NEW YORK -- The lawyer for former New England 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.
</center>[!(http://static.nfl.com/static/content/catch_all/nfl_image/steelers_logo.jpg)](http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) The [New England Patriots](/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE)' taping of opposing coaches' signals did not affect the outcome of games against the [Steelers](/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT), including two AFC Championship games, [Steelers](/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) chairman Dan Rooney said.
"We consider the tapes of our coaching staff during our games against the New England Patriots to be a non-issue," Rooney said in a statement. "In our opinion, they had no impact on the results of those games."
"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 in a telephone interview from his office at the Washington law firm of McKee Nelson.
"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?"
As a result of that investigation, New England coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was fined $250,000 and forfeited its 2008 first-round draft choice.
Six confiscated tapes and other documents pertaining to the Patriots' taping were subsequently destroyed by the league. Goodell has defended the destruction of the tapes.
Levy, who is continuing to negotiate with the NFL on Walsh's behalf, also objected to NFL security's investigation of his client.
"Sending a former FBI agent to investigate his professional and personal life has not left Mr. Walsh feeling confident that the National Football League simply wants to encourage him to come forward with whatever information he has," Levy said.
Goodell met this week with Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter and disclosed for the first time that the taping may have gone back to 2000, when Belichick first became coach of the Patriots. The commissioner said Belichick told him in their meeting last September that he believed the taping was legal. "We agreed to disagree," the commissioner said.
Specter, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary committee, said after the meeting that he would continue to investigate the taping episodes. He has said he also would like to speak with Walsh.
Goodell said he could reopen the investigation.
"If there is new information that is credible, new material that could be credible that would help us, yes, we'll look at it," he said.
But Eric Holder, a partner in Covington & Burling, the NFL's outside law firm, suggested the NFL might remain reluctant to meet Walsh's current terms.
"No responsible investigator would offer blanket immunity to a potential witness without a commitment that the witness will be truthful," Holder said. "Any witness who refuses to make that commitment doesn't deserve immunity."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press