Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/22/12

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 05: Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell speaks to members of the media during the NFL Commissioner Press Conference held at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center as part of media week for Super Bowl XLIV on February 5, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally made his ruling on the Saints Bounty Scandal, handing out a severe punishment. New Orleans Head Coach Sean Payton will be suspended for the entire 2012 season.

Goodell also suspended General Manager Mickey Loomis for eight games and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams indefinitely. The Saints will be fined 500,000 dollars and will relinquish their second-round picks in 2012 and 2013.

Analysts can now debate whether the punishment justifies the means, but under the circumstances, the Saints deserved a harsh punishment. During their run to the Super Bowl title in 2009, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams handed out cash rewards for injuring opposing players. In particular, the Saints' defense went after opposing quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Brett Favre.

Williams is most at fault, which explains why his suspension is indefinite, but being that Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis knew of the bounty program, they are at fault for not putting a stop to it.

In today’s NFL where a new awareness for concussions and prevention of injuries exists, Goodell had no choice but to come down hard on the Saints. Even if other teams or defensive players around the league try their best to ‘hurt’ the players they hit, Goodell would be contradicting himself if he fines James Harrison for a helmet-to-helmet hit, but turns his head on a program that encourages ending careers.

Despite the necessity for a harsh punishment, fans will probably compare this punishment and the one given to the New England Patriots back in 2007. So far, they have been Roger Goodell’s biggest decisions as commissioner and could be seen as two of the darkest moments in NFL history. Two teams, each won Super Bowls, one multiple times, did not win them in the right fashion.

In 2007, Goodell did come down hard on the Patriots, giving out fines of 500,000 dollars to Head Coach Bill Belichick, the maximum fine that could be given, and 250,000 dollar to the franchise. The Patriots also lost a first-round draft pick, but Goodell gave them no suspension. Imagine what New England’s season would have been if Belichick could not have coached the whole year. Would they have gone 16-0? Would they have made it to the Super Bowl?

Obviously, both crimes are not the same, and do not deserve the same punishment, and certainly trying to injury a player to the point where they cannot play anymore is worse than looking at another team’s playbook, but the NFL’s latest safety rules probably forced Goodell to come down a bit too hard on the Sean Payton.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
How to fix the San Francisco 49ers
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kelce blasts ref for holding call during 2-pt conversion

Top 10 takeaways from NFL Divisional Playoffs

WATCH: Cook gets both feet in on amazing catch, Crosby kicks Packers into NFC title game

WATCH: Jason Witten catches first career playoff TD

Carroll dismisses notion that Hawks' title window is closing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Packers DB destroys Cole Beasley with big hit

Aikman adds to Cowboys' QB conflict with Romo praise

Report: Packers hopeful Nelson could play next week

Jadeveon Clowney: Texans rattled Tom Brady

Report: Chip Kelly interviewed for Jags head coaching job

Report: Antonio Brown could become NFL's highest-paid WR

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

The sports classic horror villains would play

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Box Score 1/13: Warming up for the playoff weekend

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill, others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

A statistical look at the 56 years the Chargers spent in San Diego

Eight most disappointing NBA developments at midway point

Box Score 1/12: Everyone is moving to LA again

NFL 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The sports classic horror villains would play

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill and others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name the 12 members of the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame

NBA referee hotline bling: Green reaches out to touch somebody

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker