Found March 02, 2012 on Legend of Cecilio Guante:
Nfl_commissioner_roger_10a5

Still the Rams Man?

Let’s skip the formalities. The Saints are in some deep, deep sh*t. Bounties on players are never good. In fact, bounty is a loaded word. It’s mention in the 2012 NFL is downright disastrous for those so associated. What’s worst for ‘Nawlins is that this controversy is tailor-made for Roger Goodell — which means bad things for the the Saints. Bad things, man.

In another era, it’s likely that “news” of such a program would raise no ire, perhaps even garner a snide chuckle. See: Buddy Ryan’s Philadelphia Eagles. Times have changed. And, for the Saints, their timing is poor to quite poor. The only question is how hard the hammer drop will drop. I have a feeling the reverberations will be stronger than anyone can even imagine.

For anyone late to the party, here are the Cliffs Notes from the Los Angeles Times story and the many others breaking over the last few hours:

- Gregg Williams defensive units over the past three years had a bounty program that pooled player money and offered financial rewards (payouts) for interceptions, fumble recoveries, “knockouts” and “cart-offs” (Williams has assumed culpability calling it a “terrible mistake;” on a side note, the Washington Post is reporting the former ‘Skins coordinator had a similar program during his seasons in D.C.)

- Saints GM Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton were both aware and informed of the system following NFL investigation and failed to take any action

- Between 22 and 27 Saints players participated over the past three seasons

These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed. Now, it’s our turn to see how General Goodell handles the truth.

Goodell does not like being shown up. The League is experiencing absolutely absurd growth and unparalleled success by any measure. One of the biggest issues facing the game is player safety. It is an area that Goodell and the league have tackled with more vigor than almost any other, aside from maybe players’ personal conduct. Concussions and hits against “defenseless” players have been the almost-singular focus of Goodell’s reign in recent seasons. It is one of the topics that has seriously implications on teams, players and the game itself.

Wrong Guy, Wrong Time

It is not to be trifled with. The New Orleans Saints just trifled with it by putting “knockouts” and “cart-offs” into the fan vernacular in ways that would have to qualify as absolutely dead-last on Goodell and the NFL’s desired list of discussion topics. Goodell has been given the platform to make a statement. He will speak VERY LOUDLY. Here’s what I expect.

Players: Goodell is going to ensure that every player who was involved feels the ill effects of their participation. I assume it will be tough to tell exactly which players were a part of the program for how long and to what extent. Should that be the case, my money would be on a “standard” three-game suspension for all.

Front Office: Tom Benson was informed of the program, responded and acted. Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton apparently did not. I would expect fines, similar suspensions to the players and penalties in terms of draft picks and/or other sanctions that would in some way hinder the organization’s ability to improve itself in the near-term.

Gregg Williams: Maybe I’m crazy, but how is this guy allowed to coach this season? He has to be taken off the sidelines right? In a time where “crimes” are often as much about the culture from which they were born, the man behind instituting and promoting that environment must be put in the cross-hairs. Taking away a new job just “earned” would send a definitive message: these programs will not be tolerated, officially, unofficially or in any manner whatsoever. If the facts about similar programs in Washington are founded, the decision becomes even easier for Goodell.

Regardless, this will be a fascinating story to follow. You can debate whether the league’s gone “soft,” and we might even agree with you when it comes to some of the (clean) hits for which fines are levied. This situation, though, leaves the League with little choice. They’re going to come marching in…and it will not be pretty for the Saints.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Ex-Saints S Sharper denies allegations of bounties

Former New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper denied the findings of the NFL investigation that the team instituted a bounty program between 2009-11."It's ridiculous that someone is trying to say that we made bounties on knocking guys out," Sharper told NFL.com Friday.The safety played 22 games for the Saints during the 2009 and 2010 seasons."No, positively no...

