An e-mail from an imprisoned friend of the Saints' coaching staff with a postscript saying, "put me down for $5,000" on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has become another sore point between players being punished for New Orleans' bounty system and the NFL.
The e-mail, obtained by the Associated Press, was written from prison by marketing agent Mike Ornstein shortly before the Saints' 2011 season opener against the Packers. Ornstein once represented Reggie Bush and later got to know members of the Saints' coaching staff.
The bulk of Ornstein's note discusses his experiences in prison. The last line states: "PS Gregg Williams put me down for $5000.00 on Rogers." Ornstein says now it was written "in total jest."
Ornstein was sentenced to eight months in federal prison, which he served in Colorado, for conspiring to scalp Super Bowl tickets and hawking fake "game-worn" jerseys. He was released last fall.
Williams has been suspended indefinitely for allegedly orchestrating the Saints' bounty program, which targeted opponents.
Dallas and Washington had their appeals heard on the NFL's reductions to their salary caps. Arbitrator Stephen Burbank met with representatives of the league, players' union and the two teams Thursday in New York. The NFC East rivals were penalized for overloading contracts in the 2010 uncapped season despite league warnings. No ruling is expected soon from Burbank, who is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Minnesota Senate approved a bill for a $975 million stadium for the Vikings after owner Zigy Wilf agreed to increase the team's portion of the project by $50 million (to $477 million).
SOCCER: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says Javier Hernandez will not play for Mexico at the London Olympics, with the agreement of his country's soccer federation, because the forward needs to rest for the English Premier League season starting in August. Hernandez will play in Mexico's two qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup on June 8 and 12.
AC Milan's Alessandro Nesta says he will leave the Italian club at the end of Serie A season after 10 years there. The 36-year-old defender, who cited "the high pace" of European competition in making his decision, is considering a move to Major League Soccer.
HORSE RACING: Doug O'Neill, the Kentucky Derby-winning trainer, could face a suspension in California after one of his horses was found to have an elevated level of total carbon dioxide.
The California Horse Racing Board is considering the case, which involves "milkshaking," the illegal practice of giving a horse a blend of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and electrolytes. The mixture is designed to reduce fatigue and enhance performance.
O'Neill faces his third carbon dioxide violation in California and fourth in his 25-year career. He has adamantly denied the charge.
NOTEWORTHY: The NLL named Calgary's Mike Poulin the goaltender of the year. The Roughnecks allowed a league-low 170 goals while posting the best regular-season record at 12-4.
- Staff and wire reports