Originally posted on The Hair of the Dog Sports Blog  |  Last updated 3/3/12

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-off” hit, with payouts doubling or tripling during the team’s three playoff appearances. A memo sent to clubs throughout the league included a statement on how Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma put up $10,000 cash as a bounty before a playoff game, a source familiar with the memo told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell released a statement saying:

The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players. The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity. It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it.

Goodell said the investigation began in 2010 after allegations were made that Saints defenders had targeted Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during New Orleans’ 2009 run to the Super Bowl.

The punishment is expected to be harsher the the punishment handed down to the New England Patriots for Spygate in 2007. The Patriots were found guilty of video taping opposing teams and coaches during games, a direct violation of league rules. Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots were forced to give up a first round draft pick the following year. The punishment for the Saints, Gregg Williams (who is now the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, for now) and Sean Payton, should be more severe. Like Goodell said this “involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players.” You’re talking about, not only, affecting the integrity and possibly outcomes of the game (like Spygate), but the Saints were also threatening the health and livlihood of opposing players. The punishment must be more severe.

Now reports are coming out that Williams had a similar bounty program while he was the defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins. Former
Indianapolis Colts head coach, Tony Dungy, claims Peyton Manning’s neck injury can be traced back to a game in 2006. Here’s Peter King from SI’s Monday Morning Quarterback back in September:

Tony Dungy had an excellent observation on our Saturday night NFL special on NBC. He said Manning’s neck history dates to Oct. 22, 2006, when his neck got wrenched and his helmet ripped off on a hit by two Washington defenders. We showed the highlight on our Saturday show, and Manning, after being hit and crumbling to the ground awkwardly, lay there for a second, and when he rose, he stretched his neck and shook his right arm for a second, as if trying to get the feeling back in it. Dungy said, “that’s the year we started cutting back on his throws at practice. I’m not putting two plus two together. I just figure he’s getting older and he needs some time off, he’s made enough throws. But now, as I look back on it, there’s no doubt in my mind that this was the start of his neck problems.”

It doesn’t stop there. Tony Dungy says he knows the Tennessee Titans had the same kind of bounties on Peyton Manning when Gregg Williams was the defensive coordinator there.

With all of this coming out, Gregg Williams will be lucky to have a job in the NFL next year. One thing is for sure. The Saints and Williams will be handed some of the stiffest penalties in NFL history.

Check us out on Facebook, Hair of the Dog Sports Blog. Follow me on Twitter @coldy4goldy.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Who should perform at Super Bowl 51?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

Yoenis Cespedes says he will not opt out of Mets contract

Zach Johnson unloads on Olympic golf

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

Gabby Douglas joining judges for Miss America pageant

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

Washington's Josh Norman speaks candidly about multiple NFL talking points

Derrick Rose: Knicks have chance to win every game

Ranking the MLB divisional races

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

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

QUIZ: Name every player to win a championship with Kobe Bryant

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