Joe Vitt says he never told Anthony Hargrove to lie about bounties

Anthony Hargrove says he was coached up by Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt to lie to NFL investigators about the existence of a bounty program in 2010, a defense he is using in an effort to have his eight-game suspended reduced or overturned.

Yahoo! Sports produced a copy of the declaration Hargrove provided to the NFL in his defense, which states he had a 30-minute meeting with Williams and Vitt in which he was told to deny the existence of a bounty program and play dumb.

Now, Vitt says that meeting never took place.

At no time did I ever tell Anthony Hargrove to lie or deny the existence (of the alleged bounty program),” Vitt said, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “He can say whatever he wants to say. It just didn't happen.”

This is where you almost have to choose which story you believe because ultimately it’s difficult to imagine the truth is ever going to come out all in one nice neat story.

“We had a pot for big plays, the same thing everyone else in the league has, now they call them pay-for-performance. But we never paid for dirty hits,” said Vitt, who will be suspended for the first six games of the season. “I'll say it again, the exact same thing I told the commissioner, our players never crossed the white lines with an intent to maim or injure. They never threatened the integrity of the game when they crossed the white lines.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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