Saints Place Franchise Tag on Drew Brees, Giving Them Exclusive Negotiating Rights

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints have placed the franchise tag on Drew Brees, giving them exclusive negotiating rights with their Pro Bowl quarterback for the next year. Brees has been involved in lengthy contract talks with the Saints and, without the tag, could have negotiated with other teams as a free agent. Team spokesman Greg Bensel said Saturday that the Saints were...

New Orleans Saints ran a bounty program to injure players

The news flying out of New Orleans today is hot and heavy. None hot and heavier than the NFL’s announcement that they have been investigating the New Orleans Saints for a bounty program to injure players under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.But that’s not all. The NFL’s investigation found Gregg Williams wasn’t running this program in secrecy. Sean Payton knew. GM Mickey...

Ban the 'bounty' bums, but blame culture

Don't be shocked. Don't be surprised. Don't even ask how. Football, the false American dream, has struck again. That's all. In 2009, we thought the New Orleans Saints were the cuddly, feel-good story of the NFL, winning the Super Bowl for a town that needed something to cheer for after Hurricane Katrina. Turns out, according to an NFL investigation released Friday...

Saints Facing Discipline for Bounty Program

The New Orleans Saints are facing discipline from the NFL for their "Bounty Program", according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Fantasy Spin: In this program, defensive players on the Saints collected a bounty for injuring players on the opposing team under the direction of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Brett Favre and Kurt Warner were among those players that...

Saints and Brees far apart

I hate using this as my start since it is New Orleans but could another hurricane be brewing in the Gulf? There’s a report from Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports saying that the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees are far apart on a contract, about $5 million per year. That’s a pretty big number especially when you consider how much Brees has meant to this team and his high level of...

Saints Being Investigated For Bounty Program

((HT: Fox8Live.com))It appears that the New Orleans Saints (or, at least, 22 to 27 of them, anyway) may have had an internally-funded bounty program that served as motivation for the players during the 2009, 2010, and 2011 season...DC Gregg Williams was always known as an aggressive guy, so this really isn't a surprise...But, seriously, the HQ asks: So what...??? And who doesn...

Mickey Loomis is off base… if Drew Brees isn’t great he’s outstanding

I think Drew Brees is great. We are in a fortunate era where at least three truly great quarterbacks are active right now (Brady, Brees, Rodgers, and I could probably get away with going on…), but, evidently the man who is in charge of keeping Brees a member of the Saints thinks I’m wrong. I understand [...]

New Orleans Saints: Gregg Williams 'Bountygate' Worse than Patriots 'Spygate'

An NFL investigation has shown the the New Orleans Saints had a “pay for performance” plan in place from 2009 – 2011. The program was administrated by, then Saints Defensive Coordinator, Gregg Williams, with the knowledge of Head Coach, Sean Payton. From NFL.com: The investigation showed that Saints players received $1,500 for a “knockout” hit and $1,000 for a “cart...

Saints violated NFL’s ‘bounty’ rule

An NFL investigation concluded that the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl championship season was tainted by a “bounty” from defensive players to injure opposing players and take them out of the game. The investigation started on a tip that the Saints targeted Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.

Saints franchise Drew Brees

There is more to talk about than bounties with the New Orleans Saints. As first reported by FOXSports.com NFL insider Jay Glazer, the Saints used their franchise tag Saturday afternoon on quarterback Drew Brees. The move means that one of the league's top passers will remain in New Orleans for at least the 2012 NFL season. Profootballtalk.com reported that Brees was given the...

Column: NFL bounty hunters have to pay

As paydays go, they weren't bad. A thousand bucks if your guy is carted off the field, $500 extra for a clean knockout. End someone's season or career? Priceless. There was a lot to like about the New Orleans Saints offering up cash for big hits. The scheme made for tougher players and helped them on a stirring playoff run that ended with their hands wrapped around the...

Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs “shocked” by Skins’ bounty program

Former Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs, now a successful NASCAR team owner, said he's shocked about the bounty program that his former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams allegedly ran at the Redskins between 2004 and 2007. That’s the same Gregg Williams who apologized for running a bounty program at the New Orleans Saints where players received $1,500 for “knockouts”...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.