Spygate Backlash

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: February 16, 2008

ST. LOUIS — A lawsuit filed Friday by a former Rams player and others seeks millions of dollars in damages from the alleged taping of Rams practices by the New England Patriots before the 2002 Super Bowl.

The Patriots won the game 20-17 in the Superdome.

The $100 million suit, filed on behalf of former Rams player Willie Gary in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, names the Patriots, team owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick.

Gary, a defensive back, played in just the 2001 season with the Rams and appeared in seven games.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for former Patriots employee Matt Walsh said his client is willing to turn over videotapes he made for the team if the NFL guarantees Walsh protection from lawsuits or other legal action.

Attorney Michael Levy said that to date, the NFL’s initial proposals are not sufficient protection for Walsh, who is said to have taped the Rams’ walkthrough practice the day before the 2002 Super Bowl.

“Under our proposal, Mr. Walsh is only protected if he in good faith is truthful. And he will be,” Levy told The Associated Press on Friday.

“The NFL’s proposal is not full indemnification. It is highly conditional and still leaves Mr. Walsh vulnerable. I have asked the NFL to provide Mr. Walsh with the necessary legal protections so that he can come forward with the truth without fear of retaliation and litigation. To best serve the interest of the public and everyone involved, I am hopeful that the NFL will do so promptly.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he’s offered Walsh a deal whereby “he has to tell the truth and he has to return anything he took improperly” in return for indemnity.

“No one wants to talk to Matt Walsh more than we do,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Friday. “But his demand to be released from all responsibility even if his comments are not truthful is unprecedented and unreasonable.”

“The NFL and the Patriots have assured Mr. Walsh’s lawyer that there will be no adverse consequences for his client if Mr. Walsh truthfully shares what he knows. Why does he need any more protection than that?”