NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith says the league must release all relevant information pertaining to the NFL's investigation into the Saints' "bounty" program before any discipline is handed down to the 22-27 players alleged to have been involved.
In an interview with the website Pro Players Insider (a link to which did not appear to be working as of Friday), Smith was critical of the league's handling of the information and protection of information.
"It's very hard to have a productive discussion about punishment when one side has kept, to itself, all the information," Smith told the website. "What I would expect is to have a conversation soon and certainly it would be our expectation that the request for all information, as it relates to particular players, will be provided before any discipline takes place."
Smith took exception to Commissioner Roger Goodell's use of the word "determine" as it relates to Smith's input into potential player discipline.
"Obviously, the first word that popped out to me was the word 'determine,' " Smith said. "I'd much rather that be the word 'discuss.' As of yet, they haven't turned over anything that we would consider to be direct evidence of player involvement in a 'pay-to-injure' scheme that we could consider for discipline."
Smith has not seen the full contents of the 50,000-page report outlining the league's investigation of the Saints, but he has been given materials pertaining to player involvement, a source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.
Smith has yet to accept an open invitation from the league to come to the NFL offices and go over further documentation with investigators, according to La Canfora.