New England Patriots: Matt Walsh's Credibility Problem

Stew Winkel@stew_winkelSenior Analyst IApril 24, 2008

All the Patriot-haters and conspiracy theorists must be very happy now that the bastion of truth and justice Matt Walsh has finally agreed to speak with the NFL.  You all hope that Walsh has the goods on New England, enough to prove true all the allegations that have been thrown at the Patriots over the last few months. 

I have read the agreement, repeatedly (mostly because I keep falling asleep after a few paragraphs) and the one thing that is clear to me is that Matt Walsh is a liar and a thief.  Does this mean he doesn't have evidence against the Patriots - no, but it certainly means he better have pretty compelling evidence before we take seriously for one second anything he has to say. 

Why couldn't Walsh have spoken with the NFL immediately - We heard from Walsh and his lawyer that Walsh needed this deal before he could talk because he signed a confidentiality agreement with New England, and could not speak because of it (of course he was fine to run his mouth to the Boston Herald and ESPN and other media outlets).  Walsh needed protection if he was going to break the confidentiality agreement he signed with the Patriots.  

Of course we now know there was never such an agreement.  I'll call that proven Walsh lie #1. 

We do know that the Patriots said Walsh was fired for, among other reasons, taping conversations with Scott Pioli (which in Massachusetts is illegal).  At the time this information became public, Walsh through his lawyer completely denied this ever happened, calling it "a complete fabrication."  I'll call that proven Walsh lie #2. 

Now, we read the agreement between Walsh and the NFL, and what is in there - a provision saying the NFL and the Patriots will not pursue legal action against Walsh for any conversations he may have taped.  

Surprising he would need such protection if he never broke the law previously by taping conversations with members of the Patriots organization. 

Walsh also needs protection because he stole from the Patriots.  Why did he steal?  Did he foresee that years after being fired there would be a Spygate scandal and he would want to wait a few months and then tell the world what was on the tapes he took? Or is he just a low-life who stole from his employer? 

In the end, Walsh got the agreement he wanted.  It completely covers and protects him for his past illegal actions and for any untruthful statements he may have made, or will make.  I know there is a clause if he lies intentionally.  But with a high-priced lawyer by his side, I can almost guarantee that unless Walsh is dumber than Roger Clemens, there is no chance he will ever say anything that could one day be shown to be an intentional lie.  Walsh can now meet with the NFL, make any allegations he wants, knowing he is fully protected.  

This is an example of the scope of Walsh's protection through the agreement: hypothetically, let's say a question from the NFL to Walsh is did you tell the Boston Herald that you taped the St. Louis Rams practice prior to the Super Bowl?  And Walsh answers yes.  The NFL then would ask, was that a true statement.  And Walsh answers no.  If that were to happen, Walsh is still protected completely by the agreement he signed with the NFL.

For months I have listened to people wonder why haven't we heard from Matt Walsh, where is Matt Walsh.  Most have insinuated that it was due to the Patriots and the NFL hoping the story would just go away.  This sentiment persisted even though we heard repeatedly from the NFL and the Patriots statements to the contrary.

With the amazingly broad agreement Walsh signed that covers his but, it is beyond clear that Walsh was the cause for the delay.  It was Walsh who had legitimate fears of lawsuits for his previous actions, which included criminal acts.  Unless he was completely protected, he was going to just crawl back under the rock he had been under for many many years. 

Of the over 50 Patriots' employees the NFL spoke to, Walsh wil be the only one who needed legal protection.  

A question I have wondered, how does Matt Walsh afford a big time Washington, D.C. lawyer?  Maybe that is something the Worldwide Leader could look into if the network isn't too busy hunting down birth certificates to uncover stories that no one cares about.

Imagine this is a court of law, you are a juror, the NFL is the prosecutor, and the Patriots are on trial.  Despite the NFL interviewing over 50 people who worked for the Patriots, there is only one witness with allegations of taping other teams' practices. 

The cross-examination of this lone witness uncovers that:

1) he was fired by the people he is testifying against;

2) he was fired for secretly taping conversations which is illegal in the state where it happened;

3) he stole numerous items from his employer before leaving;

4) he lied about having a confidentiality agreement;

5) despite the alleged taping of the Super Bowl having taken place in January 2002, he never said anything until January 2008, days before the Patriots were to play the biggest game in franchise history;

6) despite the Patriots' video taping being major news in September 2007, he never said anything until January 2008, days before the Patriots were to play the biggest game in franchise history;

7) even though at a practice in the days before Super Bowl XXXVI a Patriots' assistant coach noticed a telescope directed at New England's practice, no one saw anyone wrongfully taping the Rams' practice when the alleged taping occurred;  

8) numerous media outlets had the story about taping the Rams' practice but refused to run it because it did not meet the necessary journalistic standards, leaving only the Boston Herald to run wild with the allegation (from Chris Mortensen, 4/17/08 on Mike & Mike in the Morning);

9)  the only reason he is testifying at all is because he came to an agreement with the prosecutor after months of negotiations and stall tactics (such as his lawyer conveniently going on vacation when a deal was close); and,

10) the agreement completely indemnifies the witness and protects the witness from any legal action being taken against him for past illegal acts, past untruthful statements, and for everything except for a proven intentional lie, which is nearly impossible to prove. 

Maybe Walsh has concrete evidence against the Patriots, justifying all the attention he has received.  But if he doesn't and this case is to be decided based on credibility, there is not a jury in this country, not even in Texas, that would vote to convict with what is known about Walsh. 

With all of Walsh's illegal actions, his credibility problems and his lawyer's proven willingness to outright lie to protect his client, I sure am glad this is the guy everyone who wants to get the Patriots has pinned their hopes to.

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