Let me make this crystal clear: the entire debate over the Bountygate scandal should end right now. No more posturing, no more legal maneuvering, no more impromptu press conferences by Scott Fujita, Jonathan Vilma, and friends. The lawsuits should be dropped immediately.

Jonathan Vilma ICONVilma is still trying to prove his innocence to the NFL.

Lost in the barrage of media coverage over the lawsuits, verbal sparring, and Goodell bashing, the truth actually materialized right before our very eyes.  On June 18th at the Appeals hearing, NFLPA Attorney Jeffrey Kessler made the argument to Commissioner Goodell that “the players involved simply followed what their supervisors directed them to do.”

What? Slow down. Rewind that.

There it is friends. Plain as day. The Big Gun NFLPA Attorney spilled the beans.

Nevermind that Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis issued joint statements admitting their involvement and apologizing to Commissioner Goodell, owner Tom Benson, and the Saints fans for their roles. Nevermind that Gregg Williams made the same admission and apology. Nevermind the Gregg Williams lockerroom audio we all heard.

Forget all of that…those facts are completely irrelevant to how much of a bully Roger Goodell is. Deflect and Distract has been the strategy at play, and too many fans and media have fallen for it.

Fujita and Vilma in particular have both been spewing venom for weeks now about how they were innocent, the Commissioner was abusing his power, the league had no evidence, it was an unfair process, etc.

Suddenly these guys and the good folks at the NFLPA have made it popular to bash Roger Goodell for being everything from an overzealous administrator to a power-tripping bully. Terms like “abuse of power” and “biased and partial” have been the popular labels when stripping down Goodell’s actions in the discipline process.

The fact is that the procedures now in place and the power that rests in Commissioner Goodell’s lap are clearly defined in the very same CBA that was agreed to and signed by De Smith and the NFLPA Executive Committee, and then ratified and approved by the NFL players just last year. It’s worth mentioning that Scott Fujita has continued to put Goodell on blast for having absolute power, yet Scott Fujita sits on the NFLPA Executive Committee that unanimously approved the terms of the CBA that clearly defined Goodell’s authority. So Fujita and his colleagues at the NFLPA agreed to the terms, and now aren’t happy with the results.

But Jeffrey Kessler’s argument in the hearing rings loud and clear: “The players involved simply followed what their supervisors directed them to do.”

There it is friends. Plain as day.

And I keep asking myself this question: Has everybody across the country forgotten the Vikings game? You know, the 2009 NFC Championship Game that was the worst display of sportsmanship that I’ve seen since the Eagles and Cowboys battles from the Buddy Ryan era. That game in its entirety is all the evidence I ever needed to see concerning bounties and the New Orleans Saints. My wife and I sat on the couch and looked at each other completely dumfounded as Brett Favre took cheap shot after cheap shot. The entire football world saw him get leveled several seconds after handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson. (At least that hit drew a flag.) The entire football world saw Saints defenders high-low him. We all saw Saints players trying to twist his ankle in the huddle.  We all saw the game. We all saw the replays.

The New Orleans Saints were deliberately trying to injure Brett Favre, and that’s a fact that’s not open to debate.

The deflecting and distracting antics are pathetic. These guys lied. They got caught. The GM and three coaches got punished and apologized. Meanwhile, the players are too stubborn or ignorant to do the same thing and move on, despite their union’s attorney making an admission for them.

There it is friends. Plain as day.

Warren McCarty is the founder of My Passion is Football.

Follow Warren on Twitter: @mpifradio