NFL Completes Deal With Former Patriots Video Assistant
The NFL has completed an agreement with former New England Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh.
The deal provides legal protection for Walsh. In return, Walsh is to turn over materials to the league by May 8 and is to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on May 13 in New York.
Walsh has hinted to media organizations that he has information relevant to the league's investigation of the videotaping scandal involving the Patriots.
Walsh's D.C.-based attorney, Michael N. Levy of McKee Nelson, just released a written statement in which he says:
"Today, Mr. Walsh and the National Football League reached an agreement under which the NFL will provide legal indemnification and a release of claims against Mr. Walsh relating to his employment by the Patriots and the Patriots' videotaping operations.
"I am pleased that we now have an agreement that provides Mr. Walsh with appropriate legal protections. Mr. Walsh is looking forward to providing the NFL with the materials he has and telling the NFL what he knows.
"The agreement provides that, on or before May 8, 2008, Mr. Walsh will provide the NFL with any documents he may have, including videotapes, that relate to allegations of videotaping of Patriots opponents and that he will make himself reasonably available for an interview with the NFL soon thereafter. The agreement further provides that Mr. Walsh must make himself available for an interview with the NFL prior to conducting any such interview with any third-party inquirers, including the media. Accordingly, Mr. Walsh will not be making any statements at this time."
The NFL also released a statement. It says:
"An agreement has been completed between the NFL and Matt Walsh that will allow Mr. Walsh, a former videotape operator with the New England Patriots, to share with the NFL information about activities occurring during his employment with the club from 1997-2003.
"Commissioner Goodell will meet with Mr. Walsh in the commissioner's office on Tuesday, May 13, the earliest date that Mr. Walsh, who lives in Hawaii, will be available on the east coast.
"The agreement also requires Mr. Walsh to return any tapes and other items in his possession that belong to the Patriots. In return, the NFL and the Patriots have promised not to sue Mr. Walsh. They also will indemnify him for any expenses, including legal fees that he incurs in connection with the interview.
"Commissioner Goodell determined last September that the Patriots had violated league rules by videotaping opposing coaches' defensive signals during Patriots games throughout Bill Belichick's tenure as head coach. Coach Belichick admitted to his use of the taping practice on a regular basis as a result of what he said was his misinterpretation of the rule. Commissioner Goodell imposed substantial discipline on Coach Belichick and the club as a result of that practice. The interview with Mr. Walsh will seek to determine whether he has any new information about that videotaping practice or other possible violations of league rules.
"Following the meeting with Mr. Walsh on May 13, there will be a news media briefing later that day in New York that will be attended by Commissioner Goodell (specific time and location to be provided at a later date)."
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