’s bounty system.

Sapp tweeted: “Just heard who the snitch was.” When a follower replied, “Shockey?” Sapp tweeted, “BINGO!”

Shockey has responded by trying to clear his name and enlisted Coach Sean Payton, who soon will begin serving his one-year suspension in the matter. On Twitter, Shockey tweeted, “The truth shall set u free!! Read the text” and shared this seemingly exculpatory exchange of texts with Payton:

Payton: “... hug!!!!!”

Shockey: “Thx coach”

Shockey: “Coach sux to hear the news u know I love u and that [stuff] is unfair! Sapp is saying I was the rat ... u know me and u know this is media [stuff]”

Payton: “Shock your my guy and always will be!! I know you had nothing to do with that stuff [that Sapp] said!! Hell you were in the offensive [meetings] with me!!! Love ya. Sean”

More from Washington Post Sports

Sean Payton’s punishment is sobering

How widespread are bounties?

NFL hits Saints with harsh penalties

Wise: Goodell hasn’t gone far enough

League clears Redskins, for now

Goodell on bounty suspensions

Wise: Williams’s true nature exposed

Reid: A warped NFL culture

Hard Hits: Football is a brutal game

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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